You already have your sights set on your dream job in marketing – great! So, what do you need to do to get there? Read on for some must-do and next level actions you can take to build your network, skills and brand and start making your dream job a reality.
Expand Your Network
Must-Do: Make Your Advisor an Ally
Between their personal connections and professional contacts, your DECA advisor has a pretty solid network. So, help them help you as you build your own! Set up time with your advisor to share your marketing career plans. Let them know you’re looking to grow your network in the field and ask if there is someone they could connect you with to get started. Your success is their success, and they will be happy to help you make connections!
Next Level: Set Up Informational Interviews
It may be too early to interview for your dream job, but that doesn’t mean you can’t interview someone who’s currently in it! Use LinkedIn to find people who work in the industry or job you desire and reach out to ask if you could have 15-30 minutes of their time to learn about their career path. Most successful people are willing to share their experiences, especially with ambitious students. Make sure to prepare a list of thoughtful questions in advance and follow-up with a thank you note – bonus points if it’s handwritten!
Build Your Skills
Must-Do: Skill-Up Online (for free!)
Most marketing professionals will tell you that working in the field requires non-stop learning to keep up with the latest trends and techniques. So, why not get started now? Gain skills in some of the latest marketing tools through free courses from Google Skillshop, HubSpot Academy or Facebook Blueprint. Or head to Coursera for free courses on marketing strategy, entrepreneurship and other business topics.
Next Level: Schedule a Job Shadow
When it comes to landing your dream job, nothing beats first-hand experience. While you may be learning new skills at your job or internship, you can also gain perspective from a few levels up through job shadowing. As you build your network through informational interviews, ask your interviewee if they would be open to having you shadow them for an afternoon so you can see a day in the life of your dream job. You’ll be surprised how many say yes!
Develop a Personal Brand
Must-Do: Set Up Your LinkedIn Profile + Resume
Creating a solid resume and LinkedIn profile are the first steps towards building your personal brand. Start with LinkedIn—the templated profile format will help you organize your thoughts. Be sure to check out decadirect.org for tips on writing your profile. Then, reuse that content to write your resume! Keep your resume layout simple and easy to update by finding a template online or asking your advisor for a sample. To make sure you’re always ready for the next opportunity, schedule a reminder to update your resume and profile every quarter as you gain more experience in work, school and DECA.
Next Level: Promote Your Personal Point-of-View
Top employers are interested in candidates that show passion and perspective around their work, so start sharing yours now! As you complete more marketing classes and DECA projects, you’ll create plenty of presentations that are prime for sharing and building your professional brand. Use your LinkedIn profile to publish your papers, projects and presentations, and make sure you create a post about them to share what you learned and seek feedback. You never know what will catch the attention of someone at your dream company!
If you have your heart set on a marketing dream job, don’t wait to start making it a reality; get started today!