Loading the player...

In a world of fast-paced media, in formats from television to Twitter, the demand for outstanding marketing professionals has never been stronger. The more connected the human race becomes, the more value corporations and interest groups place on those who know how to spread the word in a profitable way. (Are your shoulders wide enough to carry a company's reputation? Read The Marketing Director's Pitch.)
TUTORIAL: Starting A Small Business

If you are looking for a career in online content creation, print advertising, public relations, logo design, copywriting, website design or the many other careers in which it's your job to take a product or service and make it the next item people can't live without, marketing is the career path for you.

Education
Although marketing professionals are in high demand, there is intense competition for the best jobs. Anybody wishing to enter the marketing profession should first receive a bachelor's degree in marketing from a four-year university. Although some believe that a degree from a prestigious school may offer a competitive edge, human resource professionals who recruit for marketing firms often believe otherwise; more important than the school is the performance of the candidate. Recruiters are more interested in a standout college graduate from a lesser known school than an Ivy League graduate who presents himself as middle of the road.

Because marketing is such a diverse field, most professionals also specialize within the marketing genre. For those who like to draw, a minor in graphic design is advisable. This gives the candidate the ability to design print campaigns as well as logos and magazine layouts. For those who wish to enter the rapidly growing world of online marketing, a minor in computer science or certification in HTML or other web-based language is an attractive addition to any marketing degree. (Accelerating your post-secondary education can save you major time and money, check out The Benefits Of An Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Degree.)

Regardless of the person's career path, every person in the marketing field must be an above average writer, along with having skill as a copywriter - somebody who can use language to sell a product or service.

Internship
In order to receive a marketing degree, an internship is not required, but consider this: If the best jobs are highly competitive, sometimes with hundreds of people applying, could anybody who is serious about a marketing career afford not to consider an internship? A person fresh out of school will be submitting a resume for jobs where other applicants may have years of experience.

Successful industry experience may be the most important factor when considering an applicant, and an internship can provide the recent college graduate with just that. An internship also provides the opportunity for an influential reference, a letter of recommendation and items for a portfolio.

Don't apply for just any internship. Pick one in an area of marketing where you want to start your career and find a company that fits your dream profile. If you want to work for a large marketing firm once you graduate, look for internships with larger companies. If you want to start your own firm or work for a small company, look for an internship that may require you to be talented in a number of different areas. (These seven tips can have you on the road to financial internship bliss - see Land That Internship!)

First Job Interview
As a marketing professional, you will be held to the highest of standards during an interview. The person interviewing you will be thinking of one key item as they speak to you: If you can't brand yourself in a way where he or she can't imagine their company without you there, you probably aren't good enough for the job. A marketer must know how to brand in a way that makes the product or service infectious. The person who comes in contact with it has to be drawn to it, and when you leave the interview, your interviewer should be thinking about you as a person who stood out. Before interviewing for jobs, construct your personal image and decide how you will present it in a way where the interviewer can't say no.

Next, research the company. You have to know everything about it - the top clients, famous marketing campaigns, the services offered and image. Then, think of each of these areas, and be able to speak to what your talents can do in order to help continue moving forward in these key areas. (To learn the steps that will help lead you to a new career, read Taking The Lead In The Interview Dance.)

Remember that an interview is largely a sales call. If you can market yourself effectively and extraordinarily, your chances of being hired rise dramatically. Concentrate on what you can do to bring value to their company.

Building Your Career
Continue building your personal brand. Go to conferences and seminars, not just for the educational and industry-related sessions, but also to network and build awareness of your brand. As with any career, never stop learning. Try to read at least a few industry publications each week. Progressive or new ideas will be easy to spot. In any field where success is largely based on creativity, staying in touch with the latest design trends is critical.

Find projects where your work can stand out. Although it may be an honor to work on the next high profile corporate campaign, it may be a much better career accomplishment to take a relatively unknown brand and dramatically increase its awareness. Think about the positive or negative implications on your brand before accepting or declining any project. (Learn how to answer some of the hardest interviewer questions and scenarios. Check out Tips To Beat Tough Interviews.)

Exiting the Field
If you decide that marketing is not for you, there is good news. Marketing is a field in the business world, and because of that, many careers are open to somebody with a marketing degree and experience in the field. For those with an MBA, even more opportunities are available. Retail sales, graphic arts, online sales, account executive and management are just a few of the options. If a career related to marketing is not appealing, draw on your experience in the marketing field when interviewing for your next career. (Quit your job, be your own boss and earn a paycheck. Find out what to do to make it happen, in Start Your Own Small Business.)

The Bottom Line
Before any company will hire you to sell a brand, they want to know that you can brand yourself, and often that comes naturally. If you would describe yourself as somebody who works hard but enjoys working alone, marketing may not be the right career for you. If you enjoy the challenge of selling a product, service or person to the public, you have found the right career. (Learn more in Advertising, Crocodiles And Moats.)

Related Articles
  1. Entrepreneurship

    A Career Guide For Marketing Majors

    Online content creation, print advertising, public relations, logo design, copywriting and website design are just a few marketing fields.
  2. Budgeting

    Lost Your Job? 6 Things to Do Immediately

    If you’ve lost your job, shoring up your finances as best you can will make it easier to get back on your feet again when that next position rolls around.
  3. Professionals

    Is A Stockbroker Career For You?

    Becoming a stockbroker requires a broad skill set and the willingness to put in long hours. But the rewards can be enormous.
  4. Professionals

    Broker Or Trader: Which Career Is Right For You?

    Both brokers and traders buy and sell securities, but there are some subtle differences between the two careers.
  5. Stock Analysis

    3 Obscure Twitter Accounts Making Money Off of You (TWTR)

    Learn how Twitter accounts that share quotes or information, such as @HistoryInPics and @Notebook, make money from their audiences.
  6. Investing Basics

    How to Become A Self-Taught Financial Expert

    Becoming a self-taught financial expert may not be as daunting of a task as it seems.
  7. Professionals

    Financial Career Options For Professionals

    A career in finance can take a business professional down many different paths.
  8. FA

    The Basics of The Series 79 Exam

    Passing the Series 79 exam is usually necessary for anyone who wants to work in investment banking.
  9. Professionals

    10 Steps To A Career In Hedge Funds

    The first step to getting your hedge fund career started is to be sure you really want to work for a hedge fund. If you do, it’ll show in your actions.
  10. Personal Finance

    University Donations: Which Schools Got the Most

    A closer look at the staggering $40.3 billion donated to colleges and universities in 2015.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What's the difference between microeconomics and macroeconomics?

    Microeconomics is generally the study of individuals and business decisions, macroeconomics looks at higher up country and ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What’s the difference between the two federal student loan programs (FFEL and Direct)?

    The short answer is that one loan program still exists (Federal Direct Loans) and one was ended by the Health Care and Education ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Does a financial advisor need an MBA?

    Obtaining a license as a financial adviser does not require an Master's of Business Administration (MBA) degree. The Certified ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Student loans, federal and private: what's the difference?

    The cost of a college education now rivals many home prices, making student loans a huge debt that many young people face ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Can I use my IRA to pay for my college loans?

    If you are older than 59.5 and have been contributing to your IRA for more than five years, you may withdraw funds to pay ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Can I use my 401(k) to pay for my college loans?

    If you are over 59.5, or separate from your plan-sponsoring employer after age 55, you are free to use your 401(k) to pay ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Liquidation Margin

    Liquidation margin refers to the value of all of the equity positions in a margin account. If an investor or trader holds ...
  2. Black Swan

    An event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and that would be extremely difficult ...
  3. Inverted Yield Curve

    An interest rate environment in which long-term debt instruments have a lower yield than short-term debt instruments of the ...
  4. Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    An investment that is considered socially responsible because of the nature of the business the company conducts. Common ...
  5. Presidential Election Cycle (Theory)

    A theory developed by Yale Hirsch that states that U.S. stock markets are weakest in the year following the election of a ...
Trading Center