MAC = Marketing, Advertising, Communications
I’m a couple of years out of college and fortunately for me, I haven’t had much of a problem with getting and keeping a job. I have had a couple of dry spells here and there due to the shaky economy’s affect on company budgets, but for the most part I can say that I’ve done very well. Unfortunately, some of my classmates or friends who have graduated with degrees in these fields have not been as fortunate, even those who have already gotten advanced degrees (unlike myself). Now, technically I guess you can say that I JUST graduated, but I still think I have some useful advice for those seeking jobs in the MAC realm. So here go a few suggestions, I hope they are helpful!
1. BRAND YOURSELF
A huge part of working in the MAC fields involves working, writing, designing, creating, strategizing, etc, etc, to promote a brand or product. Show your potential employers that you can do this from jump by branding and promoting yourself well.
What does this mean? Don’t just give them a flat, one-page piece of paper that lists your contact information, education, objective and related experience and expect them to be blown away. The field that you hope to work in is not just black and white, and neither should your resume be. Add some color, add a theme, add something to make a person who is sifting through hundreds of resumes stop and look at yours. Don’t just add color to the layout, add color to the text. I don’t mean add fabrications, I mean to add meaning and life to your experiences – put it in terms that your potential employer can appreciate. Don’t just tell them that you managed a social media account. Tell them how that translated into something meaningful for the overall company. How many testimonials did it garnish? Were you able to solve any customer service issues? How many new people did you bring to the brand? Use this mentality to beef up all of your entries on your resume.
2. Use multiple channels
Don’t just have a paper resume. This is the digital age and you’re applying to work in an industry that is all about keeping up with the times! You NEED a LinkedIn page. This is not an option, it’s a must. If you have room on your resume, I’d even go so far as to list it up near your contact information. If you can’t fit it on your resume, then definitely list it on your cover letter. If you have a blog that reflects your interest in the field you hope to pursue, then feel free to list that on your cover letter as well. Furthermore, if you have an online portfolio, let them know! Conclude your cover letter with something like, “For samples of my work, please visit my online portfolio at www…..” Don’t wait for a potential employer to ask for these things. You must approach your initial application process as if it will be your only opportunity to show them that you’ve got the skill set to contribute to their company.
3. Don’t be wordy
Your cover letter is the space to write out in long form why you would be an asset to the potential employer’s team. Be careful not to be repetitious when explaining yourself and try to stay away from words and phrases that may not hold any real value like, “hard-working” – this is should be a given.
When it comes to your resume, this is not a place to write out achievements/experiences in long form. Be as concise as possible.
4. Go to interviews armed and ready
Always have a copy (if not copies) of your resume when you go to an interview. Also, have something that you can let people see and feel that shows off your work. Even if you are looking for a more business-centric marketing position, prepare a mock strategy for the company you’re interviewing for to show them that you’ve actually thought about what you would do at their company. They won’t expect it to be perfect; but they will be looking at your thought process and they will appreciate the effort. Yes, as I stated before, this is the digital age, and your portfolio is probably online. However, you should always bring hard copies of your samples for a few reasons:
1) Everyone receives and stores information differently. If the person you are interviewing with processes information better by having something visual, then you should be prepared and make sure that you can find a comfortable place in his or her memory
2) Believe it or not, everyone has not embraced the digital age
3) Interviewers appreciate the thought and effort that goes into physically preparing something for them to look at
5. Always, always, ALWAYS do your research
Never ever go into an interview or do a phone interview without having done your research on the company that you’re interviewing for. Even if in your research, you find yourself unclear about a certain aspect of the company, write down your question. Take notes on the company and look at areas of the company that have to do with the position you’re interviewing for. If you’re trying to do social media, analyze and take notes on the company’s social media presence. Note the things that you think they do well and note the areas you think they could improve and be prepared to discuss these things at length.
Good luck and don’t give up! It’s a frustrating, discouraging process, but it will all be worth it!