Internships are a fantastic opportunity for someone looking for work experience or an opening into a new career path, especially after graduating university. As a Gold Coast Digital Marketing Intern myself, I have written this article for anyone thinking about gaining real-world experience while still at university (or just graduating).
Getting a marketing internship could be your first big step into the business world, so it’s important you know the most effective ways of finding one. I’ve summarised some helpful tips and tricks for applying, what to expect out of a digital marketing internship, and a brief window into a typical day at my own internship at Localsearch.
How to Get a Marketing Internship on the Gold Coast
How to Find a Marketing Internship on the Gold Coast
1. Use job search sites, like Seek.
It can be daunting to look for a job when you’re first starting out, as you’re not always sure what you’re looking for and where to start. The first place I usually start is job search sites like Seek and Indeed. They’ll show you the type of jobs and positions currently available in your area, which will give you an idea of what employers are looking for.
Looking at listings on job seeker sites is also an opportunity for you to see the skills and experience expected of certain positions you might want. This way you’ll have the advantage of knowing how to improve your competitiveness.
Seek also has the advantage of having specific filters available for you to narrow down your search, and find more suitable jobs and locations. You can also create a profile in these job search sites, allowing you to quickly save favourite searches so you’re not starting from scratch if you want to leave the website and come back.
By having an active, updated profile on job search sites, you’re also allowing employers to see you’re proactive and organised, as many will check these if you apply for a job through these sites. You should include your education, any past experience (whether that be volunteering, casual work, part-time work, etc.), skills and achievements, and links to your portfolio or CV. It shows you have a strong online presence, which is important if you’re applying for something like a Digital Marketing internship.
2. Sign up for job alerts on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is the Facebook of the professional world. A strong online presence on the social media platform is a significant advantage when looking for work for networking. Networking is easy here as you can get in touch with potential employers and companies in the digital marketing field.
Your unique profile summary and bio on LinkedIn are very important. Ensure you include past experience, education background, achievements and skills. If you have any certifications, make sure you add those too.
Job alerts and the ‘open to work’ banner are available on LinkedIn, so you can be notified when jobs are posted and employers can see clearly you’re open for work. These job alerts allow you to narrow down your interests quite a bit, giving you the flexibility to choose what kind of work you want to be notified for.
3. Reach out to Gold Coast marketing agencies.
Show your initiative when looking for an internship and reach out to Gold Coast marketing agencies. There are so many of these on the Gold Coast, and can be an opportunity for you to see how competitive it is.
By just emailing, calling, or even sending a quick message through LinkedIn, you can offer yourself as a potential candidate if they’re hiring, or as an intern, and you’ll show how interested you are in their company. Employers really respect this kind of initiative.
4. Apply for junior positions or cadetships too.
Your expectations when first looking for a job can change drastically once you actually see what is expected of some of these positions. Experience is an essential factor for any job in digital marketing, and many won’t look at you twice if all you have to show on your resumé is a degree with no real world experience. I discovered this soon after my job search started, when I realised I didn’t meet the requirements for a large amount of jobs I was interested in because I had no experience outside of my degree.
Despite this, be open-minded and don’t scroll past a job just because you think it’s below you or doesn’t pay enough. Many of these are junior positions or cadetships, and can be well worth your time if you’re lacking experience and getting rejected. Getting your foot in the door with these types of positions can be worthwhile, especially in the digital marketing field where you can gain valuable networks, practical skills and a beaming reference at the end.
The way I got my digital marketing internship at Localsearch was through applying for a junior marketing administrator position at their company. I was hesitant at first to apply, as I knew I didn’t completely fit their criteria for the job, and thought there would be no point applying only to get rejected. I was so happy I did take the chance, as although I didn’t end up getting the original position I applied for, I was contacted by them not long after. They explained although I wasn’t exactly right for the original position, I was perfect for their not-yet advertised internship and was offered an interview for that.
It’s been one of the best growing opportunities for me, and I’ve been able to learn so much already just one and a half months in.
5. Access university intern programs.
University internship programs are a great way to improve your employability and gain experience while studying. For example, my own university, Griffith University, has a variety of internship programs and courses for business students to support their degree and earn credit points at the same time. There are community internships, business internships, work placements, career development and many more.
Have a quick search online to see if your own university has similar programs and start applying!
Tips for Applying for Internships from an Intern
1. Make your resumé stand out.
Your resumé is one of the first things an employer will see when looking at you as a potential candidate. The goal is to stand out from the crowd, as digital marketing is incredibly competitive, and you need to show why you should be chosen. A plain word document with everything listed is not enough anymore to show your uniqueness and creativity you need to put some time aside.
Canva is a free online graphic design program that can be used to create a wide variety of designs, like presentations, posters, business cards and resumés. I highly recommend Canva as a resumé designer as it’s easy to use even for beginners or someone with no graphic designer experience. Templates are available so you can just pick one you like and put your own details in, changing whatever you need to like titles, shapes, colour, background etc.
Canva is one of the main reasons I got my internship at Localsearch in the first place as it made me stand out from many others as a potential candidate. While working as a digital marketing intern at Localsearch on the Gold Coast, I have been using Canva for a portion of my digital marketing work, as it is so flexible and gives so much freedom of creativity. It really does pay-off to put the effort into your resumé.
2. Research the companies you’re applying to.
When applying for a job, you want to show the employer you’re interested in their job, and not just copy-pasting everything into every application as fast as you can. This is where your cover letter comes in.
To give yourself the highest chance of being noticed by a company, you should research that company and tailor your cover letter (and resumé if needed) to every single job you apply for. You may be tired at just the thought of having to do this, but trust me when I say it’s worth it.
The company will see you’re genuinely interested in what they do, and how you’ve put time and thought into applying for their job. Doing this will help othem being more likely to call you up for an interview.
Remember to put your contact details on your cover letter, as well as the position you’re applying for and what makes you the best candidate. This is your chance to make a good first impression with the employer, to showcase your skills relevant to the job, and what kind of impact you could make on the company if you were chosen. Make your cover letter no more than one page, and remember to research who you should be writing to from the company (LinkedIn is great for this).
3. Highlight your volunteer/other work experience.
One of the most important parts of your resumé an employer will definitely look at is your past work experience, whether that be relevant to the job or not. The more filled out this section is, the more proactive and skilled you look. Volunteering is a great way to expand your experience, give back to the community and to network with a variety of people.
As a student at Griffith University, I decided to join their Student Guild as a volunteer, where I was able to help out at university events like Stress Less Week, O-Week and many more. I met so many people and got to develop my communication skills, something many employers will look for.
Other work experience, although you may not think is relevant to the internship you’re applying for, is always a good thing to highlight. Skills are highly transferable, and just by showing your willingness to participate in volunteer work, part-time work, or casual work, a potential employer will see your eagerness to learn and take on opportunities.
Day in the Life of a Localsearch Digital Marketing Intern
My Localsearch digital marketing internship covers a variety of digital marketing components and fundamentals, including content creation, social media, digital platforms, websites, etc. Every day is different for me, which makes it exciting as I get to experience so many different areas of marketing and contribute to many team conversations, meetings and tasks.
Although that makes it difficult to write just one timeline of what my days look like, I will share with you a general overview of some of the things I do.
Morning as an Intern
When I first get to Localsearch, I spend the first 15 minutes or so setting myself up comfortably at my desk, getting my stuff out and checking my emails. I use this time to get into my ‘work-mode’.
Then, my supervisor will come over and give me the rundown of what’s been happening while I was gone (I only work Thursdays), and what my day will look like. This could either be blog writing, an information session to teach me certain areas of marketing (content writing, email marketing, etc.), social media updating and designing in Canva, or helping out the marketing team on one of their tasks.
I will then get started on whatever task I had on that day, looking at templates, researching, etc. Thursdays are also marketing meeting days, so the team usually invites me to sit in with them and listen in on the social media updates, advertising schedules and many other things they’re all responsible for. These are always very interesting and are a great opportunity to get used to the team environment and how meetings are conducted in a digital marketing business.
Updates from my supervisors are pretty consistent throughout the day, but are mostly done around this time just before lunch, so they can see how I’m progressing and if I need any help understanding my tasks.
Lunch as an Intern
Lunch is usually about halfway through the day, and the team eat together when they get the chance. It gives us a chance to wind down a bit and eat, and even discuss some of what we’ve been doing that day.
Afternoon as an Intern
Afternoons are a continuation of any tasks I had leftover from morning. Usually if it’s a blog I will be finishing up writing and editing my work, or if it’s social media posts or Canva designs, I will be putting finishing touches and asking for opinions from my co-workers.
This time of the day is the most relaxing part of the day for me, as I have usually done the bulk of my work in the morning and I have more time to edit, publish, or just generally improve my work.
Occasionally there will be content meetings near the end of the work day for the marketing team, where social media platforms are organised with posts for the weeks coming up and any important dates. These are quite insightful as I didn’t realise how much thought and planning actually went into business social media posts. They discuss scheduling, what best fits where, and how certain posts perform compared to others.
In the last hour of my day, I usually try to write down any important reminders in my Localsearch journal, as well as what I’ve done that day and what I still need to do next Thursday. Then I’ll save all my work, pack up and say goodbye to the team, ready for another week ahead.
Tips from a Digital Marketing Intern
1. Patience is a virtue when looking for a job.
Don’t get discouraged by rejection; be persistent and eventually you’ll find the right job. If I had quit or given up after rejection emails, no responses and the knowledge of how competitive the market is, I would never have found my Internship at Localsearch.
2. Find a mentor.
While at Griffith University, I decided to apply for the Griffith Mentoring Program, where I was connected with my mentor who guided me through the job application process, what to expect, what was current in the digital marketing industry and what kind of jobs would suit me based on my skills and interests. He also became one of my top references, and helped me get certifications in Google Ads.
3. Certifications and digital marketing courses are valuable.
Most certifications and courses available are free, and just take a bit of time and effort to complete. Most employers will be impressed to see that you’ve taken the time to gain these skills, and will put you at a competitive advantage.
4. Be flexible, take on more opportunities when they present themselves.
You may be hesitant to try new things that are a bit out of your comfort zone, but you’ll learn something new from them all and many will provide networking opportunities. You might even find something unexpected you’ll end up loving!
Localsearch are always expanding their team to help more than 28,000 Australian businesses. Keep an eye on business.localsearch.com.au/careers.