How to Get a Marketing Job After Finishing University

By: Andrew Regan

Your final year at university can be a difficult time. Not only will you be sitting the final exams that will determine the outcome of your degree, you'll also be thinking about where the next few months will take you and how soon you'll be able to get a job. In today's crowded graduate market, it's important to make sure you stay one step ahead of the game - and this is even more relevant when applying for vacancies in a competitive job sector. Getting a job in marketing after finishing university, for instance, can be tough; but if you follow the right path, you're sure to find the marketing vacancy that suits you.

Marketing jobs appeal to a wide array of graduates as the role involves challenging, exciting and often varied work. A role in marketing will usually incorporate aspects of planning, advertising, brand promotion, public relations, product development, sponsorship and even research. What's more, many organisations have their own marketing departments, and marketing roles can be found in a variety of industries - from major banking firms to NGOs. As a result, marketing jobs can be courted by graduates with a range of qualifications - having a degree in marketing or business management, for instance, doesn't necessarily mean you have the edge over an applicant with an English diploma or a Physics degree.

If you're planning on entering the marketing field after you graduate from university, it's crucial that you use your time as a student to acquire as much experience as possible in order to help you develop the necessary skills to make a good marketing manager. For example, institutions as divergent as Red Bull energy drinks and The Times Educational Supplement (TES) look for students to be campus brand managers every year in order to help them push their brand into the limelight. These jobs are very valuable for students who want to enter into the world of marketing when they graduate - not only do they give you crucial experience, they also pay well and often involve working only a few hours a week.

It's also important to make use of your long university holiday periods if you want to stand out from the crowd when applying for graduate marketing jobs. Taking the opportunity to apply for vacation work, work placements, shadowing or volunteer work (if for an NGO or charity marketing department) can really help boost your job application, as well as show your prospective employer that you're willing to put in whatever it takes to do your job well.

And when it comes to actually applying for your graduate job in marketing, it's vital that you look in the right places to find the ideal marketing position for you. Make sure you scour job vacancies in the marketing trade press and request details about vacancies, so you have a broader understanding of the combination of skills and experience that employers look out for. As the field of graduate marketing jobs becomes more and more competitive, it might be necessary for you to gain a Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) qualification, in order for you to be able to land the marketing job of your dreams.

Alternatively, make sure you capitalise on the skills you've acquired from non-marketing related work experience, and tailor your CV to those ends. Potential marketing assistants or marketing managers will often have to show a mixture of comprehensive analytical skills, the ability to use initiative, a flair for producing creative work, basic business awareness and IT literacy, among a range of other factors. These are all skills that you're likely to have learned from various aspects of your degree or from working within any societies or clubs you might have joined at university.

And lastly, don't be afraid to big yourself up! The nature of marketing jobs means that if you're not the first one to push yourself to the forefront of the job market, no one else is going to do it for you - and if you're going to secure that perfect marketing position, you can't afford to waste any chances that come your way.

Careers and Job Hunting
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