What is a job description?
A job description is used to advertise a vacant role for job-seekers or those looking to find a new, more advanced role in their field. It is essentially a document that details the roles, responsibilities, required experience and terms of a particular position that is being recruited for.
However, owing to the high demand for digital PR roles, competition for these roles is often fierce, so successfully understanding and responding to a job description is a great way to excel in your application. Here’s how you can get ahead.
Different components of job descriptions
In order to successfully decode a job description in digital PR, you need to understand what different elements there are within one. Each part of a job description offers valuable information, and knowing what it means and how to use it is key to securing yourself your dream role in Digital PR:
One aspect of a job description that you should pay special attention to is the job title, since these can quickly and easily tell you a lot about the role itself, from the level you will work at to the field you will work in.
More often than not, the job title will be what attracted you to the role and will typically define the level and seniority of the role and whether you are suitable for it. For example, those with no experience in Digital PR at all may find a job titled ‘Digital PR Intern’ most appropriate for them since internships usually involve fantastic training and support. Meanwhile, those with a great deal of experience within similar roles may find themselves better suited to Senior Digital PR roles or management roles.
When looking at job titles, you should also make note of the field and how broad it is. For instance, a role labelled ‘Digital Marketing Executive’ may comprise a more broad range of work than one labelled ‘Digital PR Executive’. This is because digital marketing is a wider field and might comprise other work, such as social media marketing, content marketing and email marketing.
The ‘About Us’ section of a job description also required a great deal of attention, since it tells you what kind of company you will be working for, what they specialise in and the kind of culture they have. Ultimately, this section will give background information on the company you are applying for and help you decide whether you are a good fit and why.
Top tip: Don’t rely only on the information provided about a company in their ‘about us’ section. Instead, you should use this as a starting point and try to understand more about the origins of their business, the scale at which they work and what services they offer. In particular, you should research the following things to get a thorough understanding of the company you are applying for:
Their social media accounts will give a clear idea of the culture, the people, and the place of work.
Their case studies - in Digital PR, many agencies will be keen to showcase their previous campaigns and results, so you can reflect on these.
The variety of services offered and what they entail - this will provide you with an idea of what other teams you will be supporting and collaborating with
The clients they work with - this will help you understand what scale of work and style of work you will be doing if successful
Roles & responsibilities
A good job description will always outline the key responsibilities involved within a role. For example, a job description for a Digital PR and Outreach Lead may outline key responsibilities such as managing a team, delivering successful digital PR campaigns, leading ideation, pitching and outreach processes, ensuring KPI goals are met, and communicating effectively with clients and team members.
The key responsibilities will give you a clearer idea of the day to day work involved within the role, allowing you to get an idea of whether or not you will enjoy the work involved and whether you feel confident enough to gain the skills and experience.
Required experience and qualifications
Once you have decided whether or not the role is a good fit for you based on the level and responsibilities, it is time to consider whether you are a good fit for the digital PR role based on your skills and experience.
All digital PR job descriptions will have requisite skills and experience that is either compulsory or desired. This can usually be categorised in two ways - soft skills and technical skills. Preferred skills for a digital PR role may be a creative mindset, strategic thinking, excellent analytical skills and strong communication skills. Meanwhile, technical skills for the role might include competence using certain platforms, such as outreach platforms or Microsoft Office applications, or a specific qualification.
You should include your relevant experience and qualifications in your CV, read our guide to create the perfect Digital PR CV.
Whilst it can be disheartening if you don’t feel like you completely fit the criteria of a role, you should consider applying anyway if you are passionate enough. Many digital PR agencies see the value in those with passion and a willingness to learn and provide comprehensive training schemes to bring you up to speed anyway.
The benefits section of a job description is an opportunity for the business to showcase what sets them apart and how well they look after their staff. For example, you might find benefits such as private healthcare, regular socials, bonus opportunities, remote working opportunities and flexible hours in this section.
You should also find the salary displayed somewhere within a job description, usually at the beginning or the end. Many job descriptions will list the salary as ‘competitive’, which usually means that the rate of pay is equivalent to the industry average for similar positions in similar locations. Meanwhile, some job descriptions will be transparent about salary, listing it clearly so that you can decide whether it is something you can afford to live on and whether the role is worth applying for.
To find out more about how salaries of marketeers vary based on experience, level, country and area of expertise, check out our blog.
Last but certainly not least, you will also find some important details scattered throughout a digital PR job description, such as the nature of the contract, the hours you will work and the salary you will be paid. It is important to bear these details in mind when applying for a role, since you want it to work around your routine and be feasible for you.