As a marketing major, there’s a lot of different routes you could take after graduation: advertising, sales, social media, analytics. The choices are endless, especially since marketing is now blending with communications, journalism and public relations. As a result, marketers are expected to have a wider skill set. As a senior graduating this spring, I’ve been trying to learn a ton of new programs and skills to make myself more marketable. But there is so much out there that could potentially be useful. So, I did the research and found some hard skills and resources that will be sure to help you land that dream job or internship!
Be a versatile writer.
Switching between different social media platforms, blog writing, press releases, and formal reports requires a versatile writer. Being able to switch your writing style to have it best suit your needs is an essential skill that employers look for. Take note of how you write on social media versus academic papers. There’s a big difference I’m sure. If your writing skills are a little shaky, the best thing you can do is to read as much as you can and practice. Write something everyday, even if it’s just an entry in your personal journal. If you want to get better at a specific type of writing (like press releases), read examples online. You’ll find yourself unconsciously copying the style in no time.
For more writing tips, check out this article on WordStream
Knowing the basics of Photoshop or another photo editing software is almost essential these days. I cannot tell you how many times a coworker has asked me to edit some invoices or design a graphic for social media (and I’m not even a graphic designer!). Trust me, if you have a quick edit you need to make on a picture, it’ll be so much quicker to do it yourself than to find someone who does know. Even if you don’t have Photoshop, there are plenty of similar editing softwares out there. Gimp is very similar to Photoshop and is also free.
Know the basics of graphic design.
Similar to knowing Photoshop, having an eye for design is also key. Design is one of the major ways that we connect with our audience. Knowing things like color theory, composition theory and typography helps to identify what parts of the design resonated with the consumer and made it stand out.
Have basic design specs on hand.
This is a super simple way to showcase your knowledge. Over the course of your career, you’ll probably have to request (or design!) a lot of content from social media ads to infographics. Knowing how much space you have to work with saves time and makes it easier on yourself. You don’t even have to memorize it! Check out this list compiled by CoSchedule and either bookmark the page or print it out for future reference.
Basic Coding Knowledge (HTML)
Coding may seem unessential and only used by web developers or computer programmers, but having a bare bones knowledge of HTML and CSS can set a marketer apart from the rest of the pack. Knowing the basics can help you to communicate with the development team, as well as help you to understand its limitations. This will help you to clearly communicate your vision and also enable you to fix minor errors by yourself. LinkedIn Learning has courses on HTML and CSS that you can use to learn more.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization” and is a great way to get your site ranked higher on search engines like Google. SEO can help raise traffic to a website, which really helps if you’re in the retail or e-commerce business. SEO is also free, making it a valuable tool to utilize. To read more about SEO and how it can help, check out this article from WordStream.
Google Analytics/Data Studio
Analyzing data and using that data to tell a story is a very common part of most traditional marketing jobs. One tool that’s used for collecting data on website traffic and visitors is Google Analytics. Google made learning the program relatively simple in their Google Analytics for Beginners program which allows marketers to get hands-on experience and learn how to extract the most useful insights from the program. Google Data Studio is also useful for transforming data into a visually engaging story and compiling a beautiful report. Try out the tutorial report to get started!
Setting SMART goals
Last but not least, knowing how to set goals for yourself and your projects is an essential skill to have. Sure, you could just write down something you want to accomplish but a good goal is one that is SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely). By using this format, you ensure that your goals are clear and reachable. Being able to set a good goal helps you stay on track with your work schedule and helps set a timeline for what you want to achieve.