Five Things to Remember When Pursuing a Marketing Job

Land that marketing job with these simple steps

When you hit the streets looking for that first marketing job, you’re probably aware that there are thousands of other individuals just like you. While folks with more job experience have an advantage, you can still be an attractive candidate in a number of other ways. Here are a few that can help close the experience gap and show interviewers and employers that you’re worth considering.

1. DO take part in internships while you’re in school

Internships often make a big difference between landing a marketing job or being passed over. By the time you’re a college junior or senior, most schools allow you to work for a company and receive class credit hours. While you can still list your ice cream serving job from high school on your resume, industry work experience is what employers want. Having this under your belt will give you a clear leg up on other candidates who are still trying to get their feet wet.

2. DOCUMENT your responsibilities and impact

Make sure that when you complete an internship, you have documentation to show what you did and why it mattered to that company. Employers want to know how you capitalized on your opportunity. It’s also a good idea to have internships in different marketing arenas, such as at an agency as well as at a small business, to get a feel for what you want to do after you graduate. When you’re confident about what you want to do, you can be more informed and assertive going into interviews.

3. KNOW how the real world talks

Be sure you can talk the talk (as well as walk the walk) of the marcom and advertising world. You can come to the interview full of ambition and willingness to do any task, but if you don’t know real-world marketing terminology and jargon, you can forget about your chance at the job. Spouting terms like “SWOT analysis” and “qualitative research” shows that you paid attention in class, but little else. It is difficult to gain meaningful marketing knowledge unless you have real-world work experiences. Terms such as “media buy,”“call to action,” “art cards,” and “traffic” (no, not the I-95 variety) are words used by agencies daily. If you can provide examples of work that you’ve done while using your potential employer’s language, you have a better chance of being heard. Learn how pros talk and you’ll increase your chances of working with them.

4. Be HUMBLE during the interview

Candidates who walk in with know-it-all, superior attitudes will get shut down quickly–not just for a marketing job, but for any job. Be positive and engaging in your interviews, but don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back when talking about your accomplishments. Highlight what you’ve achieved without rambling on about it. In addition, take any suggestions or criticism from your interviewer gracefully—don’t be defensive or, even worse, respond with a critical remark of your own. Acknowledge what your interviewer is saying and thank him or her. It could help you address a weakness or gap—and aid you in getting the position you want.

5. GET comfortable with small talk

While this may sound inconsequential, being able to carry a simple conversation demonstrates that you know how to engage people. Before the interview, arm yourself with a few facts about the company and the background of your interviewer, and look for an opportunity to bring these up. Bring up some harmless topics (weather, recent news, sports events—BUT steer clear from anything political or controversial in nature) to find some common ground with your interviewer so the conversation flows more easily. Make yourself someone that your interviewer would like to see every day. Show your intelligence and experience in the field while displaying you’re a good listener as well.