How Do I Get a Marketing Job After College with No Experience

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If you’re a fresh marketing graduate, you might find yourself asking “what now?” The four years you spend gearing up for a job in the industry culminates in your graduation, but you might still be wary of what your next steps need to be. Getting a job after college is often challenging for a variety of reasons. Many graduates take the first job they see without considering its implications on their future. 

Therefore, in this article, we will outline where many graduates go wrong, and what you can do to make the most out of your first marketing job. Remember, this first step is crucial in your future success in the industry!

Why is it so hard to get a job after college?

1. High Competition

Every year, more students than ever before receive degrees around the world. Class sizes are steadily increasing. Tuition rates have risen in lockstep, but this hasn’t deterred many high school graduates from enrolling in college. Because of this drastic rise, one of the main reasons college grads have difficulty finding jobs is the overwhelming level of competition.

2. Little to No Work Experience

Not every student works his or her way through college. Many that do sometimes work outside of their area of practice or if they work within their area of interests, often aren’t getting the right work experience that hiring managers actually want as it can be hard to land an internship that gives you meaningful work experience as interns usually aren’t trusted with important tasks. Furthermore, many work postings, whether they advertise an entry-level vacancy or not, entail some level of experience. Many graduates find it difficult to meet this criteria after college for the reasons I just stated. Once again, it’s not just about gaining any work experience, but rather, it’s about gaining the right work experience that hiring managers are actually asking for in their job description which can be very difficult for some. So rather than just focus on getting as many marketing internships as you possibly can, instead focus on getting work experience in Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, PPC Marketing, SEO Marketing, and Lead Generation as this is exactly what Marketing Hiring Managers as you’ll see them asking for this type of work experience over and over again in their job descriptions.

3. Lack of Networking and Industry Communication

Exchanging knowledge and sharing common interests with other people will also contribute to job openings. Individuals without any career experience, on the other hand, have few networking opportunities. Many colleges and universities organize networking activities, but membership is entirely voluntary and it’s very hard to get noticed if you don’t already have the work experience they want. Also, many new graduates underestimate the importance of following up. After the completion of an interview process, many organizations give more weight to those who follow through with communication so you always need to make it a habit of sending a follow up thank you email 3 days after meeting with someone. Also, if you’re not on Linkedin just yet, this is a great place to start networking. However, once again, work experience is the name of the game so don’t expect simply networking to lead you to job offers. If you don’t have any connections in the Marketing Industry, feel free to connect with JobPrepped founder Joseph Blanco on Linkedin as he is incredibly well-connected with Marketing Hiring Managers and Recruiters so this will immediately make you at least a 2nd degree connection to these individuals. 

What Should You Do to Prepare for your Career?

1. Pursue Any and All Related Opportunities

You can do freelance jobs, contact local companies who may benefit from your assistance, or look for internship opportunities. Sometimes, you will have to do these things with little or no pay, and it will be difficult to get an organization to trust you or find your first customer on a freelance website. However, work experience is the name of the game as you absolutely need to get a solid amount of this in order to have any shot of landing a job in the marketing field. Once again, it’s not just about gaining any work experience, but it’s about gaining the RIGHT work experience that hiring managers want. Too many recent grads focus too much on gaining any work experience they can get within marketing and then are upset when they still can’t get a job. So, to save you the heartache of this happening to you, you want to focus on gaining work experience around the areas hiring managers want the most which are once again, Social Media, Email, PPC, and SEO Marketing. Ideally, you’ll get a decent amount of work experience in at least 2 but preferably at least 3 of these areas as most of your competition for these entry-level marketing jobs will have this. So, no matter which of the above routes you take, just make sure you’re gaining work experience in as many of these areas as possible as that’s what’s going to lead to job offers. You don’t want to work for free at an internship and then it not even lead to job offers for you. This is a very very very common mistake that we see from young professionals. 

2. Network

Once you have the work experience that hiring managers value, then you want to start looking into networking. Remember, get the work experience first as networking won’t do you much good if you aren’t hireable already. As previously said, take advantage of networking activities and other resources that put you in contact with business professionals. Often a polite presentation is all that is needed to land a job later on. These types of events are also ideal for exchanging business cards. Most importantly, when you network, you get the chance to interact with industry professionals. These individuals can later become helpful mentors that guide you through your career and steer you away from mistakes. 

3. Focus on and Enhance Your Resume

The consistency of one’s resume is a common factor for many graduates who are struggling. With a bad resume, even the best education and experience struggle to stand out. Understand what marketing hiring managers want and what work experience they value. Then, give that to them in that order. You can tell what they favor by the order they list things in their job posting. This should give you a basic framework of the order in which your work experience should be in. Keep the details precise and to the point, but make sure to highlight your numbers and the success you’ve had at previous jobs with quantifiable stats (if possible). If you’d like a free resume review from a marketing hiring manager, feel free to email yours to joseph@jobprepped.com and you’ll get pointers on how you can improve it to get more interviews. 

Steps to Success in your Search!

1. Identify your Interests and Needs

Begin with your desires, passions, and values. Consider what kind of industry you want to be in. For example, do you want to be in product marketing or do you moreso want to work for an ad agency? Startup life or a big Fortune 500 company? Figuring this out first is going to make the application process much easier as you’ll be able to weed out a lot of businesses that you know you won’t be happy at in the first place and then you can put all of your attention in the job openings that actually excite you. I can’t emphasize doing this first and foremost at the beginning of your job search. You don’t want to be working 40+ hours a week at a job you don’t like just because you didn’t properly plan ahead of time what industry or environment would make you happy. 

2. Research

Start exploring what’s out there, whether it’s reading job descriptions in your industry or researching businesses that attract you. As you’ll see, most job descriptions have the same or very similar wants out of their desired candidate so make sure you’re taking note of this as this will show you generally speaking, what type of work experience you’ll need to be able to land the job you want. To make it easier on you, once again, us marketing hiring managers really want you to have work experience in Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, PPC Marketing, SEO Marketing, and Lead Generation (I hope I’ve made that clear by now). It’s also a good idea to start looking for work on LinkedIn, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter. These websites usually have the most job openings for entry-level positions so you want to spend a good amount of time there. Additionally, don’t forget about the  job fairs and meetings hosted by your college as well, so make sure to check those out even after you’ve graduated. But once again, your best bet is to network once you have the right work experience that employers want!

3. Meet Recruiters

When you’ve found a company that interests you, start looking on LinkedIn for that company + recruiter.   You may then want to submit an introduction message. Be aggressive yet polite — aim to initiate meetings with ten or so recruiters from multiple companies to allow yourself as many opportunities as possible. Remember that recruiters might have hundreds of applications to seed through so keep your distance before following up. Much like networking though, I strongly recommend not asking anything of them until you’re actually hireable. What makes you hireable? You guessed it; having the right work experience hiring managers want. So be mindful of this and just start making your connections without going in for the ask as they get this all the time and this won’t lead you to success. 

Want to Get Hired Much Faster and For a Better Salary Instead?

If you don’t want to have to worry about applying for months to get an unpaid internship, working there for free for months only to hope that you get good work experience, then have to work on your resume, interview skills, and then begin networking to hopefully land a job you’re happy with, that’s where JobPrepped comes in to make this process 100x easier for you. JobPrepped is a Digital Marketing + Immediate Work Experience program that makes sure you get hired much faster, by better companies, and for a better salary.

At its core, the main reason why we’ll be able to help you get hired much faster and the main reason why 94.3% of JobPrepped students get Marketing Interviews or Job Offers within 3 weeks is because we make sure you’ll finally be able to give companies exactly what they’re asking for line-by-line in their job requirements section (including giving you the exact work experience you need) so of course you’re going to get hired much faster, by better companies, and for a better salary. We obviously also give you all the Digital Marketing training hiring managers want you to have, fix your resume, cover letters, Linkedin/Indeed Profiles, help you in your interviews to make sure you ace them, and we help drive our large network of hiring managers and recruiters to start reaching out to you so you get a lot more job opportunities. This way, you can start your career much more easily like we’ve helped 3,000+ others do through JobPrepped.

There you have it. This is how you can get a Marketing job after college even if you don’t currently have any work experience. Just make sure you approach getting a marketing job in a smart way as discussed in this article as this will save you months of time in your job search.

Don’t just pump out application after application thinking this is purely a numbers game and eventually someone will say yes. That’s not how it works. You need to make sure that you are giving hiring managers exactly what they want in terms of work experience, making sure your resume stands out as much as it can, and pitch high-level marketing strategies during your interviews in order to get hired. This is how you need to break things down in order to get the success you want in landing a job. As always, if you need any free help from marketing hiring managers, feel free to reach out to joseph@jobprepped.com as we’ve helped 3,000+ grads get their first entry-level marketing job after college.

By Guest Writer,
Aditya Aggarwal

Launch Your Digital Marketing Career Quickly

Get the results you deserve! 94.3% of JobPrepped Students get marketing interviews or job offers within 3 weeks.

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