How to market yourself for a marketing position

April 02, 2013

Spring is here. That means finals are fast approaching, and seniors are counting down the days until graduation. The job search has begun.

We know this can be a scary and exciting time, and we want to help. We asked about 20 full-time Groupers to share the best advice they received or wish they had known when they were searching for jobs.

Whether you’re applying for an internship or a full-time position, here are a few ways to market yourself for the marketing industry.

Do your research

First thing’s first. Where do you want to work? A great way to build a road map for your search is by making two lists. First, list your 10 favorite things to do. Then list the top 10 cities where you’d like to live. For each of your passions, there is a job that is directly related. You now have a base from which to start your search.

We can’t stress enough the power of communication and networking – that’s how many of us found our jobs. Talk to friends, family friends or acquaintances in the industry. 

When you decide to apply for a job, do your homework on the company and position. Never go into an interview and ask what the company does. Show your interest by showing your knowledge about the company and industry.

Build your brand

Every candidate has a story to tell. Know how your strengths, interests and experiences will make you a good fit for the company.

How does your online presence build or break your brand? If a quick Google search for your name turns up some unsightly spring break photos, you may want to do some spring-cleaning.

Are you on LinkedIn? If you’re trying to find a job, then you should be. Last year, 92 percent of U.S. companies used LinkedIn to find talent. Users with completed LinkedIn profiles are also 40 times more likely to receive an opportunity through the site. 

If you meet a recruiter at a job fair or interview and want to connect on LinkedIn, don’t just send the generic message.

The pitch

In this industry, communication is key. When you apply to a company, you are being judged from the minute you hit the send button on your email. Proofread carefully to make sure there are no typos or grammatical errors.

Use your resume and cover letter to tell your story. Be creative and set yourself apart, but remember: Keep it clean and professional. 

Attach your resume, cover letter and writing samples as one PDF labeled with your full name. Our recruiters can receive hundreds of emails a week – the easier you make it for them to do their jobs, the closer you’ll get to finding yours.

Be proactive. Some say the best time to email a potential employer is before 7:30 a.m. He or she may have a better chance of reading your email before the day starts, and it shows you’re not afraid to wake up early to chase your passion.

The interview

All right, you made it to the interview. Are your shoes shined? Check. Is your suit pressed? Check. Do you have extra copies of your resume and a portfolio? Check.

It seems simple, but these not-so-small details can make or break you.

During your interview, answer questions in a thoughtful, concise manner; be relevant to the business and job you are interviewing for. Know how to talk about yourself, but don’t over-rehearse. Be personable as well as professional. 

We love to work with people who are fun, interesting and passionate. Fitting into a company’s culture is just as important as the skills you bring to the table. 

Always come prepared with thoughtful questions. Show that you did your research and are genuinely interested in the position. Discuss industry trends with your interviewer, even if they don’t have to do with the company or any of its clients. The ability to have a meaningful conversation is what will separate the good candidates from the great.

The thank-you note

Ask the recruiter when they want to hear from you, and follow up! There’s nothing worse than interviewing a great candidate and never hearing from them again. 

Once you’ve made contacts within the industry, keep in touch with them. Let them know how you’re progressing and what types of positions you’re interested in. Discuss industry trends and current events with them to show that you are well informed.

Be persistent

Don’t give up. Sometimes you’ll hear a lot of “nos” before you finally hear “yes.” It’s okay. It may mean you’re not right for the position, or it may mean the company isn’t right for you. Don’t get discouraged.

Eventually, you will find the right “yes.” If you’re lucky, you’ll find a job that challenges and inspires you. You’ll find a job you look forward to, because most importantly, you’re going to have fun.