How do I find a job?
- Search job vacancies.
- Jobs are advertised in the specialist press, including Marketing
, Marketing Week
, PR Week
, as well as the national press, particularly The Guardian
- Professional bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)
(via their magazine, The Marketer
), Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)
, Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA)
and The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing - UR The Brand
- Careers services also advertise graduate marketing, advertising and PR vacancies.
- Attending industry events organised by a relevant professional body, e.g. CIPR, IPA and CIM, in order to meet and network with potential employers is a good way to make contacts and find out about opportunities.
- Some organisations, agencies and consultancies offer graduate recruitment schemes.
- Industry-specific directories may be useful for identifying contacts for speculative applications. Examples include The Marketing Manager's Yearbook and the The Creative Review Handbook
- Read trade journals and the specialist press to keep informed about the industry. They can also help in identifying organisations to target with speculative applications.
- Recruitment agencies specialising in marketing, advertising and PR exist. However, they generally deal with experienced candidates. For a list of member agencies, search the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC)
- Jobs are generally advertised all year round.
- Find out more about applying for jobs.
What skills do I need?
Employers generally look for evidence of:
- excellent communication and interpersonal skills;
- social skills (demonstrated, for example, through involvement with student media or university societies);
- negotiation skills;
- creativity and imagination;
- ability to cope under pressure and think strategically as the work often involves tight deadlines;
- organisational skills (e.g. organising events such as student balls or sports events).
The increase in digital marketing and social media marketing also means that some roles will require a certain amount of IT knowledge. All these skills can be developed by undertaking work experience.
Your degree subject is not as important as work experience, enthusiasm and dedication.
Advertisers want people with a real passion for advertising and an understanding of what makes a good advertisement. In PR, writing skills are particularly important. It can be helpful if you provide evidence that you are a good writer, e.g. writing for your student magazine or a blog.
Where can I find work experience?
Relevant work experience is crucial and can lead to offers of permanent employment. Some agencies offer formal internships, but the majority of graduates find work experience through speculative applications and networking.
Other sources include:
For posts within PR, work experience in newspapers, TV and radio will enhance your understanding of how the media works.
For more information on how to improve your employability, see getin2marketing
Is postgraduate study useful?
- Although postgraduate study is not essential to getting a job in this industry, a postgraduate qualification will increase your chances, as this area of work is becoming increasingly competitive.
- Further study once working in the industry is generally supported. Some organisations may offer financial support and/or study leave.
- Formal qualifications offered by the CIM, such as the Professional Certificate or Professional Diploma in Marketing, are available. The Chartered Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing is available to those who have already gained a significant level of knowledge and/or experience of marketing.
- The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM)
offers a variety of formal qualifications.
- The CIPR also offers formal qualifications including the Advanced Certificate or Diploma in Public Relations.
- A range of short industry-specific courses are also available through the CIM, CIPR, IDM, IPA, Direct Marketing Association
and Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA)
How can my career develop?
- With advertising and direct marketing, a typical path of career development might involve starting as an account executive within an agency, then progressing to an account manager after one to two years, then on to account director after three or four more years.
- With general marketing positions, promotion is often to marketing manager after three to five years and then to marketing director. Increasingly, further qualifications, such as those offered by the CIM, are desirable for more senior marketing positions.
- The CIPR advises that PR professionals can expect to spend one to two years as a junior account executive, two to three years as an account executive and the same amount of time as a senior account executive or account manager, before moving to associate and then account director.
- Gaining relevant experience and honing key transferable skills are vital for career progression and can sometimes enable professionals to move between marketing, advertising and PR. Career progression can be aided by moving between in-house departments or working in a marketing agency/consultancy for several different clients.
- Networking within the different industries is a useful way to find out about ‘hidden jobs’ as smaller agencies in particular do not often have the resource to advertise opportunities widely.