Today’s current climate of the job market is nothing short of difficult; getting that first job or kickstarting your career can be a real daunting task, especially in marketing. That’s why in this article, we’re going over some vital tips and tricks that can give you that extra edge when it comes to looking for the right job for you.

We had Sophie Milliken join us, a former graduate recruiter and CEO of Moja, who has worked with some amazing brands, such as John Lewis. In this article, you’ll find that we discussed how to break into the industry, how to stand out in a crowd, the application processes, and much more.

So, if you’re fresh out of university looking for that first big job-defining role or looking to change up your role but need some pointers to get you started, then keep reading, as we’re sure what we’ll cover, will come in handy.

Breaking into the industry

Getting your foot in the industry might seem like a near-impossible task when you first start looking at jobs, but don’t worry too much about it, especially if you're going for graduate jobs. Recruiters aren’t expecting you to have years of experience or knowledge. What's important at this stage, is showing you have a range of soft skills to bring to the job, such as communication, teamwork, and adaptability. Recruiters, when hiring graduates, are also more focused on traits such as your enthusiasm, attitude, and personality. If you want to go into a specific industry, such as marketing, it can’t hurt to have a few extra skills focused on that, such as creativity and a flare of uniqueness, commercial awareness, planning, and organisation.

How to stand out in a crowd

It’s an understatement to say that the job market isn’t oversaturated with everyone trying to get their first big job or career-defining role, but how do you stand out in a pool of thousands of people? The first thing to do when you start thinking about applying for jobs, is to start doing prep work for the industry or role you’re interested in. Start looking to see if there are any internships or work experience available, not only will that show you’re interested in the role, but it will also give you industry insight and experience working in that field. If you can’t find experience related directly, look for similar roles as all these skills are transferable and will help when you start applying for jobs.

Another key asset that will help you stand out is your CV. This is the first thing recruiters will see of you when you apply for a job, so make sure you have everything up to date, including all your skills, work experience, education, and even interests, as this can significantly show employers what sort of person you are. Remember not to make this into an essay; this document should only be two pages long and get straight to the point. Sophie also mentioned that the use of pictures in a CV is popular in other countries; however, if you’re applying for a role in the UK, this isn’t common at all, and the space is much better being used with text to sell your skills.

Finally, do a self-social media audit. Which channels are you on? Is there anything you don’t want people to see? Sometimes employers will do a social media check to see what potential candidates are like, so if there’s something you would prefer them not to see, then set your social media accounts to private.

The application process

The application process can be wild, depending on the companies you’re applying for, and it’s best to do some research on their process so you know what you’re in for. Small businesses are usually much faster at processing applications, as typically it would be sending over a cover letter attached to your CV, followed by the interview, whereas what can happen with a bigger business is a much longer procedure in that you may have to do multiple tests before you even get to send over your CV. If you get through, then it’s most likely followed by a virtual interview or on the phone, and then finally a traditional interview with the employer. This isn’t to steer you away from big companies; it’s just to make sure you’re prepared for these types of application processes. 

Finding the right role

Trying to find the right role for yourself might seem like a huge task. However, it doesn’t need to be; just take your time in choosing what you think could be right. If you’re a graduate, you don’t have to strictly focus on jobs related to your degree. Broaden your horizons a little bit and look at others, as all the skills will be transferable when you find the job role you really want to focus on. It also allows you to see what you may or may not do in those industries, so you know what to not do next time.

To make finding the right role easier, start thinking about the industries and job roles you’re interested in, then start researching. See what your findings tell you about these. It might make you realise that a specific role or industry is right for you, and that’s okay, but the other thing you researched makes you feel a lot more confident that’s what you want to do in the future. One of the biggest aspects of finding the right job for you is that it’s a role you genuinely feel excited about; if you don’t feel excited about starting that role, you’ll have difficulty trying to adapt to it, the industry, and the culture, so it’s best to look for a job that makes you feel excited about starting it.

How to handle rejection

Rejection can be tough, especially if it’s from a job you really wanted, but it’s okay, and everyone goes through it at some point in their career journey. Not all is lost if that role is, for certain, the one you want. Keep an eye on the job openings for that company; they’ll open up again, and in the meantime, ask the recruiter for feedback. Even if you feel low from not getting the result you wanted, the feedback they give you will be essential for nailing the hiring process next time. The more detailed feedback you’re going to get, which will help you out even more. Not getting the result you want is never good, and you may even feel like you want to give up, but don’t! No one is going to just “give” you the job you want; get feedback, apply it, and you’ll be ready to go next time.

You’ve got this

That’s everything to get you started in the right direction. We hope this article helps you get started in your career journey. With tips on how to break into the industry, stand out in a crowd, and, most importantly, how to handle rejection, you’ll be just fine.

Want to find out more? You can watch the full webinar with Sophie here and get more detailed advice on how to get your career journey moving.