The trouble with graduating and finding a job right out of school is that literally thousands of other students are graduating and trying to find a job at the exact same time with a similar degree or diploma as you. Think about it, you’re all graduating in April, right? If you’re going to land a job in marketing, you need to stand out and differentiate yourself.
Here are 4 tips to help you differentiate yourself and land a job in marketing.
Tip 1: Consider “working for free” first
The phrase “one step backward today, two steps forward tomorrow” comes to mind for this tip. If you’re having trouble getting the job you want right out of school, consider offering your services to a company free of charge. Notice how I used the term “services free of charge” as opposed to “volunteering”. When you’re a volunteer you often have to wait to have someone tell you what needs to be done. On the other hand, “services free of charge” communicates that you will be managing yourself and delivering something of value at no cost.
Your next steps:
- Think of an organization you have an “in” with and talk to a decision maker there
- Tell them that you’d like to apply what you’ve learned in school to their business and build a digital or social media marketing strategy for them. If you didn’t learn how to build a social media or digital marketing strategy in school, I recommend picking up a book like Inbound Marketing, reading it, and then applying what you learn in this book to the company you’re proposing your services to.
This approach requires a little more effort but could pay off in a bigger way later because you’ve shown the desire to contribute even it means not getting paid at first.
Tip 2: Research the company you’re applying to
The students who have been successful in landing co-op positions and internships here at Stryve have all done one thing very well in their cover letter or initial email to us: They’ve researched our company and can tell me why they want to work at Stryve.
Your next steps:
- One recent successful candidate mentioned in an initial email to me that she researched all the other marketing agencies in town and wanted to do her internship with us because she specifically wants to build her career in digital and social media marketing.
- The candidate in this example took the time to research our company culture and values. She gave me specific examples of how those values lined up with her own.
Tip 3: Tell stories, don’t “interview”
People don’t remember stats and accomplishments recited in bullet points, they remember stories. It also helps your personality shine through, which is an important part of how a company will evaluate you.
Your next steps:
- When you’re preparing for your job interview think of the job requirements listed in the job posting
- Then, think of stories in your job experience, school experience or volunteer experience that demonstrate you have experience related to the job requirement listed
- Lastly, use the STAR method to tell stories of how you met that job requirement in the past
Tip 4: Be mindful of your social media footprint
Your potential employer will Google your name if you’re being considered for a position at their company. A company’s online presence is a big part of its marketing mix, so it’s important for you to show an employer that you use social media and are (somewhat) findable online. If you’re completely unfindable online, an employer will think one of two things:
- You don’t like or understand social media and you’re not inclined to use it
- You might be an axe murderer and you have something to hide
Your next steps
- It’s okay to make some of the content on your personal social media profiles such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter public content. Just make sure the content portrays you in a tasteful way (i.e. no profanity, rants, drunken pics, etc.)
- You’ll definitely want to have a fully filled-out LinkedIn profile with a high-resolution professional profile pic. If you don’t know what to put in your LinkedIn profile, look for others with at least 5 years of experience in the industry and then emulate their profiles.
Happy job hunting!