1. Social Media
Tidy up your social media footprint. Yes, we will be scouring the internet to learn as much about you as we can before we bring you in for an interview. Lock your profiles, or remove those college party pics. LinkedIn is your best friend. If you haven’t already, you need to start building your LinkedIn network and flushing out your profile. Find those “ultimate connectors” in your school and get connected. Follow companies you’re interested in. Started posting some original content. Share, like, comment, and get in on the conversation.
Get as much experience as you can under your belt. Do a couple of internships or offer to help a local nonprofit with their marketing efforts pro-bono. Run a small campaign for your Uncle’s pizza shop. It’s all experience and will go a long way. Learn as much about Google AdWords/Analytics and Facebook/Instagram ad manager as you can. Digital marketing and paid media are where you need to be.
Be the Purple Cow and stand out in the crowd. With a flurry of resumes flying across the desks of many employers, how will you stand out? What makes you unique? You’re a marketer, do your thing. Now is the time to start building YOUR brand. How will you present yourself to the market?
4. Find the Right Company
You will spend more time with the people you work with than your friends and family. Sorry, it's true! So, choose wisely. When applying for a job, try to get a feel for the company culture and who you may ultimately be reporting to and working with. Browse their website and social media accounts. Ask friends or professors if they know about the company. Check out their online reviews. This will be your first job and most likely not your last, but it’s a chance to get off on the right foot. Find a place you can settle in for a couple of years. Nobody likes to see a person who bounces around from company to company every year.
5. Introduction Email
Unless you are applying through an online application, it all comes down to that first introduction email. Consider this your COVER LETTER. Don’t just mass email copy/paste your introduction email to 1,000 places just to see what sticks. TIP – This doesn’t work! Take the time to research a select few companies you really want to work for and craft an intro email that’s short-n-sweet but creative and interesting. Ask yourself this “Why should the employer even consider reading your email?”. What makes you unique, and memorable? It also helps to add something specific about the company to your intro. Let them know you’ve spent the time reviewing their website and that you want to work for them. Also, please don’t attach a resume that’s 25MBs. Nobody wants their email bogged down by a resume. And don’t send a WORD document. WORD docs seem unfinished and will certainly highlight any typos you may have. Export your WORD as a nice lightweight finished PDF. Include a link to your online website/portfolio. You’ll get bonus points!
6. Interview Do’s and Don’ts
- Don’t underdress. Come ready to impress. First impressions are everything.
- Don’t come to the interview after finishing the last drag of your cigarette. Wait until the interview is over.
- Don’t oversell yourself. Just because you read two blog posts on SEO doesn’t make you an expert. Be honest about what you have experience with.
- Don’t ask how much the job pays. If things progress, you’ll have an opportunity to broach this subject.
- Don’t take over the conversation. Let the employer ask their questions.
- Don’t mention you want to start your own business down the road. Buzz kill!
Don’t let salary dictate your options. If money is your driving force, you’ll never be happy. Find a company and niche you love and be the expert. Work your tail off and earn your stripes. The money will come. What other benefits do companies offer? Flexible scheduling? Working from home days? Paid time off?
8. Time Fly’s Bye
Be ready, once you enter the workforce, the days, weeks and years will pass you by. It’s sad but true. Don’t forget to get out and enjoy life. Just because college is over doesn’t mean the fun has to stop.
Always remember that wherever you go, the business world is much smaller than you think. Marketing managers, directors, and VPs all know each other. Never burn a bridge. Always stay professional.
10. Giving Back
Congrats you’ve graduated, and landed your first job, now what? Stay humble, find a non-profit with which you have some affinity, and help them out. They always need marketing help. Give back and pay it forward.