Where to find advertising, marketing and PR jobs
Even prestigious companies in the marketing sector can only afford to offer one or two placements a year, while big graduate recruiters in other sectors hire thousands. In order to get the job you want you’ll have to work harder than your friends. You may even begin to wonder why you picked this career. However, there is a good reason to carry on. Although there may not be many dedicated schemes, there are still plenty of jobs out there. We've listed some options below, but remember to check out our list of graduate employers in marketing for more opportunities.
Filter by industry
There are a lot of industries that need promotion to their specific audiences. Retail and consumer goods are obvious examples, but a lot of major employers have their own marketing or advertising departments. Many have dedicated graduate schemes as well. Take pharmaceuticals producer GlaxoSmithKline’s two-and-a-half year sales and marketing programme for example.
If you apply for a vacancy like this, it is important not only to prove your interest in marketing, but also your interest in the industry. For example, you can bet that GlaxoSmithKline will ask: ‘So, why do you want to work in the pharmaceuticals business?’ Knowing what you’re talking about, and being enthusiastic to boot, will be a massive point in your favour.
Don’t wait for them
There are loads of estimates about the number of unadvertised jobs that are out there. Whatever the actual number, it’s worth knowing that there are vacancies which don’t get a whole lot of publicity (which is ironic, given that this is the marketing and publicity sector). It’s up to you to make speculative applications directly to employers.
The good thing about making speculative applications is that it really lets you show off your skills. You need to be bold, enticing, and willing to show off your unique selling points (USPs). Even if it doesn’t lead to an interview straight away, it can be a way to build up your contacts. They might even be willing to keep your CV on record if a vacancy does come up.
Get experience to compete
Whether you want to go straight for jobs or compete for the grad scheme vacancies, you are going to need experience. A lot of people decide on a career in advertising, marketing and PR quite late in the application process. Some even use it as a fall-back option. The thing is employers don’t like being your second choice. If you want to avoid giving this impression your best bet is to pack your CV with relevant experience.
The good news is that this can take many forms. Obviously, a year in industry with a well known company is the holy grail of work experience, but if that’s not an option, a couple of months here and there will definitely help. While some companies do run in-house internships, you will have the most luck if you approach them directly and ask for a placement. If your work experience only comes with expenses, don’t let it stop you. There may even be jobs on campus which would help.