Get Into Marketing

The competition for marketing jobs is intense. Our advice, stand out from the crowd!

Statistics show that there are 56 candidates applying for every marketing vacancy. Obviously a degree or a postgraduate qualification in marketing is an asset, but employers are looking to see if you exhibit skills like good communication, numeracy and the ability to work under pressure. You may be expected to produce creative ideas too.

In your first marketing role, you may gain skills in:

  • Planning and using market research.
  • Communicating with target audiences (your customers).
  • New product and service development.
  • Managing customer relationships and using databases.
  • Delivering effective customer service to achieve marketing goals.
  • Developing effective channels to market.

Employers will be looking for evidence that you have these skills, or at least have the potential to develop them. So, don’t ignore that temp job you did this summer. If you think you have gained the transferable skills required in marketing then you must showcase them in your CV or cover letter with examples while applying for a marketing role.


The more knowledge and experience, the more chance you have of getting a job in marketing. Most graduates start off in junior positions (assistants) and work their way up. These entry-level positions are a good way to gain a broad experience of the industry. However, employers will expect you to contribute immediately! You’ll have to be aware of any good opportunities around you and be prepared to take them in order to build your career.


If you do not have a degree in marketing, then you may want to consider a relevant course or a professional marketing qualification from The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). You may be able to find an employer that will sponsor you to do this if they can see the value it will bring to their company. Our qualifications are driven by the practical needs of marketers and the industries in which they work. They are industry-mapped and recognised globally.


The emphasis is increasingly on integrated skills, so you should be prepared to work in any department and gain an all-round training. Once you have entered the profession, there are numerous opportunities to help you develop your career.


Many marketers working today did not necessarily start out in marketing. Frequently marketers come from other areas of the business such as sales and customer service as these involve transferable skills that fit well in a marketing role. You could find a non-marketing role with a company keen on promoting from within and look to move internally, but don’t expect to make it to the marketing department overnight. Keep on the lookout and make sure you make your transferable skills sellable.


Network, network and network! You never know who could offer you a marketing opportunity so it pays to go to events being held at your university, or socially, where you might be able to gain contacts and meet industry representatives. In fact, as an Affiliate of CIM, you get invited to such regional and national events which are a meeting place for many junior and senior marketers. Find out more about your member benefits in line with this.


Relevant work experience is extremely attractive to prospective employers. If your degree course does not include a work placement in a relevant company or position, you could approach local companies for holiday work in marketing functions. Some of the large graduate recruiters (such as Unilever and Mars) offer students paid summer placements in marketing and other departments. Smaller companies are also open to additional resources so we recommend you keep your approach broad.