How can you get a content job right now? With the world turned upside down and so many companies cutting marketing budgets, looking for work can be daunting.

But there’s good news, too. While some doors have closed during the pandemic, others have opened. 

As the entire world goes digital, companies from all sectors need to communicate about their shifting business models and constantly changing strategies.

And with remote work becoming the norm, you can apply for an increasing number of location-independent roles across the globe.

Here’s how to set yourself apart and connect with the right people to land a content job, whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out.

At VeraContent, a multilingual content agency, we hire content creators from around the world. We also regularly interview content and marketing managers across Europe for The Content Mix podcast, and we recently hosted a Facebook live event with global career consultant Daniel Catalan

I’ve compiled practical advice from these sources, along with my own personal experience as co-founder of VeraContent.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  1. Optimize your portfolio, CV and LinkedIn 
  2. Network and promote yourself
  3. Apply to the right jobs
  4. Nail the application and interview process
  5. Develop a range of qualities, skills and interests
  6. Stay up to date
How to get a content job in 2021

1. Optimize your portfolio, LinkedIn and CV

Your portfolio is your most powerful asset. You can build your own website or use your LinkedIn profile for this purpose.

Show awesome work samples

Employers want to see a variety of real work samples—but only your best work, so choose wisely. If you’re just starting out, create your own blog or contribute to someone else’s in order to get some samples published.

Use LinkedIn strategically

LinkedIn is an extremely effective platform for finding a content job. Be active and connect with anyone who might be a mutually beneficial contact. 

Your profile should be a reflection of everything you’ve done, featuring all your accomplishments, experiences and skills.

If you use LinkedIn correctly, you may not even have to look for a job—recruiters and employers will reach out to you directly. 

Write an open letter on LinkedIn. Share a post letting your network know that you’re open for work, including what kind of opportunities you’re looking for and what you bring to the table. You could share this in plain text or even record a video of yourself. 

According to content marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuck, you can take this a step further by writing a post entitledA love letter to my future working self.”

Here are a few more LinkedIn tips:

  • Set your profile to show recruiters you’re open to work.
  • Opt in to LinkedIn job updates newsletters.
  • Set job alerts with specific keywords or criteria to be notified when openings are posted.
  • Keep your profile up to date.
  • Choose a good profile picture.
  • Choose a banner image (you can find good stock photos on Unsplash).
  • Write a quality intro about yourself.
  • Showcase your best work samples in the featured section and under each role.
  • Get recommendations and endorsements from colleagues, past employers and mentors (and give them in return).

See Daniel’s article: 5 common mistakes I’ve seen after analyzing 100+ LinkedIn profiles and CVs.

Enhance your CV

Make sure your CV is well curated, clear and bold:

  • Keep it to one page.
  • Format it so it’s easy to read and visually appealing.
  • Include an engaging summary at the top and tailor it to each role you apply to.
  • Clearly state what you did in each role; be as specific as possible.
  • Start sentences with action verbs and describe your responsibilities eloquently, without embellishing.
  • Use words like “versatile” and “adaptable” and make sure to provide specific examples of each.
  • Include links to work samples that show a range of writing styles, qualities and skills (if you can link to a personal website, even better).
  • List all your technical skills, including the software and tools you know how to use.
  • Briefly mention your other talents and skills that aren’t content related.

For more tips, see our article on how to get hired as a freelance content creator, based on VeraContent’s selection process.

networking online and hiring freelancers

2. Network and promote yourself

Networking is absolutely pivotal. Make yourself visible, talk to people and lean on your professional circle. 

Put yourself out there

People need to know who you are and what you’re capable of—so share your work, even if it’s not perfect. Let your contacts know that you’re looking for a job. Comment on job posts or send a message to the person who’s hiring. Ask your past employers, colleagues and mentors to recommend you.

Get on social media

If you’re not already active on social media, it’s time to get comfortable using these tools to promote yourself and your work. The world of social media is constantly changing, so there are endless chances to start fresh and reinvent yourself. 

Also, be mindful of the image you project online. It’s helpful to identify a theme and purpose for each channel, so people can get a clear picture of you and see if you’d be a fit for any openings. For example, your Instagram profile might show your hobbies and interests, while your LinkedIn shows who you are as a professional.

Create personal connections online

You’re always going to be hired by another human being. Maintain connections and be professional in everything you do. Help and show interest in other people, too. 

Join industry-specific networking groups to get access to relevant job opportunities and connect with people in your field. Make sure to engage—ask questions, comment and share your story.

Check out this list of 7 online networking groups for content marketing professionals.

Start your own project or build a personal brand

You can set yourself apart for a niche service, and offer it through your own name or personal brand. It’s hard work, but it pays off. Oftentimes, this can lead you to a new job, career path or entrepreneurial endeavor.

Pro tip: Create a personal website or start your own podcast to grow your personal brand.

Trade services with others 

Forming long-term creative partnerships can be incredibly enriching for your career. For example, if you need a professional website or logo, reach out to a designer and offer your writing services in exchange.

How to get a content job in 2021

3. Apply to the right jobs

In such a huge market, knowing where to look for a content job can be hard. Start by asking around in your professional circle and thinking about the type of company or industry you want to work in.

It also depends on where you are in your career. If you’re just starting out or transitioning from a different field, do a bit of soul searching to develop a clear vision of the kind of content you want to work with.

You should apply to companies and positions that match your values, but first you have to figure out what those values are.

Apply to international companies

Many global businesses have gone permanently remote (like Twitter), which means more location-independent roles are now available. That’s great news for digital nomads and freelancers.

If you’re interested in an in-house position in a country where you don’t have work permission, as VeraContent CEO Shaheen Samavati always says, “Don’t bring it up too early, because they’ll rule you out without giving you the chance to show them who you are.” 

See Shaheen’s full explanation: When applying to international jobs, don’t mention work permit issues too early

Apply to tech and edtech companies

The need for everything to be remote is changing our lives and careers, and will continue to create new opportunities. As a result, tech companies with products that help people work from home are on the rise—just think about Zoom.

The digital education sector is also booming, as schools around the world make the switch to online learning. If you’re looking for a promising new sector to explore, look no further than edtech.

See also: The most in-demand types of digital content for 2021

Apply for internships

If you’re at the early stage of your career, having internships on your CV shows that you have real work experience and sets you apart from people with similar educational backgrounds. 

Try to get a good mentor during your internship. A mentor can be an invaluable source of feedback and guidance. And if you make a good impression, they’ll speak highly of you and recommend you for future positions.

Take on freelance projects

Freelancing is another great way to build your portfolio, make connections and stay active. It can also help you get your foot in the door for future opportunities.

It’s best to find projects through personal contacts, but you can also make accounts on freelancer platforms like Fiverr and Upwork.

See also: Things no one tells you about freelancing in Europe

The best marketing interns 2021

4. Nail the application and interview process

You need to have a clear understanding of the value you can add to the company you’re applying to, and how your mission aligns with theirs. Make sure you express this both in your portfolio and in your interactions, whether on LinkedIn, by email or in person.

Personalize your cover letter

When it comes to your cover letter, email, project proposal, pitch or whatever it is you’re using to target a client or employer, personalization is key.

“As a freelancer, I can market myself as a creative travel content writer, a content marketing expert or a multilingual editor (etc.), depending on the actual project I’m trying to get.”

Melissa Haun, international freelance writer, editor & translator

Proofread all your communication

As content creators, it’s literally our job to communicate effectively. If there’s a typo, poor structure or an awkwardly phrased sentence in your email, it could cause your application to be discarded immediately.

Learn more about the importance of quality content and why it matters for your career.

Prepare and rehearse your interview

Video interviews are now the norm. Although introducing yourself through a screen may seem less personal, the good thing is that you can keep notes handy for reference. Make sure to research the company you’re applying to and ask thoughtful questions—this shows that you’re genuinely interested in the role.

Pro tip: Rehearse with a friend. Have them call you and simulate the interview on video.

Accept rejection

There’s a wealth of reasons why you might not get a job. It doesn’t mean that you’re not a qualified professional, so don’t let it damage your confidence. Take that “no” as a lesson and keep moving forward—eventually, you’ll get a “yes.”

Pro tip: Always thank people for their time, and be polite. If you make a good impression, they may keep you in mind for other positions

Having a diverse range of skills and interests is key for content marketing professionals

5. Develop a range of qualities, skills and interests 

Content professionals have to be social media strategists, copywriters, email marketers, data analysts… not to mention friendly and relatable human beings.

Be adaptable

Employers need versatile professionals who can adapt to their company culture and today’s changing business landscape. Be ready and willing to take on new challenges—and learn as you go. The more adaptable and flexible you are, the better. You can show this in the way you present yourself and the stories you tell from past work experiences.

Be friendly, virtually

With everyone working in front of a screen, human connection and kindness are paramount. You need to be likeable and make a good impression. If you’re in a video conversation, smile. If you’re communicating through email or messaging, use an exclamation point, or even an emoji—when appropriate.

Be responsive

Answer fast, whether it’s to say you can or cannot accept a job. Responding quickly all the time may be challenging, but it’s one of the primary reasons why people will want to work with you. 

Be confident 

Confidence is key to many things in life, and especially to landing a job. Be bold and enthusiastic about what you can offer—without being arrogant or overly eager. 

Embrace all of your experiences

Are you also an actor? Dancer? Surfer? Own it! The more you share experiences and interests, the more chances you have to connect with people—and that’s what content marketing is all about.

“Having a diverse range of interests can be really powerful, primarily because shared experiences are at the very heart of what we relate to as marketers, whether it’s travel or insurance or wine.”

– Sarah Evans, head of social at Fight or Flight
Practical tips and advice on how to get a content job in 2021, at any stage of your career

6. Stay up to date 

Never stop learning. This industry is extremely fast-paced; new trends and technologies are popping up every day, and we need to keep our content relevant. 

Read everything

The benefits of reading for content creators are endless, from getting inspiration for social media captions to keeping up on the latest industry trends. 

“To be a good content creator, you have to read everything—whether it’s a flyer for someone to come clean your windows, a national ad or a nonfiction novel.”

Zoey Cooper, content and brand director at Wordbank 

Need inspiration? Follow these industry experts and check out these recommended books for content and marketing professionals.

Gain complementary skills 

You can take courses on sites like LinkedIn Learning, Hootsuite and Udemy. Dabble in coding, app development or SEO—just to name a few options.

According to Léo Moulinas, who works in content marketing recruiting, data skills are the key to standing out in our field: 

“Anyone with skills in data-led marketing isn’t going to have too much trouble finding a good job nowadays. Try to gain new experience, and develop a skill set that spans both data science and creative marketing.”

Léo Moulinas, EMEA and LatAm marketing director at Hays

Pro tip: Learn a new language. In the EU alone there are 24 official languages, and knowing only English puts you at a disadvantage.

Get your work-from-home setup in order 

Working from home can be tough. You need to have the right setup (i.e. good laptop, fast WiFi, headset, nice chair) in order to be comfortable working all day alone in front of a screen.

Check out these 15 expert tips to make remote-work life more enjoyable and effective.

Know your tools and apps

Gain experience working with at least a few technical platforms, like Hootsuite, Hubspot, WordPress and Mailchimp. I especially love Canva—it’s the standard design tool right now, and so easy to use!

You can also utilize apps on a personal level to track your hours or improve your writing (such as Clockify and Grammarly, respectively).

See also:

Write as much as you can

Writing is the core of our craft. You need to keep your skills sharp and know how to create content with various tones, from journalistic and formal to personal and friendly. The greater command you have of different writing styles, the more employable you’ll be.

Pro tip: Practice daily in a personal journal, on a blog or on LinkedIn.

Final thoughts on how to get a content job in 2021

There are many paths to getting a content job, whether it’s as an international freelance writer or an in-house content marketing manager.

No matter which path you choose, you’ll need to have a diverse range of technical and creative skills, be willing to learn and constantly adapt, and be proactive in meeting people and putting yourself out there.

It’s definitely doable, and I hope these tips help motivate you to go after your dream job. Go get it!

Looking for more tips to get a content job? Check out:

If you’re looking for content writing opportunities, check out our job openings here at VeraContent!