Guest post from Nicola Mongon, Spotlight Recruitment.
Is it possible to get work experience of marketing while I’m studying?
Absolutely! Internships are an excellent way to get more experience, learn about the scope of a role, and demonstrate interest and commitment to future employers. Unless you are volunteering for a charity, you should expect to earn at least the minimum wage. It’s possible to undertake a part-time internship, however most internships will be full-time, so the best time to undertake work experience is during the summer holidays.
Do you recommend contacting employers directly for potential vacancies despite them not having advertised a job role? If so, do you recommend a particular method of contacting them initially?
Email is usually the fastest and most efficient way to get their attention and, yes, it is a good idea to contact employers directly. Larger companies may run recruitment programmes for internships or graduate programmes, but smaller companies may rely on word-of-mouth or use a recruitment agency to hire graduates. The most sensible way to do things after graduating is using a combination of direct applications to specific companies that appeal, looking for job adverts online, and using specialist recruitment agencies to represent you.
I’ve heard people talk about “marketing”, but I’m not sure what type of roles it actually refers to?
“Marketing” refers to the action of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising. In terms of a role, this could be anything from a marketing manager, to a head of direct marketing, to a social media assistant. It is important to understand the different areas before applying so you can discuss roles articulately, demonstrating previous research and in-depth understanding.
Can you get into marketing without a marketing degree?
Absolutely; a degree does not always guarantee a role. Internships, part-time work while studying, and an application at the right time to the right company can all play a part! Make sure your CV is absolutely word-perfect: this should be a standard rule of thumb, but if you want to work in marketing it is essential to represent yourself as a professional who delivers high standards of work.
What is the best way to find out about internships?
There are specific websites dedicated to the hire of interns. Be advised that in many cases interns are entitled to the minimum wage, see gov.uk for more information.
Is there a job site dedicated to marketing jobs?
Yes, there are numerous job sites dedicated to marketing roles. Time and dedication is required for online searching and the application process.
What is the current and predicted job market like for marketing?
The job market can have seasonal fluctuations, but we find the marketing sector is extremely buoyant and we run extremely busy permanent and temporary divisions with a team of specialist consultants to support our clients. Companies often increase marketing spend in times of economic uncertainty and since 2008 we have seen the landscape grow and develop with the continued development of digital marketing and social media.
What should I be doing while studying to make me stand out from the other applicants following graduation?
- Develop a word-perfect, tailored CV, and cover letter if necessary
- Make sure you build good relationships with recruiters and agencies to support you during the search
- Try to gain experience and internships while studying in your chosen field
- Don’t get disheartened with rejection, invest time and energy into the process
- Make sure your interview style, both phone and face-to-face is strong.
How far ahead of graduation should I start contacting potential employers?
For graduate schemes you need to apply in ample time with regards to their hiring dates. For general recruitment I would start applying about three months in advance, but bear in mind some roles are to start immediately- it all depends on the specific needs of the role.