Marketing has always been one of those industries that people want to get into, and I can see why - it's creative, it's vital for business, there are quite often perks, it pays well and now with the inclusion of areas like social media it can seem very appealing. This unfortunately makes it very competitive and a tough industry to get in to, especially if you have no experience or qualifications in that field.
I've worked in Media, Advertising and Marketing for 14 years (god, I'm showing my age!) and I'm currently Head of Marketing & Business Development. I've worked across many sectors - Retail, Property, Travel and Automotive, and I got here with no degree or Marketing qualification, so I wanted to write this post to give you some tips on what you can do to crack the industry for all those beginners out there.
Give Your CV A Health CheckThis might seem like an obvious one but I see so many CV's that I just shake my head at, that I had to mention this..... Your CV is there to sell yourself, and if you haven't had a lot of experience make sure you include a detailed covering letter showing your passion and enthusiasm for the role as well as your personal attributes. If you can, give your CV to someone already in Marketing for them to give it the once over and give you their suggestions.
Work ExperienceJust because you haven't had any luck in getting a paid job in the industry doesn't mean you can't get some work experience. Try and pick a company that has a large marketing department where you will get to cover all aspects of Marketing, it will not only help your CV, but will also start to give you an idea as to where you might like to specialise in the future.
Use Blogging To Your AdvantageIf you are a Blogger reading this, then use it to your advantage! You may not know it, but using social media, networking with other Bloggers and doing SEO on your site all comes under the marketing umbrella, so make sure it's all included in your CV and covering letter when applying for jobs.
Create A LinkedIn ProfileRecruiters use LinkedIn as much as job boards now days, so get started on creating a profile so you can be found. Make sure it's professional, using your CV as a base for your profile and use Marketing related keywords in your profile headline - this is the part that recruiters can do searches on - for example "Marketing Assistant seeking a new role". Once you have a profile set up ask your current and/ or previous employers to recommend you, as this will help give you more more credibility.
Be CreativeBeing creative and thinking of new fresh ideas is a large part of Marketing, so come up with some unique ways to grab recruiters attention and make them remember you! How about sending them a Kit Kat in the post along with a copy of your CV and a note saying " Have a break, have a Kit Kat and get to know me better" .... Cheesy, but who doesn't love chocolate in the post? :-)
Try SMEsMost big organisations will have strict criteria that you must meet before your CV will even be passed to a Manager to look at. Your CV will go into the HR department and into a pile full of 100's other CVs like yours, so if you don't have the education or experience they require you have no chance. Try looking for roles in smaller SME's where the recruiting Manager is the one receiving the CV's and may be more open to candidates who don't have the exact experience they would prefer.
Get A CIM QualificationSo you might not have any qualifications, but that doesn't mean you can't get one. A lot of business will ask for a CIM (Certificate in Marketing) as its the industries recognised qualification. If you don't have any experience in Marketing you can start off with the Foundation Certificate or you can try some of their shorter 3 day courses to get a taste of Marketing, and see if you would like to learn more.
Personality CountsI've always said that I can teach you Marketing, but I can't teach you to be a hard worker. It's all good and well receiving a CV from a candidate with a Marketing degree from Oxford, but if they won't work hard and give me 100%, then I'm not interested. When I'm recruiting the key attributes I look for are:
- Hard worker
- Quick learner
- Someone who is organised
- Someone who will fit well within the team
All of these count for so much, so make sure you promote them!
Don't Give UpLast, but not least..... don't give up! Even the most successful people have faced barriers and failures along the way. Walt Disney was famously sacked from a newspaper because "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas", so just remember that every step you take will take you closer to your dreams......
I hope this helps and if there are any other career related posts you would like me to do then let me know!