5 Quick Ways To Get Experience

90% of hiring managers want someone with real world work experience yet hiring managers feel as though only 11% of students graduate with the necessary workforce skills. This sentiment amongst us hiring managers continues for your 2nd, 3rd, 4th job and so on in that we always only want to hire someone who already has the skill set for the job we’re hiring for. 

With us being in the middle of COVID, I know many of you are thinking that getting any type of work experience right now is extremely difficult. However, you have to be strategic right now otherwise you may find yourself looking for a very long time. I can’t emphasize enough that you should be focusing on getting real world experience in digital marketing right now regardless of if you plan on being in marketing or not. This is one of the very very few areas that is really in-demand right now and where you can get real world experience and a job immediately. The field of marketing has some of the most transferable skill sets of any profession as you can possibly get experience in design, sales, lead generation, writing, data analysis, budgeting, communications, research, website tracking and so much more. So get the skills where you can, and then you can take these skills into another position if you don’t like marketing. I can’t stress digital marketing right now enough.

So, what are some of the quickest ways to get this requisite work experience that I’ve seen which led me to hire a candidate on the spot? 

1) On UpWork

Post your services on Upwork. If you don’t have much experience, it’ll be hard to get a paying job. I suggest putting your services up there for as cheaply as you can afford as your main goal here is to just get real experience. I’ve even had a former employee tell me that they would post their services on Upwork and then when contacted by the person, they told them that they’d waive the cost if they could get a certain amount of feedback or internship credit. I’m not recommending this as this could be against UpWork’s terms and conditions but I just wanted to point this out as this could possibly help. 

I suggest you focus your time offering Social Media and email marketing help as this is where most smaller businesses feel comfortable hiring someone without as much experience. Furthermore, COVID has made more and more people have to work remotely and these types of digital marketing skills are skyrocketing in-demand. One downside to using UpWork is that all of the learning will have to be self taught as the person paying you is looking for their job to be done quickly and isn’t looking to train someone. So, if you’re looking to learn from someone more experienced, UpWork won’t be the best option for you. Nonetheless, do a good job here and at the very least, you’ll be able to put real world work experience down on your resume which goes a long way for us hiring managers. Make sure to ask for a review as you can use this sort of like a letter of recommendation. If you do a fantastic job and you see they really liked your work, try to work your way into that company by letting them know you’re looking for full or part-time work. 

2) As a Virtual Assistant

You could also go on UpWork and post that you’re a VA. If you get hired, do an exceptional job as their VA and while working with the client, dig in a bit deeper to see what they are doing on the marketing front. I’m once again bringing up marketing as this is by far one of the most in-demand needs during COVID. Getting a job will be hard if you’re pigeonholing yourself in an area where companies aren’t hiring. 

Anyways, see what they are doing on the marketing front. See if there is any room for improvement and if so, casually let the client know that you have some marketing talent and you thought they could possibly increase their reach, conversions or sales by doing x, y, and z. If possible, show them a little mock up of what you were thinking such as a few images they could use for their social media. Boss’s love when people take the initiative like this. At this point, the client will hopefully already like you if you’ve been doing a good job as the VA and being that you’re the type of person to take the initiative and already provided a plan, they’ll be more inclined to use you in a role outside of just being the VA. Once again, at the very least, make sure you get a review as this can be used as a letter of recommendation. 

3) At Your Current Job

If you’re lucky enough to already have a job and want to start climbing the company ladder, ask if you can shadow your boss in some of their meetings/phone calls. This shows that you are eager to learn more and ultimately help the team in a bigger way. I love when employees do this as every boss wants a go-getter on their team and this initiative definitely shows them that. 

Determine the area of marketing you want more experience in and then start coming up with a strategy on how to accomplish this task. For example, if you think your company could benefit from a more personalized email marketing campaign, learn how email workflows work and then draft up a sample with email subject lines of how this would work for your company. Not only will your company be impressed with how you took the initiative, but they’ll also love you for drastically helping them improve their ROI with this type of email automation/personalization. Doing little things like this is how I rose the corporate ladder so quickly and by the age of 29, I was managing a team of 500 at a Fortune 500 company. 

Pro Tip: Checkout the jobs on LinkedIn that you want in the future and look at their requirements to help you figure out what you need to learn.

4) Internship/Apprenticeship

4) Internship/

Through a Family Member or Friend: While you’re in the process of applying for a job, see if you have any family/friend connections where you can do some free work so that you can get some experience. Marketing is always an easy pitch as most smaller businesses are lacking in this area. Ideally, you will inquire about social media marketing as this is usually the easiest form of marketing that someone can kick over to an intern (even though it’s super important). However, most of us don’t have those connections so I understand that this opportunity is only open to a few.

Small Businesses Around You: Smaller businesses can really use some extra help right now especially when it comes to marketing. Think about the mom and pop companies in your neighborhood. Make a list of 10 of these and then go online and see what kind of marketing they are doing. I’ll bet you that at least 5 of these really need help on social media. Propose to help them set up their social media account and run it for them for a couple of weeks/months (possibly free of charge). Furthermore, go to their website and sign up for their email list. See what kind of emails they are sending out. If you see their emails suck, let them know that you have some knowledge on workflows/drip campaings and you can help them make their email campaigns much more personalized which will surely increase their conversion rate. Hopefully this will be enough for them to bring you on to get some real world experience. The main downside to this approach though is that you likely won’t learn very much from the boss as they likely don’t know much about marketing (otherwise they would already be much better at it) and they likely won’t have much time to guide you as small businesses are notoriously known for wearing a ton of different hats and being very busy. However, this is still better than nothing as real world work experience is INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT in you getting hired. 

Internship/ Apprenticeship: Get experience the old fashioned way with an internship/apprenticeship. I’m really not a fan of this process. Real world experience is incredibly important to have but damn….the internship model is AWFUL. You’ll spend months applying and writing individual cover letters only to hear back from less than 5% as internships are very competitive (especially in today’s COVID climate). Then when you finally do get an interview, you oftentimes never even hear why you didn’t get selected. If you’re lucky enough to get an internship, you usually won’t get paid, you’ll have to spend money commuting each day, and you’ll only receive the job tasks that the company has left over for interns (like data entry) rather than learn the skills you really want. But, until recently, this is just one of those things that college students and young professionals needed to do in order to get the experience that 90% of hiring managers require. So, I get that you gotta do what you’ve gotta do. 

5) Using JobPrepped

JobPrepped is the most streamlined way to get the real world experience you need to get the job that you want. With JobPrepped, you don’t need to apply for weeks and months to hopefully get real work experience. We give it to you instantly so that you can get hired faster. JobPrepped is an on demand expert-led 10 hour program that will teach you the skills, the software, and step-by-step processes in Social Media Marketing, SEO, PPC, and Email Marketing so that you immediately have the skill set of a 6 figure marketing employee. I’ve trained over 3,000 marketers and was in charge of managing a team of 500 at a Fortune 500 company by the age of 29 by using the skills I teach in this course. The best part about this program is that after the lecture, YOU get to choose what skills you want to work on based on the marketing job you want. From here, I’ll give you real world work experience by providing you with the exact same tasks that you’ll be asked to do at your marketing job. I’ll give you 1-on-1 attention and a step by step approach to ensure that you are tackling the task properly just like I did for so many years with my marketing team. From there, I will personally go over your work (just like I was your boss) and provide feedback on what you did well and how you can improve. Furthermore, we will help you grow your work product’s reach online so that you can put the best results on your resume as possible. All the tasks that you will be doing will be for a real company (ours or yours) so that you can now put on your resume that you have real world work experience and can provide real results that you can do the job. This is all remote/on-demand. There aren’t any deadlines for assignments as you can choose if and when you do any of the tasks at all. We just want to provide a way for people to get real world work experience without having to apply and write cover letters to hundreds of companies as real world work experience is BY FAR the most important thing in getting you hired.  

There you have it. Make sure to try 1 or several of these methods as real world work experience is ABSOLUTELY KEY in getting you your job. Be smart in your job search during COVID. You need to open up your options a bit and go where the jobs are. The best thing you can do right now is try to get as many transferable skills as possible so you can get hired, and then switch into the area of work you’ve always really wanted to once COVID has settled down. COVID has messed a lot up for companies, but I can’t stress enough how important digital marketing is in getting you immediate work experience and a job. 

Joseph Blanco, Esq.

  • Former Fortune 500 Top-level Marketing & Sales Executive
  • Trained and hired over 3,000 college students and graduates from over 150 US Universities for marketing jobs 
  • Skyrocketed up the corporate ladder with these strategies and tips and was managing a team of 500 marketing professionals by age 29.
  • Over a decade of experience in Marketing and Sales
  • Gave marketing trainings at over 150+ US universities including Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and Vanderbilt just to name a few.