When you’re fresh out of school, you feel as though you can take on the world! You’re going to get a job at your dream company, work your way to your dream job, and before you know it, you’ll be designing stunning marketing campaigns that will catch the attention of customers around the world.
Unfortunately, everyone else who graduated in your class has the same plans and ambitions. If you’re hoping to set yourself apart from the crowd and land that dream marketing job, these extra skills will help make the difference.
1. Learn how to write a great email.
Your email or cover letter is one of the first interactions that you’ll have with a company that wants to hire you. You want them to hire you to sell their products, but before you can do that, you have to be able to sell yourself. If you’re drawing a blank as you try to figure out how to talk about yourself, try some of these steps to writing a cover letter that will grab their attention:
- Read some of the best cover letters out there. Check out examples that speak to you as you’re developing your style.
- Explore templates. Don’t use them exactly as they’re written—you have more originality than that—but use them as a starting place that will help you develop your unique cover letter.
- Ask a mentor to read over your cover letter and offer suggestions. This is especially useful if you have a mentor who has been in a hiring position in the past or who is in one currently.
2. Teach yourself to take great pictures.
You don’t have to develop the skill set that will make you a professional photographer, but being able to take a good picture can be the difference between a stock image in your blog post that doesn’t speak to your buyer personas and the perfect picture that sets off exactly what you’re talking about.
- Do some research into the types of photos you’re most likely to need to take, from stock photos to images of people.
- Grab your camera/phone and practice. Most of the time, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy; a basic camera or a phone can give you some great images.
- Let other people look at and critique your images to offer you tips for future improvement.
3. Explore design software.
There are plenty of design software options on the market, and each of them brings something new to the table. Take the time to make yourself familiar with a variety of software types. The more you know how to use, the easier it will be to slide into your new position when you can get a job.
4. Develop basic video skills.
Video marketing is exploding. Platforms like Facebook Live, Snapchat, and YouTube are rapidly increasing in popularity. It’s estimated that by 2017, video marketing will account for around 69% of all internet traffic. That means that as a marketing professional, you’re going to need to know video! Learn how to be comfortable both in front of a camera and behind it. Video marketing is:
If you come into a marketing position with excellent video skills, you’ll be an incredible asset to the team. Take the time to brush up on how to create videos that will appeal to a vast consumer population, especially the buyer personas that are relevant to the position you’d most like to acquire.
5. Increase your IT skills.
You might assume that your dream job will include an IT team that’s standing by to help every time your computer does something that you don’t like, but that’s not necessarily the case! Take the time to learn basic IT skills so that when the time comes for you to start working, you’ll be able to handle some IT needs on your own.
Make sure that you have the ability to:
- Troubleshoot a program that isn’t working the way you need it to work.
- Handle basic computer tasks for yourself, including restarting your computer and installing critical updates.
- Use a variety of programs adequately.
- Store data in ways that make it readily available to you and other members of a team who are working together.
The last thing you want to do is get that dream job, only to discover that you’re fumbling basic tasks and taking up valuable time during the business day because of a lack of familiarity with the technology. Instead, take the time to develop those skills as you are job hunting—or even better before the time comes to apply.
When you’re attempting to get a job with a particular company, take the time to read through their job postings and learn more about what skills they expect from their employees. While there are plenty of things that you can learn on the job, going into the job with those skills makes for a smoother transition for both you and the company. Once you know what they expect, start developing those skills! They certainly won’t go to waste, and in many cases, you may find that those skills are your foot in the door to the job you’ve been dreaming of. A few extra skills on top of your marketing expertise can make you stand out from the crowd of other recent graduates and make it easier for you to get that job you’ve always wanted.