While you don’t absolutely have to, it can help to think about your ‘brand’ when looking for marketing jobs. We’re not suggesting you go all Apprentice and walk around talking about ‘the product’, but a sensible awareness could pay dividends.
Your name is the first thing employers will notice. It will be in the header of your CV, your address on your covering letter, and in the ‘from’ bar on the email. There are a couple of rules to pay attention to.
- Keep it consistent. A brand name needs to stick. Use the same name for emails, letters or signatures.
- Keep it real. Inventing a brand might sound fun, but using your real name will be much more effective. You should also use a portrait of yourself instead of avatars.
- Build on clean foundations. While social networks like LinkedIn and Twitter can help you get jobs, it might be smart to separate business and personal networks by using different aliases.
The style and tone
You don’t have to be a graphic design deity, but a smart image can help. Design includes everything from font and layout to colour and paper.
- Keep it consistent. Use the same font for your CV, your covering letter and your email, your follow up letter, and your business card.
- Keep it simple. A functional, smart logo or design can help link all of your output, while the same style of writing throughout your networks and documents can help tie all of your work together.
- Tried and tested. Some fonts and even some colours do not translate between operating systems. Stick to black, Arial and Times New Roman. You can get creative in other ways.
In the world of marketing, you have to look sharp at all stages of recruitment. Don’t underestimate the value of your degree, but a good image shows attention to detail.
- Keep it consistent! You don’t have to wear the same suit to every stage of the process, but you should at least be recognisable at the second meeting. Avoid dyeing your hair or getting a new set of piercings until after you’re hired.
- Have a signature. Signatures are a useful trick to help you stick in an employer’s mind. This could be a signature colour, an item or a shape. If you’re going to do this, make sure it links everything they’re going to see, and try not to have too many.
- Tailor it to the audience. It could be the difference between a skinny tie for a modern company and a fat tie for a conservative one. The little touches will reassure employers that you are the right person.
Branding won’t get you a job
Simply tidying yourself up and staying consistent is not a graduate skill. If you want a graduate job you’re going to have to do more to earn it. Nevertheless, having a complete ‘brand’ can help you stick out in an employer’s memory, or catch their eye. A few extra minutes spent tidying up your layout or combing your hair on the big morning can make or break that first impression.