career development / Job market

Tips for finding online content creation work

When I graduated from the University of Bristol in 2019 with a degree in English Literature, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. I’d always loved writing and research but I didn’t know much about the careers my degree could lead to.

Like so many recent graduates, I found myself unemployed in early 2020. After months of trawling LinkedIn for jobs, I finally got an internship in SEO (search engine optimisation) and social media with a tutoring company. I had no idea about these kind of jobs or how to apply for them when I graduated. I’m now six months into my role as Social Media Manager and SEO Specialist at Tutor House. I write content for the website and blog, design marketing campaigns and create graphics for our social media pages. I get to use the writing skills from my degree and also learn new skills in website design and optimisation that I never thought I’d be qualified for as an English grad.

These are some tips for finding an online content creation job, for those who’ve wanted to do it for ages and those who’ve never considered it.

Define your skillset for your CV

One of the things I struggled with when applying for jobs was knowing exactly what I was skilled in and highlighting this in my CV and cover letters. It’s a great idea to sit down and think about what you enjoy doing in your spare time and what you’ve learned from your degree. You can then turn your hobbies and education into a set of skills for your CV.

For example, you’re not just a History graduate, you’re a strong written communicator who’s skilled in researching and data analysis. You don’t just have a degree in Art, but a keen eye for the finer details and an ability to tell stories visually. If you run a social media account, write a blog or know how to photoshop, mention this in your CV and don’t be afraid to big it up!

Think about where you’re looking for jobs

I found my internship on LinkedIn and it’s definitely one of the best places to find job opportunities. Almost all companies have a LinkedIn profile and are likely to post their vacancies there too. If you’re really interested in working for a particular company, you could even find their talent manager and send them a message to see if they’re hiring. Because you’re able to create your own profile, employers can actually find you without you even having to look for them. Set your LinkedIn status to looking for work and you’re likely to be contacted by recruiters.

For jobs in SEO and online content, I’d recommend using more niche job sites such as Work in Startups or Escape the City. Almost all companies are using search engine optimisation now – and if they’re not they soon will be – and this is especially true for startups and newer businesses looking to move up the Google search results page.

Narrow down your search results

When I first started applying for jobs and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, I’d type in broad terms like ‘publishing assistant’ or ‘journalism internship’. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing and jobs will still come up, but they tend to be the ones that say 500 applicants have already applied. I was searching for careers I thought made sense with my degree and I wasn’t thinking creatively.

Think about your skills and how you can turn these to your advantage. Once you’re armed with your skillset, start searching for words which apply to this. If you’re a keen writer, search for ‘online content writer’ or ‘digital copywriter’. If you want to do something more visual, try ‘social media intern’ or ‘social media assistant’. You’ll soon pick up on the words employers use to advertise the jobs you want. You can set up alerts for these on LinkedIn so that whenever a job pops up, you’ll be ready to apply.

Tailor your CV to the exact job you’re applying for

You want your skills to be obvious and easy for the employer to tick off against their job specification. For online content creation, it’s great to talk about editing, written communication and any experience you might have with content management systems like WordPress or Hootsuite. Companies love extra skills like drawing or photo editing, so if you’ve got experience using Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop then highlight this!

Including keywords from the job description is not only a great way to signpost that you’ve got the right experience, but is also useful if your CV goes through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) before it reaches a human hiring manager. Some companies use systems which filter out any CVs that don’t mention the key skills they’re looking for.

Best of luck with your job search!

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