If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you might know that I’m not all that impressed with my college education. One of the reasons is because I don’t think I was properly prepared to find a job in field of study. I distinctly remember my Advertising professor telling us that Advertising Sales jobs are a great way to get into Account Management at an ad agency. Um, not true.
Throughout my career, I’ve been really lucky in being able to find jobs that I love, but I’ve had to work for it. Being that I’ve had some good gigs, I often get asked by younger marketers and recent college grads how to break into the industry. It can be tough at times because marketing is one of those “need experience to get experience” deals, but here’s some advice to those of you trying to “get a foot in the door”.
- Write a blog. Things have changed. Resumes are old school. Sharing your thoughts, ideas, work and accomplishments online is how it’s done now. I’m way more impressed with young marketers that proactively share ideas.
- Promote your blog to people you want to work for. I love finding marketing blogs written by college students or recent grads. The content come from a different perspective and is way less boring than the stodgy stuff the old school thinkers come up with.
- Be a specialist. It used to be that employers looked for “generalists” – people that could do a little bit of everything. Now, we’re in an age of specialization, so carve out your own niche and specialize in a particular area. The narrower the focus, the better because you will eventually be the perfect fit for your perfect job.
- Target some influencers and get a meeting with them. Figure out who could help you nail down that job and invite them out to lunch. It’s a perfect opportunity to informally introduce yourself and make an impression. Plus, you would be amazed at how much people will do to help someone out once they meet them face-to-face. Knowing someone over email or phone doesn’t have nearly the same impact.
- Find a field/mobile marketing job. There are a lot of agencies that are hiring recent college grads to go out and represent Fortune 500 clients and activate marketing programs. This is a great way to get some big names on resume (or blog!) and learn about consumer behaviors first hand.
- Start your own gig. No better time than the present! And let’s face it – it’s a lot tougher to start your own gig when you’re pulling down a good salary and/or have kids.