This Could Be Why You Are Struggling to Get a Marketing Position

Nancy Anderson
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Marketing is a highly competitive industry that can be hard to break into without solid social media, merchandising, analytics or CRM experience under your belt. If you're having trouble finding an entry-level marketing job, you may be ignoring opportunities to meet hiring managers in person, gain experience and demonstrate your skills. Consider these likely reasons your search for an entry-level marketing job is going nowhere.

You Have Major Knowledge Gaps

Getting a degree and deciding on a career path isn't enough to qualify you for an entry-level marketing job. Even assistant and associate roles require a working knowledge of common marketing channels, research strategies, consumer trends and data management software. If your resume is filled with vague skills and little mention of basic marketing terms, hiring managers may assume you aren't knowledgeable about the industry.

Familiarize yourself with marketing databases, and use your spare time to learn about past and current industry trends. Read books and blogs on foundational principles of marketing, and pay attention to thought leaders who are at the forefront of innovative marketing strategies. Make sure the language in your resume reflects key terminology from the original job posting to get through applicant-tracking systems.

You Don't Network

A core rule of marketing is to be where your customers are, and the same holds true for job hunting. Build relationships with marketing professionals in person and online. When possible, attend marketing conferences or networking events to meet people who are enthusiastic about the industry. Talking to people with professional insight is the best way to understand the demands of an entry-level marketing job. You can also take advantage of the high online engagement before big marketing events to post relevant content and strike up conversations with marketing managers on social media.

You Have Weak Communication Skills

Marketing is a communication-heavy industry, and hiring managers might decide you're a bad fit after reading a poorly written resume or cover letter. Keep in mind, many hiring managers also look at your online profiles and social media content for a sense of your personality and communication style. Imagine how you appear to recruiters when you rave about your communications skills and then have an error-filled application or a boring, cliché blog with no readers.

You Aren't Showcasing Your Skills

"Show, don't tell" is essential in marketing, as measurable results matter more than untested claims. If you lack industry experience, make up for it with strong personal branding. Focus your entire online presence around your target entry-level marketing jobs, and offer recruiters a complete picture of your technical and soft skills.

Depending on your interests, create a portfolio showcasing skills such as writing, graphic design, consumer research or social media engagement. Why not create a sample e-book or whitepaper to show your writing skills? If you're a social media maven, show off the creative emails or Twitter campaigns you use to get subscribers. If you have a blog, compile data from polls and surveys to produce micro research studies about your readers.

Marketing managers are reluctant to recruit novices who may not know what it takes to manage content goals, develop strategies and learn rapidly in a fast-changing industry. To increase your chances of getting an entry-level marketing job, seek out internships and actively grow your skills before you start job hunting.

Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Franklin at


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