By Simon Lewis, Only Marketing Jobs.
You’ve got your marketing degree but what else should you be doing to ensure employers are attracted to you?
What are the biggest challenges facing university graduates who are looking to secure career positions? More and more we are hearing about the graduates leaving university, unable to secure work at all, let alone in their chosen profession.
Whilst the number of marketing jobs and, indeed, graduate marketing jobs may be on the rise, competition is fierce.
You are in a better position than some though. Marketing is a sought-after industry and thousands of marketing vacancies are over-subscribed with applications from people without any tangible knowledge at all.
So what more could graduates be doing to effectively promote themselves?
Here are six top tips to help you get started:
1. On-the-job experience
Qualifications are great but employers would rather combine these with life and work experience. Most marketing degree courses offer the chance to apply your knowledge in a commercial environment but if you haven’t managed to do this, keep trying.
A lot of employers have neither the time nor the money to pay an intern but by offering them something for nothing or by being innovative it is amazing what comes up. A great place to look for intern marketing vacancies online is RateMyPlacement.co.uk
2. Organising your CV
Despite the current age of digital technology the common CV remains the key ingredient to any jobseeker’s application process. And it should not be taken lightly.
Whizzing your CV off to email addresses and ‘Apply Now’ buttons is the easy part but once it reaches the intended destination you have no control over who reads it or what they gain from doing so. Therefore, you need to ensure you have sufficiently and professionally optimised this sales tool.
Of course most recent graduates will only have a limited amount of work experience to add to their employment history. It is important, then, to maximise what you say about yourself – your ‘softer’ skills. This is where developing a fantastic personal profile and writing a compelling cover letter comes in.
Read how to write the perfect cover letter and produce an amazing profile via individual career coaching.
3. Social media
These days employers are as likely to find you as you are them. With more than 70% of employers admitting to checking candidate credentials online at some stage during the interview process, it is essential you are not only visible but visible for the right reasons.
You need to ensure that the information you post on your social pages is both accurate and sends out the right signals about you. This should be your first step to ensuring a good application strategy.
If you are looking for marketing jobs make sure you hang out in all the right places. Some good places to start are: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Ning.
4. Personal Branding
In any climate standing out from the crowd is essential. Simply submitting your CV is no longer good enough.
Investing time (and a little money) into developing the way people perceive you will set you apart from your competition. Are you dressed appropriately for the occasion? How sincere is your handshake? Have you considered the impact of your non-verbal communication (NVC)? These are a few of many essential elements in the compilation of ‘brand you’.
Of course, personal branding is not just about the way you look. And it is not all about face-to-face interaction, either. Your online presence is just as important.
Above all though, personal branding is about confidence.
Learn more about developing ‘brand you’ and maximising your career chances with a personal branding expert.
Any marketer serious about their career needs to network. Establishing and building contacts is essential to both personal and business development. Online networking is, of course, a critical component to any progressive strategy but nothing beats face-to-face interaction.
You should look to attend as many marketing events, seminars, conferences and professional social occasions as possible – time and money permitting, of course.
Make no mistake, getting out there, showing people who you are, what you do and – most importantly – what you can do for them, is imperative to any jobseeker’s strategy.
6. Applying to suitable vacancies
The key word here is ‘suitable’. Too many graduates spend their time applying for positions for which they are clearly unsuitable. This is incredibly counter-productive and never pays off. All you will achieve is a sense of under-achievement as the frustration of not hearing back from your application heightens.
When searching for jobs to apply to go for job titles such as Marketing Assistant, Marketing Administrator or Marketing Executive. Whilst not everything is in a name, this will provide you with some guidance.
As for salaries, most graduate-level marketing jobs start between £18-24,000 per annum, though certain disciplines will pay more.
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