Applying for a Digital Agency Job

Joining the Team: 4 Tips for Applying for a Position at a Digital Marketing Agency

By Friday December 11th, 2015

Bottom line: the more care and concern you put into your initial interactions with us, the more care and concern we’ll think you’re capable of putting into the work you do here.

The process of applying for a job is overwhelming, and if you’re in the market for a career change, you’re probably already facing an uncertain time in your life. Between the excitement of finding a position you think you’d be a perfect fit for and the fact that there are so many schools of thought on the right way to apply for a job, it’s fairly easy (and common!) to not make a great first impression.

Always focus on presenting your most professional self.

As the office manager here at Brolik, I’m the first point of contact for applicants. When we have a position open, I sometimes see 40 or more applications a week. As such, I’ve put together a few tips on how to make your application stand out and potentially get you to the next round.

Follow the appropriate channels

Most business websites will have a “careers” page or something to that effect. Look for that first and follow the requested steps. This is also true if you’re answering a post through a third party website or job bank. Taking the extra time to send the materials requested to the preferred email shows attention to detail right out of the gate. It also shows respect for your potential employer.

For example, Brolik is a small team. Most of us wear multiple professional hats and are quite busy. Recruiting is only one part of my role here, so while hunting down an application that was sent to the wrong email address may not seem like a major inconvenience, it makes a big difference to me when someone makes the effort to follow this step.

Respond with the requested materials

It is vital that you read the job listing completely, not only to make sure that your skills match the ones that are needed, but also so that you can respond with the appropriate materials. Most of the time a cover letter and current resume will be sufficient, but sometimes additional documents will be required. For example, you’ll most likely be asked for work samples if you’re applying for a design position. If you miss this, your application will probably be overlooked.

Your initial response is also not the time to submit more than the requested materials. Letters of recommendation, published work, or supplementary work samples should be offered upon request in your introductory email which should be formal and concise. Your introductory email is not your cover letter. The text of this email should be no longer than a paragraph and basically serve as a brief statement of introduction.

Keep it professional

The atmosphere and culture at Brolik are definitely more relaxed and employee-centric than what you’d find at a traditional corporate office. However, this doesn’t mean that you should forgo standard formats and traditional manners when first presenting yourself. This applies to your initial reply to a job post, any follow up meetings or phone calls, and potential in-person meetings. Always focus on presenting your most professional self. A well put-together cover letter and resume highlighting your experience and achievements will stand out much more than flashy graphics and jokes.

We don’t expect you to show up to a meeting or interview in a perfectly tailored three piece suit, but keeping with the theme of presenting your most professional self, anything dirty, ripped, or straight from the gym isn’t a good idea either. Also, if you’re going to be late, need to reschedule, or aren’t going to make it to an interview, let us know. Ghosting is terrible in any context, but especially terrible when you’re trying to get a job.

Bottom line: the more care and concern you put into your initial interactions with us, the more care and concern we’ll think you’re capable of putting into the work you do here.

Follow up appropriately

There are many schools of thought on how long you should wait to follow up after either initial contact or an interview. As I mentioned earlier, when we have a position open, I am processing 40 or more applications a week. It is simply not possible for me to keep each individual applicant updated on the exact status of their applications during the pre-interview phase.

After I confirm receipt of your materials, I guarantee I will be in touch if your qualifications meet our needs. Sending more emails after you receive an initial response from me to “check in” is not helpful. If anything, it could make you stand out in a bad way among similarly qualified candidates. If you have not been contacted for more information or an interview after two weeks or so, we have most likely decided to pursue other candidates.

However, following up after an in-person or phone interview is always appreciated. These emails should serve as quick notes of thanks, reiterate why you think you’re the best candidate for the position, and also ask any questions that might have popped up after your interview. It is completely appropriate to get in contact for the email addresses of the staff you interviewed with if that information wasn’t exchanged during your interview. It’s best to send these follow-ups as soon as possible, while your interview is still fresh in everyone’s mind.

During your interview, you will be given an idea of what our hiring timeline looks like and when you should expect to hear from us, but checking in after two weeks is fine. One major point: never try to contact another staff member, namely a superior, that you do not have prior contact with for a response if you haven’t heard back from your point person. We are a small office and juggle a lot of tasks. Do not make your intro to the CEO a question as to why you haven’t heard back about your application.

In conclusion

The process of applying for a job anywhere is complicated. Applying for a job at a firm like Brolik versus your traditional corporate office can make the process seem even more so.
We are all sensitive to this and, for the most part, have been through the process ourselves. Remembering the basics like common sense and manners will make this process infinitely easier. Treating the application process like it’s already a part of the job you want here will make a huge difference.

For current opportunities at Brolik, check out our careers page, our Facebook page, or our LinkedIn page.

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About the Author

Julia’s title is officially “Office Manager,” but “Protector of Brolik Culture” is probably more accurate. Julia is responsible for overseeing various administrative and financial processes, and supporting the lively Brolik employees as HR manager. When Julia isn’t planning an awesome office outing, she is most likely planning her next Disney vacation.