Last week we had three industry experts visit us on campus to share with students their many years of experience and knowledge of the world of Marketing, PR and Communications. Advice from the experts included:
Think outside of your degree
You don’t need to have a Marketing/PR/Communications degree to get into this field (two of our speakers didn’t) – but what you do need is a demonstrable passion for this industry. So think about getting involved in the marketing of a uni society, for example, or getting some experience in the PR side of a charity. Pay attention to current PR issues in the news – how have Lance Armstrong’s PR team handled his recent revelations for example? Think about what your favourite marketing campaign is at the moment – why do you like it so much? These are questions which get you thinking about what interests you about this field and can help prepare you for possible future interviews.
Start by marketing yourself
Everybody has their own skills, talents and expertise – what’s yours? It could be a particular qualification in IT, it could be a creative talent, or a language skill. Identifying the skills you possess is the first step in being able to sell yourself to any future employer. The next is knowing how your talents can contribute to a company’s success, and how you can fit into a team. You then need to think about how you show this to an employer. It’s a competitive industry so you need to make your CV stand out, whether this is with the content, the format or both. If you need some CV inspiration, why not look at the Creative CV Guide by Jan Cole and David Whistance, available at QM library.
Resilience is the key to success
Rejection is part of the job hunting process, and you need to be resilient to it. As one of our speakers, Luke Campbell explains: ‘Be persistent. Don’t get disheartened if the jobs don’t come quick and fast, there’s a lot of competition and you’re bound to hear that you lost out in the final two. Keep applying and working hard and something will work out’. Being able to bounce back from disappointments will also be a valuable asset once you are working within this industry.
Know how to network
In the Marketing/PR/Communications world, it’s as much who you know as what. So know how to network and start using this to your advantage. Attend events, join online groups, utilise social media and get as much experience related to this field as you can, either through an internship, work placement or volunteer work. In the words of the expert, Frank Durrell: ‘Make sure you become part of a conversation’. And if you haven’t already done so, join LinkedIn – an invaluable tool for networking.