It’s not easy for anyone to find their first marketing job. Whether you’re new to the marketing field or fresh out of college, it seems like every agency or brand wants someone who already has a few years of experience. So how do you get that experience without actually having a job? You’re likely competing against many applicants who have completed internships, achieved good grades and need cash fast, but there are some ways you can stand out from the pack. Here are some tips for getting your first marketing job.
- Get advertising experience.Gaining experience in Facebook Advertising and Google AdWords may take some time, but it’s well worth it. If you have even a little extra cash, try to practice AdWords for a family member’s business or your own professional offerings.Just remember that there’s a fine balance between spending all of your money learning and becoming a true AdWords or Facebook Advertising with real brand experience. Learn as much as you can from online tutorials first, then try to practice in any way that you can.
- Learn everything you can, and then keep learning. The digital marketing industry is all about knowledge. Marketers must gain expertise in their field, but they also must respect the fact that marketing best practices are constantly changing. What works one week may not work the next. Seth Godin’s blogand Inbound.org are two sites that will help you along the way. In addition, you should commit yourself to learning the following by heart:
- Offer your work for free, or take a low-paying trainee position. Nearly everyone has to start at the bottom. You might not currently have the skills that your dream job requires. Instead of spending all your time searching for a high salary and high-level position, structure your finances so that you can offer your work for free for a limited time (say, 30 days), or apply for an internship or entry-level position. By doing this, you will:
- Add to your resume and earn a great recommendation if you do your job well
- Learn from your colleagues and make connections with colleagues in the marketing industry
- Work with larger clients than you would be able to land on your own
- Start a blog. If you don’t have a website, or especially a blog, it’s a great way to start building your reputation as an expert marketer. Today anyone can create a WordPress site with very basic technical skills. A website will also allow you to practice your SEO, social media, design and overall marketing skills. You don’t have to be an expert to start writing, either. Doing a large amount of research on any topic gives you a starting point. It’s how you learn from the real experts, consolidate what you’ve learned and present it that will help you create a great post. Here are a few more great reasons to start a blog:
- It’s free, or very low-cost if you purchase a domain
- Your site will be available via Google for recruiters to find
- You’ll have a place to show off your portfolio and résumé. (If you don’t have real-world experience with marketing campaigns, create mock campaigns)