How I landed a Graduate Job in Marketing

I landed myself a graduate job in Marketing pretty much straight after I left university.

I know right? Those aren’t words said very often, especially in these times. Also just to clarify, I had to undergo an unpaid (yet very valuable) internship before I moved on to full-time employment. It’s always a topic of conversation when meeting acquaintances. ‘Ahh, are you looking for a job then?’ with a look of pity, and they often seem quite surprised when I say ‘[bitch] I have one already’.

marketing, PR, public relations, graduate job, graphic design, how to get a graduate job

Here’s a little history…

Firstly, it took a lot of hard work. Throughout university, I was constantly working on upcoming projects, societies and actively took a role in the Student’s Union. I went to Bangor University, not Oxford, so I wasn’t a straight A sixth-form student. I am an English Literature graduate (2.1) and spent honestly more time on stuff outside of my studies in the final year, as I knew it would be more valuable – harsh, but true. I scraped a 2.1, but I fully intended on that in some ways, because who cares about the percentage grade of your degree? As you can see, I’m not exactly the spokesperson for academia. Shit went down in my first year and so did my grades with it, but I put my energy (what little I had) into various projects and things I was passionate about and giving the middle finger to an abusive relationship.

I should probably get on to how I got a job in Marketing…

  1. Know the specifics of what you want to do

    Don’t get me wrong, not a lot of people know what they want to do with their life. But if you’re not planning on doing a masters, it might be good to think about what you want to do. Yes it’s daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Marketing is a really broad topic. Social Media, PR and graphic designers are all mingled in with it as a soup of advertising. They are all related and I can’t stress this enough. Make a list of what you enjoy doing in Marketing, and find a job type that you think would be suitable for you. Would you prefer freelance, self-employed or 9-5 hours? These are all the questions to ask yourself. Do you prefer graphic design or writing content for companies?

  2. But do have a bit of knowledge in everything:

    Learning the basics of photoshop, indesign if you can. Improve on them. Buy books on copywriting, advertising fundamentals etc. A good way is to start analysing brands you admire. Have a particular love of Apple or Louis Vuitton? Figure out why you do, it all ties into Marketing. Steve Jobs is well known for brilliant marketing techniques and this is the reason Apple is the brand it is. You start noticing how integral marketing and advertising is to our world. Being both broad and specific is obviously a difficult thing, but my main point is, specialise in what YOU’RE interested in and the other stuff have a basic understanding.

  3. ‘If you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours’ mentality

    I didn’t just fall into this job. I had to do numerous internships and take up opportunities as I see them. Most people aren’t willing to pay interns, because they want to see if they’re any good or not. But at the same time, you’re boss shouldn’t be an arsehole about you having a life outside your internship. Basically, if you can show that you’re good; paid opportunities will open up in time. If you help them out, they’ll help you out.

  4. Make your own opportunities

    This is probably the most important point I’ll add. I could have a rant about how graduates need ‘experience’ for basic internships, but I won’t. I’ve actually only ever landed 2 internships technically, internships I’ve applied for with a CV that is. But I have created my own experiences. Think a local business would really benefit from social media? Ask the owners if they’re interested in you developing a campaign for them for free (then later paid). Then once you get an initial connection with a business, it just grows and grows. I didn’t find an English Literature society that suited my student life, so I founded one.

  5. Have an interesting CV and scrap Microsoft word

    Ever noticed how most CVs are written in word format. If you can use photoshop and indesign, why the hell are you writing your CV in word? People do judge a book by its cover, especially if it’s in marketing. Make a CV that will catch their eye. Hint: many interviewers don’t even read past the first page, get dat cover letter down. Here are a few CV’s I found that are seriously cool and will hopefully inspire you

Whilst we’re on the subject, do put your blog on your CV, it looks good. It does take time to find a graduate job that will suit you, a combination of being lucky (after being unlucky for so many years) and working really hard.

E x


I’m Eleanor, a UK Manchester based Lifestyle & Beauty Blogger. I write about beauty products, feminism, mental health and my adventures in the big city of MCR.