TorchLight, one of the Washington region’s leading marketing and communications recruiters, shares our best tips for starting your job search
Whether you’re an experienced DC marketing professional or you’re just launching a new communications career in the Nation’s Capital, knowing how to get started is sometimes the most challenging part of a job search. Before you dive head first into the market, consider devoting time to prepare yourself as a candidate. These tips, drawn from TorchLight recruiters’ decades of experience, will help ensure you are ready once an opportunity presents itself.
Define Your Search
Are you looking for a marketing job in Northern Virginia with flexibility and challenge? Or perhaps you want to work in a PR or media relations job or digital marketing role for a company in downtown DC. Whatever it is, you need to know what you are looking for in order to find it. Spend some time thinking about your past or current role. What have you enjoyed about these roles? What do you wish could have been different? In what past positions have you thrived? Not only will asking yourself these pointed questions help prepare you for potential interviews, but this exercise can be beneficial in determining your optimal next landing spot.
It might even be helpful to make a list of “must haves” or “must avoids” that you can reference as you explore new opportunities. Consider everything from practical things like location and hours to more intangibles like culture and company size. Setting parameters from the beginning will help focus your search and allow you to pursue opportunities that have a higher chance of ultimately being a good fit. This exercise isn’t meant to narrow your search to the point of impossibility, but rather to help keep you on track with your preferences and goals as you peruse available positions.
Research, Research, Research
After you have defined what you are looking for in your next role, it’s wise to spend some time researching the market. If it’s been a while since you’ve interviewed for a new marketing or communications position—especially here in Washington DC, where the market has really changed over the years—you may need to brush up on current industry trends.
Set up informational meetings with friends or contacts within the industry to discuss you job search. Make a list of potential companies to target in your search. Follow industry leaders on Twitter, read relevant blogs, join useful LinkedIn groups, set up industry-related news alerts. By immersing yourself in industry knowledge, you can identify which of your skills are in high demand and can highlight them in the application process. If you are lacking crucial skills for your target roles, spend time boosting your knowledge in those areas.
Overhaul your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is the most useful online tool for job seekers. If you don’t already have a profile, create one. If you do have an account, make sure it’s up to date. Think of your LinkedIn profile as a digital version of your resume. It should be organized, concise, and easy-to-read. Don’t make others search for the most pertinent information, but rather customize your profile to highlight the experience that is most relevant to your job search.
You can even post a downloadable document version of your resume to LinkedIn. This is an easy way to help hiring managers pull your information quickly. If it’s appropriate given your current employment situation, you can also highlight on your profile that you are interested in exploring new opportunities.
Clean up your social media presence
Don’t neglect your other online accounts. It’s not uncommon for employers to scan your entire online presence during the hiring process. Make sure all of your accounts are tidy and professional. Delete extraneous accounts that you aren’t using or don’t need. And don’t forget about your email address. Ideally you should use a personal email account that includes your name for application purposes. If you have a cheesy or non-identifying email moniker, it should be retired for the remainder of your job search.
Ready to look for that next opportunity? TorchLight is actively recruiting top marketing and communications talent for some of the DMV region’s most important companies. View our open jobs now and upload your resume. &