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How to find a digital sector job in Manchester

This is a guest blog kindly contributed by Arjun Naik. You can read his blog here.

I use Facebook. I use Twitter. I like social media; so getting a job within this environment should be as easy as making a new account, right? Not quite.

Firstly, a little background on myself. I went to Liverpool John Moores University and I got a BSc in Information Systems, and a Masters in Computer Network Security. For my dissertation, I wrote about the security risks of social networks. This is when I started to really gain an interest in the subject.

I managed to get a three-month internship at a digital marketing agency in Florida. This was eye opening as I actually got to spend time within a professional work environment within the industry I wanted to work in. I learned everything from web development to being involved in client and team meetings. I was in a different country and learnt how to adapt, how to work with new people. It was an experience that was most beneficial!

Following this I set up my own company with someone from my university days. We concentrated on web design and SEO; our customers were friends, family and their immediate contacts. I started to use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook to generate interests but those platforms are for interaction and not to be used to “sell” otherwise it puts people off. After around six months in business, and working 15-hour days, seven days a week, we had to decide how to take the company further. My partner and I disagreed greatly and, to cut a long story short, I felt it best to party ways at that juncture.

I took all the positives from the experience and decided to move on.

My advice would be to be persistent, because if you show commitment to finding a role a prospective employer will realise that you would be an asset to their team.

So how do you look for jobs?

Some people have structure, some are haphazard. I am more of the former. I treat looking for a job the same as a job: work Monday- Friday, (I try to) get up early and work till the late afternoon. You cannot do everything in one day so structure it.

Monday I would concentrate on Reed, Monster and Total Jobs, for example, and the other days would be different sites.

After doing that for around 3 months it became clear to me that these agencies do not care about you as an individual; you are just a number to them, a commodity. If you tick their boxes then you’re fine otherwise you and the rest of the people looking for work will be discarded.

As I always read tech websites and am on Twitter I became aware of SASchool 2012 at Manchester Metropolitan University. I attended and learned a lot about the industry but the most useful information I gained was at the end of the day. Whilst having a pint I talked to Mr Simon Wharton (MD of PushON). He asked me what I wanted to do. I didn’t really know. I knew I wanted to work in the industry but could not really say at the time. He asked if I had a blog, at that time I did not. He asked me whether I had contacted companies directly. I had not; I had only used job sites.

How to get a job

Literally as soon as I got home I started to do things differently. I set up a blog and got my thoughts down on all things social media as well as other interests of mine.

I sent out cover letters and my CV directly to companies within the industry, asking for opportunities. It is important to get the email directed to the appropriate person, and if possible to get their name and email address; it’s more personable.

I decided that I would like to be a Social Media Manager/Online Marketing Manager, mainly due to my past experience.

Have I got a job?

Not yet, but I do see my luck beginning to turn. I had an interview last week (I’m waiting to hear back). I’ve had correspondence from (almost) every company I have contacted and I try to interact with key people on Twitter to see if there are any opportunities there.

Conclusion

Personally I think the major problem facing this sector is the lack of work experience opportunities. I am finding that unless you have a few years experience you are at an immediate disadvantage. Which in my opinion is a tad unrealistic – not many graduates fresh out of university have industry experience.  However, there are companies who will give you a chance – you just have to find them.

My advice would be to be persistent, because if you show commitment to finding a role a prospective employer will realise that you would be an asset to their team.

 

To find out how PushON research & analysis services can give your company a competitive online edge, simply call 0844 967 0565 or contact us via our form.

  • http://blog.pushon.co.uk Psychobel

    I met Arj after the marvelous SASchool at MMU. I thought he was a tremendous chap. If we had an appropriate position, I would employ him, but we dont. So I thought I would do what I can to help him get the job I believe he deserves

  • http://blog.pushon.co.uk Psychobel

    I met Arj after the marvelous SASchool at MMU. I thought he was a tremendous chap. If we had an appropriate position, I would employ him, but we dont. So I thought I would do what I can to help him get the job I believe he deserves

  • http://twitter.com/groovegenerator David Edmundson-Bird

    I met Arj too. He’s identified all of the areas where he’s struggled so far – and one area that’s a problem (bizarrely I don’t think he has this problem) is experience. Plenty of employers ask for experience – but not that many provide it. Students who go on placement, or summer internship, or who have a day a week working in their industry tend to find 2 things: first, our research shows that they tend to gain one degree classification point higher than those students who haven’t had that experience; second – they walk into jobs (in fact they have choices). Being bright or clever isn’t good enough. Having the numbers on a degree certificate isn’t good enough.

    One final thing – Manchester (as a City region) has the 3rd largest “Digital” sector in Europe and a massive networking culture. It’s important for students to start networking early on, to get their faces known. Be someone who talks to people. Simon (MD of PushOn) is the kind of employer who loves talking to students – because it’s in his interest to identify future talent. It really is more about who you know rather than what you know, and what you know is more important than what University you went to.

    PS – someone offer Arj a job because he’s a capable bloke. He’s not one of my grads but hey – that’s not what it’s about – he’s a perfect fit for someone. That Nick Rhind at CTI is always looking for folk :-)

  • http://twitter.com/groovegenerator David Edmundson-Bird

    I met Arj too. He’s identified all of the areas where he’s struggled so far – and one area that’s a problem (bizarrely I don’t think he has this problem) is experience. Plenty of employers ask for experience – but not that many provide it. Students who go on placement, or summer internship, or who have a day a week working in their industry tend to find 2 things: first, our research shows that they tend to gain one degree classification point higher than those students who haven’t had that experience; second – they walk into jobs (in fact they have choices). Being bright or clever isn’t good enough. Having the numbers on a degree certificate isn’t good enough.

    One final thing – Manchester (as a City region) has the 3rd largest “Digital” sector in Europe and a massive networking culture. It’s important for students to start networking early on, to get their faces known. Be someone who talks to people. Simon (MD of PushOn) is the kind of employer who loves talking to students – because it’s in his interest to identify future talent. It really is more about who you know rather than what you know, and what you know is more important than what University you went to.

    PS – someone offer Arj a job because he’s a capable bloke. He’s not one of my grads but hey – that’s not what it’s about – he’s a perfect fit for someone. That Nick Rhind at CTI is always looking for folk :-)

  • Guest

    I would love to hear

  • Guest

    I would love to hear

  • arjnaik

    If anyone has found this useful at all I would love to hear from them. I hope this is can help someone out there not only myself.

  • Anonymous

    If anyone has found this useful at all I would love to hear from them. I hope this is can help someone out there not only myself.

  • Nick

    Strange how great minds think alike, I wrote a blog post on my own blog last week of a very similar nature. Check it out http://marketinggraduateuk.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/graduate-jobs-how-to-land-that-dream-graduate-job/ , funny how we both come to very similar conclusions!

  • arjnaik

    Hi Nick I tried to access your blog but it said it was unavailable.
    Its got me really thinking, I mean there must be hundreds if not thousands of people who have graduated and want to work within search. It would be interesting getting other opinions