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How to find an entry-level job in marketing

Published February 22, 2024| minute read

    Are you ready to make your mark as a marketer? For many, finding their first entry-level job is a crucial step toward launching a career in this field.

    Still, marketing is a vast field, and responsibilities for people in marketing roles can vary quite a bit. That can make applying for entry-level marketing jobs more confusing than applying for other types of roles. Someone in a marketing role might be working on social media management for a company, while someone else might be leading market research on a segment of consumers that a particular company is trying to target.

    How varied marketing roles can be is something to keep in mind as you explore entry-level jobs in the field and begin applying for jobs. Continue reading as we explore what to expect in an entry-level marketing role and some tips to help you land that exciting first job to kickstart your career journey.

    What does an entry-level marketer do?

    Broadly speaking, marketing is the activity of building brand awareness, attracting and retaining customers, and ultimately driving business growth. There's no one-size-fits-all for entry-level marketing roles. These roles are designed to help companies connect with customers and encourage them to purchase a particular product or service. Roles companies define and fill as "marketing" are varied and might focus on things like product development, pricing, promotion, distribution, gauging customer satisfaction, and advertising.

    So, what are some of the areas of responsibility entry-level marketers have? One area of focus might be conducting market research. This might involve gathering and analyzing data on consumer trends, competitors, and market conditions. The insights gained from this research can help inform marketing strategies and decisions. Entry-level marketers might perform this function by assisting in creating and disseminating surveys, interpreting consumer feedback, and compiling reports that help in understanding a particular target market.

    Content creation is another area of focus for some entry-level marketers. Responsibilities can range from writing blog posts and articles to creating social media content. The aim is often to engage audiences, increase brand awareness, and contribute to a company's overall content marketing strategy.

    Yet another area of scope for entry-level marketers is supporting the execution of marketing and advertising campaigns. This may involve coordinating with vendors, managing promotional materials, and assisting with event planning. Those in these roles often ensure that campaigns are executed smoothly and achieve the desired outcome.

    Specific entry-level jobs in marketing

    As covered, marketing jobs are pretty varied. Often, marketing professionals pick a focus within marketing and grow their career within that specialization. Others choose to expand their skills by accumulating experience in various roles.

    While searching for marketing roles, you may notice that many of the titles companies are filling appear similar, though the responsibilities can be quite varied. Don't just assume that a marketing coordinator at one company will have the same (or even similar) responsibilities as the marketing coordinator at another company.

    Here are some entry-level marketing jobs that you may see available as you undergo a job search.

    Marketing Coordinator

    Those in these roles may assist with developing marketing strategies, coordinating marketing campaigns, executing promotional activities, and providing support for a company's various marketing initiatives.

    Marketing Assistant

    This role might involve market research, data analysis, content creation, coordinating marketing materials, assisting with event planning, and collaborating with the marketing team on various projects.

    Digital Marketing Assistant

    This role may support developing and rolling out digital marketing campaigns, social media management, content creation, email marketing, and basic analytics tasks related to digital marketing efforts.

    Social Media Coordinator

    Entry-level social media coordinators may be responsible for managing social media accounts, creating content for social platforms, engaging with a target audience, and supporting the execution of social media strategies.

    Market Research Assistant

    Those in these roles may assist with research projects, collect and analyze data, conduct surveys, and contribute to developing market research reports and insights.

    Public Relations (PR) Assistant

    Some companies (though not all) classify public relations as marketing. Those in these roles support public relations activities such as drafting press releases, coordinating media outreach, monitoring media coverage, and assisting with PR campaigns.

    What's an entry-level marketer's salary?

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported that the median annual wage for market research analysts was $68,230 in 2022. This salary figure encompasses salaries for all market research analysts, not just for entry-level positions. Still, it provides some context as to the wages to expect in these roles.

    How to get an entry-level marketing job

    Education requirements

    Depending on the company and the role you're applying for, some companies may hire an entry-level marketer without a degree, but having a bachelor's degree is typically a requirement. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, that's the typical entry-level education for market research analysts and other common entry-level marketing roles.

    A bachelor's degree in marketing or communications may be helpful when pursuing entry-level marketing roles. That said, employers may be open to prospective employees who majored in other disciplines, prioritizing relevant skills and work experience in their search. This will depend on the company, the role, and the hiring manager.

    Skill employers may look for

    • Time management and organizational skills: Managing multiple tasks, meeting deadlines, and prioritizing work effectively is often essential in marketing roles.
    • Writing skills: Strong writing skills may be essential for conveying marketing messages effectively, as people in marketing roles may be producing written marketing materials, creating presentations, or producing social media content.
    • Analytical skills: An understanding of how to interpret data can be valuable for entry-level marketing professionals, particularly in areas such as campaign performance, analysis, market research, and customer segmentation.
    • Basic understanding of consumer behavior: Depending on the role and the company, a foundational knowledge of consumer psychology, market research, and an understanding of buyer personas may be helpful.
    • Teamwork: A collaborative approach and the ability to work effectively with cross-functional teams, external vendors, and agencies may be important in achieving marketing objectives.

    Potential steps to take to secure an entry-level job in marketing

    • Obtain relevant education or training: A bachelor's degree in marketing, business, communications, or a related discipline can provide you with a foundation to pursue a career in marketing. You can also consider exploring certification programs or specialized courses to gain marketing knowledge and skills to boost your resume.
    • Gain practical experience: Look for internships or part-time roles in marketing, advertising, or related areas to gain hands-on experience and build your resume.
    • Develop a portfolio: Showcase your marketing skills by developing a portfolio that includes any relevant projects, campaigns, or marketing materials you've worked on in your college classes, internships, or past jobs.
    • Research marketing roles at companies you're interested in: As covered, marketing roles can vary greatly. To best identify roles you might be interested in, do a deep dive into the marketing roles at companies you might be interested in to find out the scope of responsibilities to expect.
    • Network within the marketing industry: Connect with professionals in marketing through networking events, industry conferences, and social media platforms. Building a strong professional network can provide valuable insights and spur potential job leads.
    • Conduct informational interviews: It can be helpful to meet with professionals in person or remotely in marketing roles to see what their day-to-day looks like and to gather other information for your job search.
    • Tailor your resume and cover letter to the jobs you want to apply for: Consider customizing your resume and cover letter to highlight your relevant skills, experiences, and accomplishments that align with the specific requirements of entry-level marketing roles you're interested in.
    • Prepare for interviews: Research the companies you're interested in applying to and be ready to discuss your passion for marketing, your relevant experiences, and how you can add value to the company. Tailoring your preparation to specific companies and roles may help to give you an edge.

    What to include on your resume if you're applying for marketing roles

    When applying for entry-level roles, it can be helpful to tailor your resume to specific jobs. Here are some things to consider including on your resume as you embark on applying for entry-level marketing roles.

    • Your education: For many of those applying for entry-level jobs, their most important credential will be their education. Make sure to feature this prominently, along with any relevant coursework you completed. Consider including your grade point average (GPA) if it's strong enough.
    • Relevant skills: Showcase any marketing-specific skills you may have, such as digital marketing, social media marketing, content creation, search engine optimization (SEO), market research, email marketing, and any proficiency you have with relevant tools and platforms.
    • Work experience: Detail any professional work experience you've had, including internships and part-time roles. Highlight specific accomplishments and responsibilities from any roles that you've held that demonstrate your marketing expertise and impact. Consider using action verbs to describe your achievements. For example: "Developed and executed social media campaigns" or "analyzed marketing data to optimize lead generation."
    • Achievements and awards: Highlight any relevant achievements you may have had in internships or previous roles or any awards you may have won (including awards from college).
    • Certifications and professional development: Include any relevant marketing certifications, professional development courses, or memberships to marketing organizations that you hold.

    Final thoughts

    Marketing is a diverse field – what one marketer does may differ significantly from another. Because of that, make sure to explore the various roles within marketing to narrow down where your interests lie as you apply for entry-level jobs.