From the President’s Desk: Advice for New Marketing Professionals

In just a few weeks, thousands of fresh-out-of-college graduates will be entering “the real world,” many of whom want to pursue a career in marketing. As a new marketing professional, this can be overwhelming. The marketing industry competition is fierce, and as the value of good marketers and agencies increases, one must find a way to stand out amongst other applicants. But how?

With 20+ years of marketing experience in various industries, Amanda Parker understands what it takes. And as President of Collective Alternative, she knows what she is looking for when searching for the next team member to join our full-service marketing, advertising and public relations firm.

So, how can you edge out the competition? See what Amanda has to say:

The marketing industry is very competitive. How do aspiring marketing professionals stand out to potential employers?
A: I love it when someone takes the time to personalize their resume and cover letter when they are applying for a position with Collective Alternative.  It’s easy to just upload a resume and hit send, but when you take the time to learn about the company you want to join, it shows and makes us want to take the time to get to know you.

What do you expect inspiring professionals to know?
A: I expect inspiring professionals to be themselves. Don’t be someone you think the company wants you to be just for an interview, that’s the worst thing you can do…for the employer and for you. If you’re genuine, it will show during your interview. Double check your grammar in your resume and your cover letter, that’s the last place you want an error. You should also have excellent phone and email communication skills. Dress professionally for your interview and come with a list of questions for your potential employer. Remember, you’re trying to find out if they are a good fit for you, too.

Do employers really look at social media?
A: Yes, it’s become part of the job screening process. Googling a candidate has become one of the first interview tactics for employers. Keep in mind, an employer will naturally infer from what they find, and you will not have an opportunity to explain. I suggest you keep anything you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see away from public consumption.

Along with the previous question, what should people be aware of when using social media?
A: Before you post something, think, “is this something I would show my boss?”. Social media gives us great insight into what a potential candidate is like. Once you post something, it’s on the internet forever, so keep that in mind. If I can find your social media profile, our clients can too.

What’s a deal breaker for you when talking with an aspiring or any marketing professional?
A: Someone who doesn’t want to be a genuine team player but would rather tell someone what to do. You need to be willing to learn and not have all of the answers. Everything you learned in school, or everything you learned at your last job, is not necessarily how your potential employer does things.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to a new marketing professional to break into the industry?
A: Find a mentor and take advantage of as many internships as you can, even unpaid opportunities.

What makes CA special compared to the rest of the industry?
A: Collective Alternative focuses on small-to-medium sized businesses, and is committed to building relationships with our clients. Their success is our success, and we don’t take their trust for granted. We work together to meet deadlines and deliver results, and we have fun in the process. We are their marketing department, a true extension of their business. They need an advocate, someone, to fight for them in the marketplace and we do that, every day.

The marketing industry can be tough, and it can be easy to feel uncertain at times. Having a passion for constantly learning new things, a desire to stay true to yourself and a love for helping business’ reach their goals can help you stand out and achieve your own success.

Does a career at CA sound like a good fit for you? Learn more about our job opportunities!