Determining your first job straight out of college can be a challenging time—trust me, I just went through it! Upon graduation, I remember feeling waves of different emotions about finding a career suitable for me. Overwhelmed, because the marketing career options were endless, excited and anxious to enter the workforce doing something I’m passionate about, and lastly scared to end up choosing the wrong career path.
Here are some tips that I found helpful when finding my first marketing job after graduating from college.
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Narrow Down What You Want
Having dozens of career options to choose from, it’s important to narrow down specifically what you’re looking for in your first job out of college. Think about the environment that will best match your personality, goals, aspirations, and any obligations you may have outside work.
Finally, a potential deal-breaker to consider during your job search is location. The area where your first job is located could very well be the place you spend the rest of your life. A recent survey found that about 83% of employees have never relocated for a job. When looking at different areas for your first job, try your best to envision how you’d enjoy working and living in that location.
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Position Yourself for the Role You Want
It’s important to appropriately position yourself for the role you’re applying for. The two big tasks I recommend touching on before clicking “apply” are to update your resume and clean up your social media profiles.
You want to make sure the resume you hand an employer is fresh and up-to-date. Since you are applying for a position in the marketing field (sales, digital, social media, content, graphic design, etc.), you want to provide the most relevant work experiences pertaining to the role you’re applying for on your resume.
If a potential employer were to look up your social profile you do not want them to see any inappropriate material, as it could make or break a final hiring decision. How do you gauge what appropriate and what’s not? I suggest imagining that the hiring manager of the job you’re applying for is your grandmother. If there’s content on your social profiles you’d prefer she didn’t see, hit delete.
Once you’ve narrowed down what you want, positioned yourself for your potential role, and updated your resume and social profiles, it’s time to channel your inner Hermione Granger and do some RESEARCH! Getting a job is a competition, and the more research you do, the better prepared you’ll be to win.
Unfortunately, your research can’t be done at the Hogwarts library. Instead, I highly recommend using LinkedIn to find jobs and learn about potential employers. While job boards are another place to find job listings, LinkedIn is my preferred choice. Not only does it have a great search functionality, it also lets you to learn a ton about the company posting the job.
Don’t apply for a job without doing some thorough research on the company. Learn what they do, where they operate, what their leadership teams are like, and what kind of work culture they have. And never forget to see if you’re connected to someone in their organization. If you are, reach out and ask them further questions about the company and if they have any advice for your application.
That leads up to my next tip…
Build Your Network
If there’s one thing I took away from college, it’s to network as much as you can. This includes both in-person and online.
I specifically remember the advice I received from my advisor in college, who said:
“It’s not about what you know, it’s not about who you know, it’s about who they know.”
The more connections you make, the larger your network becomes, ultimately making finding a job after graduation, less of a headache. Examples of this include: attend networking events, volunteer, increase presence online, and more.
Networking shouldn’t stop after you’re employed. Continue to network everywhere you go.
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Practice Your Interviewing Skills
I recommend applying to several marketing positions to increase your chances of scoring multiple interviews. It’s perfectly normal to be nervous for a job interview. But the more interviews you do, the more confidence you’ll gain. If you need practice, grab a friend or relative and have them go through a mock interview with you. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!
Finding a marketing job straight out of college can be a difficult process, yes. But it doesn’t have to be! Using the tips mentioned above you can ease the experience and ultimately find the perfect marketing career for you.
I found the exact marketing job, best suited for me, going through this entire process and could not be more thrilled of what my future has in store.
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