10 Common Entry-Level Marketing Jobs for Recent Grads
On your mark, get set, go! If you’re ready to embark on a career in marketing, then you may feel like a runner at the starting line of a track and field event. The truth of the matter is that there are numerous similarities between the two. You'll want to get a good start without stumbling, be quick and agile to stay competitive and know where you're headed. Getting a good start in marketing means learning which entry-level marketing jobs are best for you, so you can narrow down your future job search.
Here’s the thing to remember about marketing—it’s a rather broad field with many different career paths. Some jobs are numbers-oriented in forecasting sales and revenue, while other jobs rely more on creative skills, such as writing and graphic arts. Some marketing professionals are in front of people all day, whereas others work more solitarily while developing plans or analyzing results.
It’s important to know what type of job best fits your personality and career goals. While not determining your entire career, your first entry-level marketing job can begin to point you in a specific direction.
Common entry-level marketing jobs to keep an eye on
1. Marketing coordinator
Serving in a role with multiple responsibilities, a marketing coordinator helps the marketing team with research, planning and analysis. Duties could include competitive analysis, sales forecasting, media placement, campaign implementation and compiling reports. With marketing becoming a more data-driven field, coordinators should be comfortable with quantitative research.
2. Account coordinator
Working with a specific client or group of clients, an account coordinator is the link between the paying customer and members of the marketing team. Responsibilities include relaying expectations, ensuring deadlines are met and making sure the client is satisfied with work being done. This job requires excellent organizational and communication skills.
3. Communications specialist
Helping shape public perception, a communications specialist is dedicated to managing the messaging from an organization. As you might expect, these professionals need to exhibit excellent written and verbal communication skills. Communications specialists commonly work with advertising, public relations and media relations organizations.
4. Outside sales representatives
Serving as the face of the company they represent, outside sales representatives hit the road to sell the organization’s products and services. Sales representatives must maintain good relationships with existing clients and cold-call prospective customers, which requires someone who is a good people person. This can be a highly competitive career, and it may require overnight travel.
5. Inside-sales representatives
Working from the home base of the office, inside-sales representatives maintain accounts to ensure existing clients are satisfied with the company’s products and services. If a client needs to place an order or report unresolved issues, the sales representative is the contact person. Inside-sales representatives may be asked to upsell customers with new or enhanced product lines.
6. Development associate
Acting as a funds-raiser, a development associate generally works in the nonprofit sector to raise money for a good cause or mission. Required skills include database management, event planning and campaign development. For solicitation of major gifts, calling prospective donors is a responsibility that takes good long-term salesmanship skills.
7. Junior business analyst
Working with senior members of the team, a junior business analyst helps in validating performance of sales and account management systems. The job requires significant monitoring of systems and generating reports for updating senior management. Supervisors depend on junior analysts to report trends—both good and bad.
8. Social media specialist
Interacting in the digital world, social media specialists are the voice of the organization on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat and more. Social media specialists need to build online communities, engage followers and channel the dialogue in a positive way. These marketing professionals are tasked with creating content campaigns that support overall marketing objectives and putting a friendly human face or touch to organizations. Excellent communication skills are a must—this position requires you to make a conscious effort to adopt the “voice” of a brand, which isn’t always easy.
9. Public relations coordinator
Maintaining the image of an organization, a public relations coordinator works with media, plans events, writes press releases, pitches stories, contributes to social media and advises organization leaders on public statements. If a problem does occur, it's public relations professionals who manage crisis control communications. This position requires excellent organization and relationship-building skills as PR professionals work closely with reporters and editors to gain coverage of their client’s events—being on good terms with the staff of a publication is always helpful!
Acting as a matchmaker for the professional world, recruiters are in the business of marketing people to businesses needing to fill organizational roles. The job is a mix of marketing and human resources as the recruiter uses marketing skills to attract top talent and build trusting relationships with employers. These recruiters often work for staffing agencies and receive commission for successfully finding and placing candidates for client roles.
What if your first job isn't the right fit?
As someone just starting out, you may find that your first job is not exactly what you had in mind.
"Do not leave abruptly," advises Pete Lavelle, owner of Rez-Builder. “Plan a smooth exit strategy and use the experience to build both your resume and LinkedIn network.”
While looking at job descriptions, you might wonder about warning signs for jobs to avoid. “Beware of ads that contain phrases like ‘sports-minded’ and ‘must be able to have fun.’ These are often used to mask sales for difficult-to-sell products,” Lavelle says.
As with any major life decision, it’s important to do your research. Before you apply, spend some time researching the company and role with sites like GlassDoor. It’s a good rule of thumb to remember that online reviews tend to attract more people who were frustrated by their experience than people who weren’t. That said, these sites can still be a helpful tool for identifying the employers that are truly not worth your time.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that a lot of entry-level jobs can be overwhelming initially—you’re not likely to be given plum assignments when starting out and it always takes some time to get the hang of things. Give your first marketing job time and get established before deciding to move on—at worst, you’ll earn a paycheck while building valuable experience.
Now let’s roll up those sleeves
Now that you have a better understanding of the entry-level marketing job opportunities out there, it’s time to get to work. Landing a marketing job takes more than just strolling into a hiring manager’s office and asking for a job—it’ll take work and initiative. For additional advice on landing a marketing job, check out our article, “How to Get a Job in Marketing: Experts Reveal the Recipe for Success.”