You’ve got your diploma, your resume is ready, and your cover letter is perfected. Now how do you land that position in marketing? According to Katie Martell, Marketing Consultant, “Both marketing and CX are filled with processes that combine people and technology, so it’s important to be good at both. Sharpen your left-brain logic and tech acumen along with your right-brain creativity and empathy.”
In the second part of our tips for graduates series, we asked CX professionals for their best advice for those seeking a career in marketing, and here’s what we learned:
Develop your communication skills
“A common phrase that can be heard frequently when you graduate is, ‘welcome to the real world.’ This means that you will now be entering the reality and hardships of adulthood, especially with your first job hunt. Being in the field of marketing and CX will require you to have excellent social and communication skills to be more appealing to your prospective clients. These are also the primary qualifications that your employers would want to spot on you.
Don’t be shocked if what you’ve learned from your college marketing studies doesn’t apply in the actual work anymore. Marketing and CX are the most fast-phased fields in business which requires you to be flexible and agile. Lastly, be responsible enough to study the current trends, be creative, and figure out strategies on your own.”
- John Howard, CEO, Coupon Lawn
Highlight your retail experience
“Career Advisors will sometimes tell graduates to downplay any retail experience and instead highlight your college experience when applying for jobs after school. But if you’re seeking a job in customer experience and marketing, that is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. A retail job is great preparation for any job that caters to customers, whether they be in person or via a digital CX experience. The skills that you gain while working in retail are incredibly applicable to working for a modern platform that deals with customer experience. You need to be patient, thoughtful, and considerate in both. While colleges want you to feel that you’ve gotten your money’s worth for that four-year degree, many hiring managers looking to fill marketing and CX jobs will be searching for retail experience on the resume you’re submitting.”
- Flynn Zaiger, Social Media Strategist, DC Optimists
Don’t wait to get hired to start
“The best thing you can do for your career is to not wait for permission to start. Begin building a body of work around marketing now and showcase your passion and ambitions. Write, design, analyze, and record. Publish it all, and work out loud.
Listen to podcasts and read articles about what top companies do to increase CX stats like retention. Then summarize your learnings in a blog post on your website or LinkedIn. Create simple case studies of your favorite companies on how you believe they’re doing great marketing and CX and/or how they could improve.
Working out loud is the most powerful way to signal your passion and ambition for marketing and CX.”
- Jérémy Chevallier, Marketing Director, Crash.co
Show don’t tell
“Share examples of previous marketing work that you’ve done along with the methodology, the value, and your analysis of what you’d do differently going forward. By showing you have experience and are diligent to study the performance to improve in the future, hiring managers will get excited. If you don’t have experience, then at least come up with unique ideas the company could implement. These can be simple tweaks or large-scale changes in strategy. That’s how you’ll stand out among the other applicants.”
- Brian Robben, CEO, Robben Media
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take
“Make a list of all of the marketing/CX agencies that you would love to work for, then apply to all of them. If any of the companies don’t have openings listed, then email them or contact them on LinkedIn. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
- Jacob Cullum, Digital Marketing Specialist, Epic Marketing
Do your research
“College grads should aim to present themselves as the exact solution that a prospective employer needs in order to achieve its goals. The way to prove this assertion is for you to research the marketing needs, goals, and challenges of the organization as well as how the organization’s marketing efforts stack up against its competition. Armed with this understanding, unite your resume and job interview strategy with the objective of clearly, concisely, and convincingly selling the idea that you can be a valuable asset to the organization in its marketing pursuits.
Even though you may not be able to point to any concrete achievement in the business world (yet), a demonstration that you understand the organization’s needs, goals, and challenges will be hugely enticing to a hiring manager.”
- Rafe Gomez, Co-owner, VC Inc Marketing
Start a side project
“My tip for recent grads seeking a career in marketing is to start a side project and market it to gain experience. You can also offer your marketing for free to local small businesses looking for help.
You will gain real-life experience and results which is irreplaceable and what companies are actually looking for when hiring.”
- Stacy Caprio, Founder, Accelerated Growth Marketing
Be open, gain experiences, and understand yourself
“Your first job may not be what you expect, but it may be exactly what you need. Be open to the challenges of practicing marketing because it’s completely different from what you’ve learned.
Take on internships and any marketing-related experiences that you can. These small experiences on the field will help you score your first job.
Lastly, be ready to take interviews and be able to explain your journey. This is essential in getting your interviewer to take you seriously. If you don’t know what you’re doing here, you won’t get the job.”
- Eva Peris, Co-founder & CMO, Wanted
Create a personal site to highlight your marketing skills
“Education and credentials are great, but they mean nothing without experience. It costs nearly nothing to set up a site today. Find a niche you’re passionate about and drive traffic to the site with a variety of marketing strategies: PPC, SEO, social media marketing, etc. This is the most sure-fire way to get on the top of a list of potential candidates.”
- Calloway Cook, President, Illuminate Labs
Grow your network
“My top tip for graduates seeking a career in marketing is to grow your network. Whenever you meet someone in the industry, ask to connect with them on LinkedIn. Right now, it seems as though who you know is more valuable than what you know. That said, apply your skills and knowledge wherever you can. Start a blog, do some freelance work — find a way to be creative. Employers in this industry don’t want to hire someone who’s just looking for a job, they want to hire someone who’s passionate about the
industry and who wants to learn more moving forward. If you can show that passion, you shouldn’t have a problem finding work.”
- Brock Murray, COO, seoplus+
Interested in more? Check out the following:
- 9 Tips for Graduates Seeking a Career in CX
- 15 Tips on How to Network Remotely
- Career Pathways for Customer Experience Professionals