Like for any other job you need to sit down, research and set goals. There are many forms of marketing and sometimes marketing jobs have a title that might not say they are marketing roles. They may have some of the following keywords in the title of description such as program or account coordinator, product development, branding, advertising, customer experience, loyalty, strategic, online, digital media, SEO, social media and communications. Some of these are forms of marketing or have a marketing component in them. People who are looking for jobs in marketing are mainly applying for the traditional roles or the online marketing positions. It is difficult to get your foot in the door, but it’s not impossible. The following are things that might help land a job in marketing if you are successful in implementing them.
Decide what type of marketing interests you?
If you are just starting out and are looking for an entry-level position, the first thing you need to do is asses your skills. Pick out couple of job ads and see what they are looking for in a candidate. Nowadays, I stumble upon roles that have the following description: copywriting, HTML, CSS, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, all social media platforms and so on. Let’s translate this in your words: “They want a candidate with background in Journalism, Website Design, Graphic Design and Marketing and on top of that they say it’s an entry-level or a junior role”. Now that’s crazy right? Those are four different degrees. Well, that is one way to see it. Don’t get discouraged. If there is a person you can contact regarding that job ad, call or email them, do that first. Check if it is an entry-level position. Don’t waste your time writing a cover letter and adapting your resume. If you couldn’t find someone you can speak with regarding that role and you really want that job then apply for it. What are the chances that there will be many applicants who have all of those skills? They are not very high.
Do you have experience?
This is a trick question and it also is not a question. You gain experience with everything you do in life. The mastery of this question is how you manage to translate your experience into what they are looking for. This is easier said than done, but if you succeed in showing how your experience relates to that role, you will get that job. You need to know how to sell the experience you have. Think about the role responsibilities and if you didn’t previously work in a similar role, find other experiences that will relate to those responsibilities.
How to get experience?
Apply for internships. If you are unable to do an internship, because you need a full-time job, then try to find courses online. There are so many free online courses you can do to learn some of the skills that are required and that will set you aside from other applicants. Many universities offer classes that are in the evening, after work, for professionals that want to learn new skills and stay current.
LinkedIn is a great tool not just for finding job ads but also to network. With LinkedIn you can find executives whose role you would like to have one day and contact them. Ask them if you can do job shadowing for a day or two. Contact someone who already has a role at the level you are applying and ask them if you can meet them one day over a coffee. Prepare questions and see what they will say regarding experience. There might be a specific course that hiring managers are looking for or a seminar that is short, but will give you an idea of what you can learn on your own time.
When you don’t have a portfolio or work experience in marketing, a good way to show your writing, design, promotion and communication skills is by writing a blog. By having your own blog you are able to practice your writing, learn how to design your own graphics or create videos, promote your blog posts online and with that learn online promotion. You also can open a Facebook brand page about your blog and teach yourself how to do Facebook marketing. These are all skills you can add to your resume and show to your potential employer.
I will post in the next few weeks another post on what are hiring managers looking to find in job applicants. Let me know if you have any questions that you would like to ask a marketing hiring manager.
- What is your experience on this topic?
- How did you find your job?
- How did you start your career?
- What do you find difficult when you are looking for a marketing job?
Please feel free to leave me a comment below.