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Asked by Eirene on March 3, 2017

Hi, I have 2 years working in sales but I'd like to switch to digital marketing. I'm taking online courses with certificates but they are non-credited (my time and salary don't allow me to participate in a full credited university program). I experiment with social tools and document my online learning on my blog. Would that affect my employment opportunities knowing this is a very hand-on field?

Answered by Allegra, Hiring Expert at Cigna, on March 10, 2017

Congratulations to you for looking for ways to achieve your goals! This shows grit and passion, and those are great qualities. Digital marketing skills are extremely important in the workforce today, and there is so much competition for that type of work. We are also seeing people support an organization's digital marketing needs in more of a contractual partnership more versus an employer-employee relationships.

I would recommend that you continue to take courses to increase your skills. Have you considered taking one course at a time to secure some type of formal degree or certification? It may take a while, but you will eventually get there! In the meantime, how about volunteering your services to a local non-profit? Offer to help create or manage their online social media presence, or create their online volunteer campaigns. This will give you some real world experience, but may also help you may connections with others who have this skillset. 

Congratulations again, and don't give up! 

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Answered by Claire, Hiring Expert at American Express, on March 10, 2017

Hi there! Your situation sounds very familiar to mine just one year ago. I had been in sales for 2 years and was looking for a way to transition into human resources. Your blog is a great platform for displaying what you've learned, however, just be mindful of any other non-digital marketing related personal information an employer may see while looking at your posts. Because digital marketing is such a visually based field I would recommend you bring some of your materials to future interviews with you. Have you created any super cool marketing materials for one of your classes? If so, don't be afraid to show those off! 

Additionally, I would highlight (either on your resume or during an interview) a few key skills like team work, ability to learn quickly, and an enthusiasm for uncovering a clients needs. No matter where you end up these kinds of skills be valued. Good luck!

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