Ok, so I’m aware this is a bit of a departure from the kind of posts I usually do, but I was having dinner with one of my good friends the other night, and it hit me that this could actually be helpful to a lot of people.
My friend is a recent graduate and has been applying to various marketing jobs. As someone who’s just started on a marketing graduate scheme, she was picking my brains for any advice I could give, and I thought, why not share this with my fellow bloggers too? ‘Marketing’ seems to be a bit of a buzzword at the moment and lots of people say they want to do it, without really knowing what it is! Hopefully, these 6 tips will help you decide if it’s something you want to do and how you can get on that first rung of the career ladder.
Ok, let’s get started..
- Marketing vs Advertising: This may seem like a very obvious point to some, but it’s important to note that marketing and advertising aren’t the same thing (I definitely thought they were not too long ago). The advertising agencies we work with at my company actually create and come up with the concept of the adverts, while we supply them with the nitty gritty stuff we want eg. the message we want to portray, our budget, etc. If you’re a very creative person, you might want to look more at applying to creative/advertising agencies, rather than marketing roles.
- There’s lots of different types of marketing: There’s so many different types of marketing, you and your friend could both work in the field but have completely different roles! There’s direct marketing, digital, SEO, PR… lots! It’s also worth considering that some areas of marketing such as ‘Planning’ require a high level of maths because you’re essentially ‘planning’ the whole campaign. You need to be good with numbers, budgets and analysing data, On the other hand, something like ‘Branding’ or ‘PR’ needs more of a creative mind with people skills. I would do some research into the types of marketing and decide where your skills and interests lie.
- Building your C.V: I know getting work experience is easier said than done. It’s all very dependent on who you know, rather than what you know, but my biggest advice would be to get started early. While it’s never too late to start your career, I definitely regret not getting cracking while I was at school or in my first year of uni. If you don’t know anyone who can get you some work experience, do it yourself! Start a blog, take a free online marketing course, or get a weekend job. It doesn’t have to be marketing experience at all (I had retail and teaching experience which demonstrated my people and leadership skills). It’s all transferable and you can use what you learn in any career.
- The University Question: It’s important to realise that you certainly don’t have to study marketing at uni to do it as a career – I studied French and Philosophy! While studying at uni can give you some great background knowledge, it’s definitely not a necessity. Just make sure that if you’ve studied something else (or haven’t been to uni at all!), that you still have other things which show your interest in the marketing world (a blog for example!). One thing I will say though, is if you apply for a marketing degree, definitely try and go for one which offers a placement year working in the industry. This will give you practical experience and really make you stand out at interviews.
- Grad scheme vs Job: While there are obviously great benefits of a graduate scheme – you get a wide breath of experience and a lot of help and development – they are very competitive so don’t feel bad if you don’t get on to one. I applied for a wide range of grad schemes, internships and jobs, and was very lucky to get on to a great scheme. The main thing is not to give up and keep persevering. Great websites which I used to look for jobs were TARGETjobs, Milkround and Sanctuary Graduates.
- Keep Blogging!: One of the reasons my employers hired me was because they were ‘very impressed with how I ran my own blog’. They said it shows a lot of creativity and hard work (ooh get me). So definitely keep up your blog, or start one if you haven’t yet! Post regularly, learn new things, and tell interviewers why it makes you the perfect marketing candidate.
I hope you guys have enjoyed this post, and maybe some of you found it helpful. Let me know if you have any other tips and if you have any other questions!
Thanks for reading! Joanna xxxxx