As a recent graduate of Cleveland State University, I am currently trying to jump-start my professional career. In the marketing world, especially as a young professional, it is important to get out and network as much as possible. Doing this will not only help discover what specific marketing discipline most appeals to them, but builds a solid networking foundation that will be beneficial throughout an entire career. As a 22 year old, I have learned that not many people my age understand the true value of networking with established professionals. Many young professionals choose to pursue job leads online, which can be a very dangerous game to play. In my personal experience some online job postings can be dishonest and do not fully capitalize on the marketing knowledge of the applicant. That being said, it is paramount while searching for a job to do research on any company that has a job posting that has peaked interest. Researching companies allows the individual to learn more about the marketing world. For example, most ad agencies have examples of their work on their corporate website. Looking at this information gives a glimpse into the firm’s sense of style regarding their professional work. Once you know this, the next step is to use the examples of their work to get an understanding of what marketing strategies were used.
After all this the next step for a job seeker is to reach out and contact the firm being researched. When reaching out it is important to remember, especially when first reaching out, to not directly ask for a job. Simply inquire about any job posting that have struck interest and request more information about the firm. It is a good idea to mention an example of work researched on the firm, this will set you apart from other people who may have reached out.
Get involved; ask about what specific marketing elements were used for your favorite campaign or work. Doing this will build your knowledge of the industry and allow you to gain a better understanding of how the business actually works. Perhaps most importantly, when reaching out to a firm, try to acquire a networking contact that is willing to talk to you. Having an inside contact at a company of interest can prove to be very valuable.
Do not forget to stay active during your job search so that you can keep your marketing skills sharp. Do anything to gain further experience and build your portfolio. Volunteer for a local organization, create a WordPress site showcasing your past work, learn new online platforms that could advance your career, such as Hootsuite, Dropbox, Qualtrics, etc.
Just like any solid marketing plan, the first step in truly understanding the problems and how to overcome them, is conducting accurate research. Lastly, get active in clubs in the industry so that you can learn about new trends that are emerging, such as content marketing.
Author: Matt Kulik