Marketing encompasses a wide range of roles, and you'll need to demonstrate specific, required skills. In a Guardian Careers live Q&A Janet Davies, marketing and communications director for Thomsons Online Benefits, gives some examples: "Response marketing needs a high degree of numeracy; campaign management requires exceptional organisational skills. Communications disciplines require you to be articulate and have empathy with customers."
Many marketing skills are transferable, but for digital marketing roles, you'll need to gain an understanding of technologies to communicate better with clients and colleagues – and, says Matt Isherwood, digital director of balloon dog - you'll need to know what's technically achievable without necessarily knowing how to do it yourself.
Get noticed through commenting on industry blogs, following agencies on Twitter and attending seminars and meet-ups. Kevin Taylor, CEO of Gravytrain, says the company generally hires people who have immersed themselves in digital marketing in their spare time, so start a blog to show off your ideas and enthusiasm. Analyse campaigns and strategies, or provide tips – particularly on new technologies.
Employers want to see results and experience, enthusiasm and eagerness to learn, and commercial awareness. Even small-scale projects can boost your chances of impressing an employer. Don't just rely on advertised jobs, instead, identify local companies or charities where you can use your skills and put together a marketing plan. Roger Foster from the Chartered Institute of Marketing says: "Do it with style and enthusiasm and it will show through." In a live Q&A on digital marketing, Damian Hanson, CEO of One iota, suggests running a small campaign. "It can be about anything - it's just about getting a message across to an audience, but doing so cheaply and with opportunities to measure success."
Although you don't need a degree in marketing, a professional qualification will help you stand out. The CIM/CAM marketing qualifications are well respected, as are the practical courses run by organisations such as e-consultancy. Emphasise ongoing professional development. In a fast-changing industry like digital marketing, you need to be up to date with emerging technologies.
Prove you can market yourself with a concise, targeted and achievement-driven CV. Use your cover letter to draw attention to specific areas and to demonstrate your research – what you know about the company and its clients, or what you like about its previous marketing campaigns, for example.
Keith White, head of marketing for events companies such as Hen Heaven, suggests the AIDA approach in your cover letter:
Attention-grabbing headline: "Want to increase your sales next year?"
Interest: "For the past three years, I've been studying the most successful ways to grow a business through marketing."
Desire: "I am willing to start right away, and have a skillset that will benefit you greatly."
Action: "CALL ME!!"
Using an innovative approach such as an infographic CV can work, depending on the culture of the organisation. Janet Davies advises: "A quirky agency may appreciate a quirky application; it doesn't work with the large corporates."
Name / contact details / blog URL or LinkedIn profile URL / Twitter handle
(Optional) CV title (the title of the role you're applying for) followed by a branding statement, or key information such as a professional qualification to position you for the role.
You could then have a brief profile (detailing breadth of experience, or showcasing a standout achievement) and a skills section.
Give examples to show how you got results. Include employer details, or use a case-study or project layout if your work has mainly been freelance, voluntary, or short-term contracts.
Digital marketing consultancy for ABC Enterprises January – March 2012
Researched the market and identified cost-effective methods to rapidly increase traffic, word-of-mouth referrals and customer loyalty for a local clothing company.
• Increased traffic by 20% through improved SEO and site visibility
• Generated 15% extra traffic through implementing a Google AdWords campaign
• Created a vibrant social media profile with Facebook fan page, blog and Twitter account, to drive traffic to the site, increase social engagement and sharing, and address customer service issues. This resulted in an improved customer satisfaction rate of 35% and increased online sales by 15%.
Training and education
Consider separating this section, leading with your professional training activity and giving an outline of course content. Then highlight your degree, university details and dates in a brief education section.
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Entry Level Marketing Cover Letter Sample
Are you interested in making marketing your career? When applying for your first position in marketing, make sure to include in your cover letter any previous experience that highlights your related skills and abilities, and builds upon your resume.
The following is a sample cover letter for an entry level marketing position. Use this example as a guide and makes adjustments based on your qualifications to fit the position you are applying to.
Tips for Writing a Marketing Cover Letter
- Include related experience: In the body of your letter, include any experiences that are related to the job you’re applying for. Even if you have never had a marketing job, include experiences where you demonstrated skills and abilities required for the job.
- Use specific examples: You want your cover letter to expand upon your resume. One way to make your cover letter stand out is to provide specific examples of times you demonstrated skills or qualities needed for the job. Examples prove that you have what it takes to do the job well.
- Use keywords: Look for keywords in the job description – words that emphasize the skills or qualities needed for the job. Include some of these keywords in your cover letter.
- Begin with a sample or template: A cover letter sample or template can help you decide what information to include, and how to format your cover letter. However, when you use a sample or template, be sure to change the information to fit the job you are applying for.
- Use business letter format: Use the official business letter format when writing your letter. You want this letter to be professional.
- Edit, edit, edit: Be sure to thoroughly proofread your cover letter. You want your letter to be polished and professional so that you make a strong first impression.
Cover Letter Example - Entry Level Marketing
City, State, Zip Code
Cell Phone Number
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. LastName,
I am very interested in the open marketing position with ABC Marketing Group. I believe that my education and employment experiences make me an ideal candidate for the position.
During my tenure at XYZ College, I developed a passion for marketing and public relations. I have sought out multiple opportunities to develop my marketing skills. For example, last summer, I interned at the National Sculpture Society in New York City. My position entailed developing web pages and slideshows publicizing the success of the society's artists. I was able to utilize my web authoring skills to assist the organization in their goal to promote sculpture.
As an assistant at XYZ College’s career services office, I am responsible for updating information on alumni, career advisors, and companies who publicize internships with our office. This involves heavy calling during my shifts at the office. In addition to calling, I also email clientele. This calls for me to employ interpersonal skills to communicate with clients effectively. Due to my strong communication skills, I have been given even more responsibilities. For example, I now publicize all career services events via multiple social media platforms.
I believe that my experiences in marketing and my interpersonal skills make me a prime candidate for this position. I am a diligent worker, and passionate about my work. I will be a valuable asset to your company and will use this as an opportunity to grow and further the development of my marketing skill set.
Thank you very much for considering my application for candidacy. I will follow up within a week to confirm that all of my materials were received and hopefully set up an interview time.
Your Signature (written letter)
Sending an Email Cover Letter
If you're sending your cover letter via email, list your name and the job title in the subject line of the email message:
Subject: Marketing Position - Your Name
Include your contact information in your email signature, and don't list the employer contact information.