The main burden on every student’s mind once completing university is wondering how on earth they are going to find a full time job in their specified field. No matter how many years of university you complete, they will never fully prepare you for ‘the real world’!
That aside, here are 10 useful hints and tips on how to bag your first marketing role after uni.
1. Market yourself
What better way to demonstrate your marketing skills than by marketing yourself. This can be through numerous ways, including writing blogs to showcase your knowledge and skills within the industry and also through social media by posting relevant, industry related posts through platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
Additionally, you can use a cover letter to market yourself. In a brief summary, review your previous achievements, work experience and skills that will initially engage the potential employer before they move on to your CV.
Top Tip: Ensure your cover letters are job role and company specific – there is nothing worse than a generic cover letter!
2. Look for jobs in a variety of places
There are a variety of platforms promoting job vacancies, these include: job boards, company websites, networking events, job fairs, social media (LinkedIn) and more. Additionally, most universities generally have a job search area with recent posts – it may be worth considering this platform before you graduate.
Make sure you utilise each of these as it will enable you to become aware of a larger variety of jobs that are available within the industry.
3. Updated CV
Inevitably, your CV will determine whether you get an interview with a prospective employer or not. This must be as up-to-date as possible.
Information included within the CV should consist of a small bio about yourself and your most recent achievements. A list of previous work (starting with the most current), along with the roles and types of activities that you completed.
A list of schooling/university and the grades that you obtained. Additional information should include your personal and contact details, along with whether or not you have a clean UK driving licence (you never know whether you will be required to drive to client meetings etc – therefore this is a piece of vital information). Unsurprisingly, your CV is the first process of selling yourself to employers and persuading them to invite you in for an interview.
4. Apply attentively
Before submitting your application, double and triple check all spelling and grammar. Ideally, ask a friend or family member with a good eye for detail to filter out mistakes. Don’t let a silly spelling error be the reason that you don’t get the job!
As mentioned previously, ensure that your cover letter is role and company specific. Also, use the letter to demonstrate knowledge of the company and the industry. Have they been nominated for any awards recently – if so, congratulate them!
5. Social media
An article from The Guardian suggests that 40% of employers will use social media to screen candidates, therefore it is extremely important to keep all platforms professional and clean. That means keep images of yourself dancing and intoxicated on a student night to a minimum!
Ideally, the best candidates will be posting/retweeting relevant, up-to-date industry content – this will catch the eyes of potential employers showcasing your interest and dedication towards the industry.
6. Leave a good first impression
First impressions are essential! To begin with, ensure you are dressed appropriately for the role… and yes your shoes will get noticed (especially by women) so dress to impress! But beware to not go too over the top!
Be prepared and demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the market – employers will expect you to know this!
If you have little or no work experience within the industry, explain how other work experience or university modules can help you excel within the role. Being enthusiastic, positive, friendly and happy will help you to tick a lot of the boxes.
Once the interview is over, you could always follow up by emailing them on the day to say thank you for their time and the opportunity. To fully grab their attention, reference specific parts of the interview you enjoyed!
7. Know your interviewer
Before your interview, you should try and gather as much information as possible regarding the company. What year was it established? How many employees are there? What are the main services that they offer? Who are their biggest clients? and so on!
Paying an interest in the company and showcasing this throughout the interview will leave a good impression.
Additionally, with platforms such as LinkedIn and company websites it is fairly easy to find information of employees within a company. Try and determine who will be conducting your interview, this will help you know who to look out for on the big day and it also gives you a little background about them.
8. Know the field
This is your first chance to show off your knowledge. As mentioned previously, being aware of the current trends within the market, or the field within the role you are applying will demonstrate how committed and prepared you are for the job. Therefore allowing you to make more of an impact on the prospective employee over alternative candidates.
This point is basically a given – most employers would expect you to know this!
9. Be prepared
Being unprepared equates to being unprofessional in an employer’s eyes.
An article from HubSpot states that “companies need incredible, brilliant, insightful people who will be future leaders in the organisation, but they also need people willing to do hard work, especially when it’s inconvenient, unglamorous, or tedious.”.
You must be prepared to do whatever the role would ask of you, this includes making teas and coffee’s, washing up, answering the phones and door etc. You are not an exception to everybody else within the company, therefore you must show willingness within these areas.
Be prepared to start at the bottom (especially if you have little experience and have just finished university)… take it as an opportunity to work your way up and prove you are good enough!
Additionally, have answers to popular interview questions planned out and bring examples of work to demonstrate your skills!
Finally, experience is key!
Gaining practical experience within the marketing industry can drastically improve the number of job opportunities available to you.
Working within the environment helps you to acquire skills within the field that can be utilised in future employment, increase your awareness of the current developments and trends within the industry and improve your communication skills and how you work within a team.
If you couldn’t do a placement year at university, try volunteering or taking part in internships in order to gain experience within the field. By completing these, it already puts your one step ahead of someone with zero experience!
We hope our hints and tips will help you in achieving your first full-time marketing role after university! Good luck!