How to Get a Job in Marketing: 8 Expert Tips for Success
“I’m in marketing.” This response to the oh-so-frequently asked question about careers during social gatherings leaves many new friends picturing scenes from Mad Men or other glamorous portrayals from Hollywood.
While there is a morsel of truth in these representations, the modern world of marketing is extremely diverse, with several specialties included. The industry may adapt and evolve, but the demand for marketing professionals remains strong. In fact, jobs for marketing specialists are expected to increase at the much-faster-than-average rate of 14 percent through 2024, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
So how can you take advantage of this opportunity and land the marketing job of your dreams? We spoke with hiring managers and marketing professionals to ask their advice. Keep reading as they share their insight on how to get a job in marketing.
What education and experience is needed to get a job in marketing?
Just because jobs are on the rise, doesn’t mean employers are handing them out to just anyone. You’ll still need to meet standard education and experience requirements to be qualified for most marketing jobs.
The most common educational requirement for aspiring marketing specialists is a bachelor’s degree in marketing. We used real-time job analysis software to analyze nearly 80,000 marketing jobs posted over the past year.* The data revealed that 89 percent of employers prefer candidates to have a bachelor’s degree.
While it is possible to land a marketing job without this credential, the knowledge and practical skills acquired from the curriculum can help build a solid foundation on which to build your entire career. Listing a bachelor’s degree on your resume immediately informs any hiring manager that you’ve put in the time and effort to master the marketing essentials.
A marketing degree will provide you with an important base of knowledge, but there are certain things that can only be learned on the job. That’s why many employers appreciate the hands-on experience that comes with an internship.
Not only does it provide a practical way to practice your marketing skills. It could also be the key that opens the door to full-time employment opportunities, according to Nancy Garberson, founder of Marketing & Communication Strategies. She credits her big break in the field to her various internship experiences at a radio station, a TV station, a PR firm and a marketing agency. The exposure to the different facets of the field provided her with valuable perspective.
“The fundamental question I ask about every new marketing candidate is, ‘Can this person write?’” says Mark Slack, hiring manager at Resume Genius. He adds that most marketing departments have a wide variety of needs, but effective writing is an essential skill for most marketing duties.
Slack’s ideal marketing candidate is someone who is adaptable and can employ their solid writing skills in a variety of ways. Offering tangible writing samples is a great way to prove your ability to potential employers. Consider maintaining a blog or website, creating a portfolio or even taking on some volunteer work to showcase your written communication abilities.
The world of marketing moves at a fast pace, with new techniques and trends being introduced continually. Employers are seeking candidates who are in tune with the industry and eager to learn new things, according to Kent Lewis, president of Anvil Media.
Take it upon yourself to stay up to date with the latest news and best practices. Lewis recommends reading marketing publications, participating in webinars and attending seminars to learn and connect with others in the field. Another convenient way to keep tabs on industry happenings is by following marketing blogs.
Where should I look for marketing job postings?
This day and age, odds are pretty good that you’re starting your job search online. But simply typing “marketing jobs” into your Google search bar will likely result in an overwhelming number of results.
So we asked our panel of marketing pros for some tips on how you can narrow your search a bit. Apart from the general job boards you’re probably familiar with, here are some other places to look:
American Marketing Association (AMA)
Every aspiring marketer should seek out their local AMA chapter, according to Matt Edstrom, head of marketing at Bioclarity. The AMA website is host to a multitude of great career resources and even includes a job board section. Not to mention, the great connections you can make with other marketers in your area.
“It’s a great place for people just entering the market or even those changing career paths,” Edstrom says. “The networking, resources and knowledge base make them a great place to find your path.”
Marketing-specific job boards
Before trying your hand on the general job board sites, there are a few that cater specifically to the marketing industry. Starting your search here may save some time:
Creating and maintaining a polished profile on this social platform is a great way for both finding jobs and attracting employers. More and more recruiters are using LinkedIn to find qualified candidates, so optimizing your LinkedIn page is in your best interest.
It’s also a great way to connect with other professionals based on location, former employers or even former schools, according to Bob Bentz, president of a division of Advanced Telecom Services and adjunct marketing professor at the University of Denver. He says he always gives candidates who graduated from his alma mater an automatic interview.
“Take advantage of your fellow alumni who look back fondly on their college days and want to meet recent graduates to get an update on what is happening on campus,” Bentz says.
Make your mark in the marketing world
You’re now armed with some handy advice on how to get a job in marketing. These tips and tricks can help you take advantage of the exciting job growth in the industry.
But as you learned above, a formal education can help open several doors in the marketing field. Learn more about the opportunities in our article: 10 In-Demand Jobs You Could Land with a Marketing Degree.
- 7 Types of Marketing Specializations: The Practical Guide You’ve Been Seeking
- 11 Things I Wish Someone Told Me About Pursuing a Career in Marketing
- How to Get Into Marketing: 3 Tips to Survive and Thrive
*Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 79,181 marketing specialist job postings based on education, November 1, 2015 – October 31, 2016).