Steven: I've got my degree
in communications. I did a summertime internship with a small firm near my
university. Now I'm trying to schedule interviews with larger agencies in
my home city. Do you have any tips for my first 'real world' job
interview? -- Best Regards, Feeling Fidgety
probably seen some of the prolific how-to's and books on preparing
winner resumes and job interviews. There are many excellent resources
right on the 'net for landing your entry-level job. I'll list some of
Of course you need to customize your
resume and presentation to the particular needs of the employer. Each
situation is different, and it will pay off if you treat each potential
employer with individualized care. Research an opportunity as much as
possible. Seek out company/officer profiles, news clips, past and
present company projects, current issues and events relating to an
Their bottom-line question will be: What
do you have to offer? Outline some of your own ideas, how you could
contribute, why you're just the right person for the job. If you had
some impressive results as an intern, wow your future employer with
examples. And if you can't win them with facts, dazzle them with dreams
-- after all, you are looking at a career in marketing where substance
is often secondary to style.
Here's my best
tip for a successful job interview: Keep it in mind, your
interviewers are likely as nervous about the interview process as you
are. They are putting themselves on the line with their hiring decision,
especially for a position so out-front as a marketing representative.
They are inviting a stranger into their "home," and that's
just plain scary. It is much easier to hire someone than it is to get
rid of them. Look at the interview committee across the table,
appreciate their apprehensions, and you will shine as you attempt to
assuage their own fears with reasons why you're the perfect fit (if
indeed you are). And if nothing else, by concerning yourself with the
worries of others, your own might be minimized.
are a few resources that might help:
Forecast on Marketing & Related Jobs
The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides extensive detail on
the outlook for marketers, including job prospects, qualifications
necessary, working conditions, pay and such.
TCareerBuilder is owned by Gannett Co., Tribune Co.,
McClatchy Co., and Microsoft Corp, and provides an authentic job
search service as 'the largest online job site in the US with over
1 million jobs offered to 23 million visitors each month.'
The InternshipPrograms.com database is a large dynamic collection
of internships available. Listings are listed and updated by the
actual employers ensuring the most recent and accurate
information. Search for internships by company name, location,
& International Marketing Organizations
An extensive listing of marketing and marketing-related
organizations located throughout the world, courtesy of the Chief
Marketing Officer Council.
Top domestic and international public relations firms.
Link directly to the company pages -- a great way to search for
jobs and internships, and learn about an agency's areas of
Keeping a lock on success takes an elusive key. Some say it's who
you know, others say it's what you know. I believe long-term
success is ultimately based on what you are. Hold a firm grasp on
your fundamental values as you dive into the work-a-day grinder. Your
employer will see it in your eye and respect it. (And the ones who don't
likely won't make good employers anyway.)
Good luck and career success!
- Steven R. Van Hook,
taught MBA and undergraduate marketing
communications courses for colleges and universities in the
United States and abroad for more than a decade, and
developed more than a dozen courses with an
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