If you want to dip your toes in the marketing world, but aren’t ready (or aren’t hireable enough) full-time job, give freelancing a try. Apparently it’s a good time to do so.
Every quarter and year, Elance looks at which industries are hiring freelancers. Looking at last year’s data, marketing grew in leaps and bounds in specific niches:
- Digital marketing
- Social media
- Content writing
- Blog writing
- Web design
- Graphic design
Local Economies No Longer an Issue
One hypothesis on why earnings have increased so drastically (just digital marketing saw a 190% increase year-on-year) is that geography is no longer a barrier to finding good talent. So if an employer runs an office out of Church Point, Louisiana (population 4,575), he can find talent anywhere in the world. That opens up the possibility to finding better talent. What that means for you as that talent is that you aren’t limited to finding a job within commuting distance.
The report showed that Rhode Island, whose unemployment rate is 10.2% showed an 89% increase in earnings for marketing freelancers. So in addition to removing geographic barriers, the freelancing industry is helping alleviate a bit of that unemployment rate to boot!
More Marketing, More Jobs
While a few years ago, companies of every size held back on social media and blogging as part of their marketing strategy, they’re embracing them like crazy now. And that means that they need more bloggers, social media strategists and overall Internet marketing experts. But that doesn’t always mean they want to hire full-time roles. Often this work can be done part-time externally, which saves the company on benefits, salaries and overhead.
If you’re smart about it, you can piece together a decent living through freelancing. Find a few clients who need content marketing, design work or social media execution — all of which tend to be ongoing work — and you’ve got yourself a paycheck!
How to Start Freelancing in Marketing
Step 1: Search for Gigs. If you’ve got some experience in marketing, you can start looking for projects on sites like Elance, as well as Guru.com and others. Beef up your profile as much as possible: add samples of your work to your portfolio so potential clients can see what you’ve done.
These sites let you search categories for projects. Some will be one-time projects, while others may need someone long-term. Make sure you have the skills the project requires, and send a well-crafted application letter, targeting the key points you feel make you qualified. If you’ve worked on similar projects, make sure to say so, as many employers would be more comfortable with someone who has worked in their industry before.
Step 2: Get a Website and Blog. Build a simple website that also highlights your work, outlines your services, and provides contact information. It’s wise to start a blog and write about the areas you want work in. The more you demonstrate your expertise, the easier it is for potential employers to trust in your skills and hire you.
Step 3: Network. Reach out to companies in your area — especially smaller ones that might not have in-house marketing and let them know the services you offer. Also connect with marketing agencies, as often they have more work than they can handle and need extra help.
It may take a while, but you’ll find that once you get a few projects under your belt, you’ll have some experience to back you up and it will because easier to close a new project.
Yesterday I listed five things to never put on your resume. By no means was it an exhaustive list. Paul Copcutt, former recruiter and blogger at Reflections of a Square Peg, left some great comments worth sharing.
Here are Paul's five things to never put on a resume:
- Silly, Funny (usually just to you), or offensive e-mail addresses. Gmail is free and generic - use it!
- An objective (still seen on far too many resumes) - by all means have something to give off a resume but make it a value proposition. Think: What you can do for the employer - not what you want from them? Jennifer Schooley chimed in here as well stating it's obvious by receiving the resume you are looking for a job, so don't waste the space.
- No phone number! Yes believe it - when I was in recruitment I did a quick survey once and found over 15% of resumes had no contact phone number. Huh???!!
- Reasons why you left - rarely seen now, but it does happen. Do not eliminate yourself before the interview. Save it for a face to face, or at least a telephone conversation.
- Photos. In recruitment we used to have a "˜rogues′ gallery of photos that were attached to resumes. Again, save it for the interview or web interview. Or make sure any photo is professionally taken for bios and on-line profiles like LinkedIn.
Another great tip from Martin Buckland:
- Leave responsibilities out. Build each bullet around STAR: Situation, Task, Action, Result. Tell a short story, max 3 lines, about each accomplishment. These can also serve as a platform for the interviewer to position his questions.
Bill Green added "GPA - leave it off. If you have a 3.8, you have just publicly said you not as smart as someone with a 4.0."
Jacob Share at JobMob also pointed me to his top 10 unusual resume mistakes. He puts out some of the most useful content in the world of job search out there. If you don't read Jacob's blog, it's a good addition to your daily feeds.
Thank you all for your insight! I'd love to hear any other ideas you would add in the comments.
This part two of a three-part series about what to never put on your resume.
Part 1: 5 things to never put on your resume
Part 3: Make sure your career progression is not mistaken for job hopping
Job searching can be a lonely, frustrating place. It's time consuming and it rarely comes without rejection. In most cases, your years of hard work are represented on one or two pages and evaluated by someone who has probably never worked in your position. And it's that step that determines if you are in the "in" interview pile or the "out" pile.
Those two pages of finely tuned words ARE you, until you have the chance to let your personality shine through in the interview. Here are my top five things to avoid putting on your resume.
- Giving personal data. Your resume should be a business representation of you. Avoid listing your marital status, age, family data, hobbies, etc. You should have hobbies and a life outside of work, but it's not necessary to include them on your resume UNLESS the hobby or information is relevant to the job itself. Your prospective employer will find this all out anyways on your Facebook or Myspace page (so make sure it's representative of what you want them to know). Your age, sexual preference, martial status or family information (children, ages, etc.) are irrelevant. The unfortunate truth is that hiring managers may base their decisions on whether or not to interview and hire you based on the information you provide, discriminatory or not. Don't let them make that judgment.
- Listing every job since adolescence. The Starbucks Barista job that got you through college isn't for the resume. If it's not relevant to your current job search, drop it. Think: Did this job prepare me to be a PR pro? If not, don't list it. That goes for internships too. If you have more than five years experience your internships are no longer relevant.
- Going more than two pages. This is a tough one, especially for candidates with lots of experience. You may have the temptation of wanting to list all of your relevant experience, but nobody reads more than two pages. So don't give in, no matter how much experience you have. Find a way to cut it down. A good way to start is by focusing on accomplishments for each position rather than a long list of responsibilities.
- Personal pronouns. Writing your resume in the first person detracts from your accomplishments. It adds unnecessary work and wastes space. The same goes for referring to yourself in the third person. Examples: "I pitched business and trade publications such as..." or "Jane has 15 years of experience..."
- Providing references or stating "references upon request." You need references, but not on your resume. You don't want your valued references being called before you have a chance to let them know. If a company requires references, it will ask you for them when you are seriously being considered for the position. Listing "references upon request" at the bottom of your resume is a given and wastes valuable space.
What would you add to the list?
This is part one of a three-part series about what to never put on your resume.
Part 2: Top things you should never put on your resume by readers
Part 3: Make sure your career progress is not mistaken for job hopping
CNN - Resumes from Hell
New York Times - Resume Writing 101
Thanks to HR World for compiling this excellent cheat sheet of links to help the job seekers and hiring managers interview better. It doesn't mater how confident you are with your awesome interviewing skills, even the most awesome get hung up on something in an interview from time to time.
I recommend candidates also study resources applicable to hiring managers. Understanding the process from their perspective and what they are looking for will only help you to present yourself better.
Here's a brief overview of the type of information compiled in the 100 resources.Sample interview questions for candidates and good answersTypes of interviewsTips and interview techniques for hiring managersInterviewing strategies for candidatesHow to dressWhat not to do on an interviewInterview preparation steps and adviceAfter interview follow-up and thank you lettersResume help
The list is extensive, so no need repeating here. Enjoy!
The Interviewing Cheat Sheet: 100 Resources for Interviewers and Candidates - HRWorld.com
Whether you're negotiating a pay raise or a salary for a new job, money is never an easy topic. Even more difficult is approaching your boss for a raise or starting salary discussions in a rough economy when companies are slashing budgets and pinching pennies.
HotJobs recently published an article: 7 tips for Negotiating Your Salary in a Troubled Economy. Here are the 7 tips:
- Create a "mission or purpose" before entering the conversation
- Track your success
- Know your value market
- Consider where you stand with your manager
- Show respect
- Leave the script at home
- Think long-term
To see the full article, click here
If you're asking for a raise, pay attention to #2. Be prepared to demonstrate your goal performance and on-the-job accomplishments. It's your best bargaining tool.
From an employer's perspective, a manager wants to know if a staff member is asking for more money, he can back it up with evidence of accomplished goals and continuous improvement. Don't expect your manager to be tracking it for you. "I deserve more because my expenses are rising" or because "I've been here for a year" is completely irrelevant, yet so many people take this approach.
Simply put: The outcome is much more likely to be favorable if you make a case for yourself.
For new job salary discussions, it's most important to know your market value, especially if you've been working with the same company for a long time. Check out sites like Glassdoor.com, Salary.com, or Payscale.com to get a general idea (but remember these aren't always completely accurate) or ask a recruiter. PR Week publishes an annual salary report (subscription only) that may be helpful.
What's your advice?
Know What Salary to Ask For in Your New Job [How To]
Figure out how much you should be paid ( and three cheers for transparent salaries)
Fact: The workplace is changing. I'm not sure why I was so surprised at the results of a recent survey at Experience.com - we all know job hopping is common these days, especially with younger generations, but the fact that 60% of these young grads are actively looking for a new position although 57% are happy in their job just surprised me.
It's one thing to keep your options open to better career opportunities, but it's another to be actively looking for a new position. Where do these young grads find time to be actively seeking out opportunity and interviewing while they are just starting out in their careers and busy learning?
Here's the detailed findings of the survey:
- 70% of young grads reported they left their first job within two years of their joining
- 43% of Gen Y are not in the career they expected to be in after college, either because they couldn′t find a job, or another opportunity presented itself
- 60% are currently looking for another job or career, despite the fact that 57% indicated that they are also happy at their current job
- 74% of recent graduates are in a career that aligns with their college major
Most hiring companies I work with still seem uneasy about candidates who jump jobs every two years despite the changing times. Often these same employers doubt a candidate's ability to assimilate into a new work culture after ten years of employment at the same company. Is there a happy medium?
What are your thoughts?
Chuck Underwood: "Mils" In The Workplace: Re-Defining 20-Something
Boston Globe: Job hopping an option for young people
7 reasons my generation is more productive than yours