You’d like a career in Marketing. You’ve studied marketing, you’re brimming with enthusiasm and ideas and can’t wait to get started! You’re well and truly on your way, aren’t you?
Having that inner passion is one thing, however there’s no doubt that relevant skills and experience are attractive to a hiring manager and go a long way to securing an interview. In a sea of applications for a junior marketing role, yours will only stand out if you can demonstrate that you’re serious about your career. Very often a hiring manager is looking beyond qualifications.
A CV that has concrete examples of where you’ve put yourself out to gain skills and experience screams that you’re genuinely committed to a career in marketing, that you’re not just talk. It will also give you a better idea of what aspects of marketing you like and dislike, what you’re good and not so good at, skills you’d like to develop etc. That all helps us work out what your dream job’s going to be.
Here’s a few ways you can demonstrate that you’re serious about starting your career in marketing!
Most aspects of marketing involve writing in some form or another. Creating and running a blog is a great way of proving you can string more than a sentence or two together. Find a topic that interests you and try writing pieces that are aimed at difference audiences, to show your versatility.
It also shows that you can create a following, establish a brand and gives you a chance to connect with like-minded people. There are tons of free blogging solutions to help you get started with WordPress being the most popular.
Charities and good causes are always looking for support. Creating content for newsletters, supporting their digital and social media presence, helping to organise events or doing one yourself, honing your design skills – the list is pretty endless when it comes to the marketing skills you can develop.
A quick search on Google’s come back with several local opportunities: The British Red Cross are currently looking for a Communications and Marketing Volunteer, Care for Kids North Devon are looking for a Social Media volunteer and St Peter’s Malawi Education Trust would love a volunteer Marketing Co-ordinator to join them!
Some of our candidates have, for example, worked in bars and have offered to take over the social media, come up with promotions – so they’ve developed their existing role to get those marketing skills on their CV.
Part of a sports team, band or other group? Communicating with other members, organising activities and doing promotional activity are all things you can get involved in. A recent candidate was a member of a band and had loads of tangible examples that showed off his marketing capability – PR, video production, website and social media management, building an audience, organising events etc. Your social media is a great way of showcasing your skills too.
There are many awards programmes available. Each level of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme for example, includes a volunteering element. There’s an endless list of projects you can get involved with and the Leaders have links with local organisations who would welcome any marketing support with open arms.
The National Citizen Service, is another cracking example of a scheme that looks great on a CV. The summer programme, for example, involves a team project to support the community. This kind of project lends itself to developing market research and analytical skills, as well as giving you the chance to get creative!
Work experience, placements and internships are a great way of getting experience and developing transferable skills but can be difficult to come by. Don’t be afraid to approach people you know who might be able to help. There are very few organisations who don’t have a ‘wish list’ when it comes to marketing activity but just don’t have the capacity to do them all!
There are lots of free (and paid) online courses you can take to show you’re serious. Take a look at OpenLearn as a starter. The Chartered Institute of Marketing are holding a Webinar in June where you’ll be able learn about their Foundation Certificate in Marketing too.
You’d be amazed by the number of conversations we have with candidates who have done some of the above and don’t think to mention it on their CV. Do! If you don’t, you’ll certainly be at a disadvantage and behind the competition!