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How to Guide


How to start your career in marketing

How to start your career in marketing

You’ve left university with a degree and you now you need to go and get a career. Welcome to the real world!

The good thing is, if you’ve chosen a career in marketing which is one of the most exciting industries to work in.

Common ‘helpful’ terms often used for your situation is that you need to get a ‘foot in the door’, ‘a step on the ladder’ and so on. But that doesn’t really help you get into the marketing industry does it!

There are a few ways to get into marketing and this guide will show you how.

As a trainee on a management training scheme

Many companies have training schemes for graduates. These companies expect graduates to have a clear career focus and favour applicants with relevant work experience, evidence of enthusiasm for the job, and the necessary personal attributes.

The big name companies receive hundreds of applications for vacancies so it is very competitive! If you have any experience, or studied marketing at university, you will already be ahead of the game.

Set aside plenty of time and apply to as many as you can (so long as you are interested in the company!) The more you do, the faster you will become at it so just keep at it.

Work experience or as an intern

This isn’t always the best way to go considering you don’t get paid and as a student, you are now in thousands of pounds worth of debt!

However, these experiences can be very helpful in the process of discovering more about a job or career that suits you.

It’s best to do this while you’re still at university, and a lot of universities offer sandwich courses where you can have a year in industry as part of your course.

However, if you have already graduated, it is still something you may need to do to get some experience on your C.V, and to build up your contacts.

A good tip regarding contacts: create a ‘contact list’ which is basically the name, company and email address of everybody you come across during your work experience who could be useful in the future. Its's very geeky thing to do but it’s so useful for when you are looking for a job!

The main thing to remember here is, set yourself a limit on how long you can afford to work for free. Up to 6 months is pretty much the average and any more than this is too long.

Also remember, even though you will be given jobs like creating a new filing system and making cups of tea, everyone around you will be accessing how you take each task on.

Appear willing to please, helpful and always ask for more work if you run out of things to do. You never know, your work experience could turn into a ‘proper’ job!

Applying for a ‘bottom of the ladder’ job and working your way up

Another approach is to apply for an administrative job within a medium or large firm and hope for a transfer into the marketing department. This is a bit of a long way round, but if you have limited marketing experience, it may be the way to go.

This can work very well as good people usually get noticed and if there is a job going, you’ll hear about it first!

You will get a real insight into the company and will strengthen your application for jobs that more closely suite your long terms goals- and you’ll get paid!

If you need some one-to-one career guidance, why not contact our in-house Life Coach Rebekah Fensome. Click here to read her blog. 


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