My cousin recently graduated from college. She was terrified and desperate to start her career, but didn’t know where to start. She called me in a panic, and for good reason, too. Let’s be honest, we’ve all had that fear of what life will be like after graduating from school or leaving a job. It’s tough getting out in the real world and finding a new place to start.
So, when my cousin graduated college with hopes of getting into marketing, I gave her some much-needed advice. Then, I realized that this advice can be applied to general job searching, but especially in the area of marketing.
General Job Searching Tips
1. Job searching is now your new full-time job. Don’t play around all day and hope something falls into your lap. If you want a job, treat job searching like a job. Talk with neighbors and contacts, research online, and even approach the companies you would love to work for to show your interest and even prove your worth. Looking and applying for jobs can take a long time, but if you approach your situation like a full-time job, your chances of landing the right one will increase.
2. Clean up your social media. In my experience, every company I’ve worked for has always checked an applicant’s social accounts. We looked at resumes, then LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Tumblr and Pinterest. Employers look at it all. Make sure your profile pictures, posts, and even friends lists are squeaky clean. Employers can see it all and will decide if you will represent their company appropriately.
Pro Tip: LinkedIn can even be leveraged to get job prospects. Headhunters and businesses will look for possible candidates by their LinkedIn profiles, so not only should it be professional and up-to-date, but also make sure it sells you. Put your certifications, schools, volunteer experience, top projects, and resume on there. Make sure to interact with professionals and work on making yourself visible in a positive light in the industry.
3. Brush up your resume and cover letter. Your resume is a summary of your skills and experiences. Your cover letter is the written, “Hello.” Make sure they are up-to-date and appropriate. If you have completed a Fellowship or have just left a job, even if it it’s been a while, put it in there. Just be sure to emphasize your skills and experience.
4. Customization. Many people don’t realize how crucial this is. If you are applying for an engineering firm or to be a marketing account manager, make sure you customize your resume and cover letter to the company, position, and HR person (if you can find out who the HR person is, then customize even to his/her resume and cover letter preferences). Address the cover letter to the HR person by name or just say “Dear XYZ Company Representative.” Make sure to look at the job description and pay attention to the skills and job requirements. Customizing your resume and cover letter to highlight your experiences and skills in the company’s desired areas are a huge plus.
5. Talk to people. A vast majority of jobs are found through connections. Jobs can be found through a neighbor, friend, an old professor, or even an old co-worker. You never know if there’s an opportunity knocking until you ask around. You have connections – use them. You might even get the reference you need to get a job you really like.
6. Variety of sites and searching. Ladders, Monster, Indeed, and countless more – there are plenty of job sites out there. So, don’t limit yourself to just one site, or even to job sites in general. I found The Squad through a Facebook ad (yes, you can promote vacancies through Facebook ads). Thus, don’t limit yourself to just Indeed or Monster. Branch out, look in unique, but respectable places. You might be surprised to find what’s out there.
Marketing Job Tips
Before I started working for The Squad, I picked up some knowledge about SEO, marketing, and advertising through school, internships, and jobs. However, with my time at The Squad and delving further into the industry, I found some great free and cost-effective certifications that can beef up a resume and knowledge. When my cousin was job searching, I gave her these to look into:
1. Inbound Marketing HubSpot Certification. There’s the HubSpot certification that is expensive and best if you’re part of a company/agency. Don’t bother with this right now. Go for the free HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification. This gives you a great overview into marketing, such as the consumer funnel, social media, email marketing, blogging, and so much more. This is free and open to anyone and only takes a couple days to a week to do. It’s perfect if you’re rusty and need to brush up, or just want to learn more. Also, be on the lookout because HubSpot sometimes opens other certifications for free that are useful.
2. Google Analytics. If you are in the marketing field then there’s one phrase you should know by now – Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you want to get into the game, then you should get certified by the industry leader. Learn about how to understand Google Analytics, Google Webmaster tools, Keyword Planner, and much more. However, be aware that Google has not updated their online classes recently, so some might not be up-to-date. If you can tough it out, however, you will find nuggets of useful information. Plus, Google Analytics certification is sometimes required (and at least looked well upon) for many companies.
3. YouTube. This is often overlooked, but with video being such a growing trend, get ahead of the curve with a YouTube certification. This is not quite as open as the previous two, so please look at the requirements. However, if you do actively manage YouTube channels, then you’re on the right track. With this certification, you can learn about strategy, sales, methods, and even how to increase viewership.
There are a variety of jobs out there, be it marketing or otherwise. Job searching is always daunting, but take a deep breath and dive right in. Use these tips and you’ll be on your way.
If you’re interested in working for the Squad, apply here. I hope this helps, and happy hunting!