If you’ve recently graduated then you’ll all be familiar with that dreaded feeling of your time at university coming to a close with the reality of employment looming large. For some, it may excite you as you cannot wait to relish the chance to finally start earning and to put the skills you learnt in higher education into practice. However, for others it may be something that worries you at just the thought of a first stage interview. It can be quite a difficult task to cut through the noise and be a standout candidate as I found out whilst completing a Masters degree. I was applying for jobs in both Manchester and Birmingham as I was at university up north and even between two cities, the opportunities were often scarce. Luckily, Pitch offered me a role in marketing and I've not looked back since so I thought I'd put together my top tips to make yourself successful in finding work within the marketing sector.
As you may be familiar with already, some employers may not see a degree (or equivalent) qualification as enough of a basis to hire you on. That’s why, as more and more people are completing university that you go out and get some experience within the marketing sector. There will be plenty of opportunities, especially if you’re located close to a city to intern with somebody in a marketing role. The role, more often than not won’t be a paid one but the experience you’ll gain will be invaluable and it could make you stand out more as a candidate in comparison to those with just a degree. It’ll also help you when it comes to nailing down your first full-time role as you’ll already have working experience of the marketing mix.
Near enough everybody is on some form of social media in this digital age but if you’re looking to be successful in landing a job within marketing then LinkedIn is the platform you should be performing most prolific on. Whichever sector you wish to work in, it’s important that as a candidate you have a presence on LinkedIn - and even more important that you come across in a professional manner. Using LinkedIn is a great tool to network with potential employers and to really get your name out there. Engage with people and you never know what could arise. Most, if not all recruitment agencies use LinkedIn to scope potential candidates so if you’re not on there then you could be missing out on employment opportunities.
3. Don’t apply for *every* single job
You’ve come out of university and the frantic panic of unemployment has set in. You may think that applying for every job under the sun is the best way of getting your foot in the door. Don’t. Only apply for jobs you have a genuine interest in taking and you feel that you could excel in. There are different levels of seniority in the marketing sector, from digital marketing executives all the way through to directors. Unless you have an incredible wealth of experience behind you, it’s wise to apply for the jobs that seem more suited for graduates. It’s also important not to apply for every marketing role in your location as there’s nothing worse than picking up the phone from a potential employer regarding an interview for you to reply with: “Which job is this again?” It’s unprofessional and it already puts you on the back-foot.
4. Interview experience
Baring point three in mind, if you do get the offer of an interview then we’d advise to go along and give it your best shot. Gaining interview experience is vital as no two interviewers are the same. If you’re being interviewed by a big corporate company then the atmosphere may be very hostile where if you’re being interviewed by an agency, it may seem a lot more relaxed and friendly. Experiencing different interview environments will only hold you in better stead for the future. When applying for jobs in the marketing sector, it’s common that potential employers will get you to complete a relevant task. This could be anything from writing a blog post to creating a small content plan for a social media campaign. Why not practice something similar at home? It’ll only take 30 minutes out of your day and could be the difference between getting the job.
5. Do your homework
Impress your potential employers. From the first stage of contact, it’s impressive if you have prior knowledge of the company who could be paying your wages. This doesn’t have to be encyclopaedic knowledge but basic knowledge, specifically in the role you’ve applied for goes a long way. Employers will want somebody who lives and breathes their company so if you show signs of that from the off, it will improve your chances of employment. It’s even better if you can provide examples of where you think the company is going wrong and where you think you could help them. For example, scour through their social network pages and suggest what content could work better. Remember, they’re hiring YOU for YOUR expertise.
Job searching can become frustrating quite quickly but hang on in there, it will all become worth it. Pitch specialise in recruitment for the marketing sector so if you haven't already, get in contact with us!