How To Get a Marketing Job Without a Degree in 7 Steps
Updated December 12, 2022
If you're interested in a career in marketing, you may wonder if it's necessary to have a degree to get hired. While it can be more challenging, it's possible to get a marketing job without a degree by highlighting your in-demand skills rather than your education during the interview process. Knowing how to showcase your marketing skills to potential employers can help you find a position in this industry.
In this article, we describe some entry-level marketing jobs and explain how to get a marketing job without a degree to help you advance in your career.
What marketing jobs can you get without a degree?
A marketing job involves promoting a brand's products or services by engaging its target audiences. While some employers may prefer to hire marketers with an associate or bachelor's degree, others may consider professionals with comparable work experience or specialized skills. For example, many companies hire digital marketers who use techniques, like search engine optimization (SEO) and social media advertising, to connect with customers. You can often learn these skills by taking classes or becoming certified without earning a traditional marketing degree.
Here are some examples of entry-level marketing roles you may be able to get without a degree:
Media relations specialist
How to get a marketing job without a degree
Here are a few steps you can take to find a marketing job without a college degree:
1. Develop your skills
Before applying for jobs, focus on developing new skills that may be an asset in your marketing career. Use free websites to take online courses or complete tutorials on various marketing topics, such as digital communications or SEO marketing. Here are a few skills that are helpful for a career in marketing:
Communication: Most marketing jobs require the ability to write and communicate effectively so you can convey concepts to different audiences. You can practice writing and presenting information to build this skill.
Search engine optimization: These skills are in high demand because SEO can drive website traffic and help companies reliably connect with their target customers. There are many available online courses you can take to develop SEO skills.
Blogging: Many companies use blogs to share information with potential customers and drive website traffic. Consider creating your own blog, which you can share with prospective employers to highlight your writing skills and familiarity with best practices.
Graphic design: Many digital ads can benefit from images and graphic elements. Teaching yourself to use popular design programs can boost your resume and attract the attention of employers.
Email marketing: Understanding effective email marketing techniques can be a significant asset to marketing professionals. These skills include using mailing lists successfully, designing surveys and sending targeted content to audience segments.
Video creation and editing: Knowing how to film, compile and edit raw footage for advertising can also advance your marketing career. You can watch other video advertisements for inspiration and practice making your own using free programs or apps.
Social media marketing: Many businesses use social media marketing to engage with their customers. Consider learning skills that can help you boost customer engagement, improve sales and grow a brand's online following.
2. Research internships
It's helpful to enhance your resume by gaining experience in marketing fields. This experience could include internships or volunteer work to help you become more skilled in marketing techniques, such as research and data analysis. These positions can help you develop technical skills, including analyzing sales trends or evaluating customer feedback. Research both paid and unpaid internships to see if you qualify for those positions.
Some internships may require interns to be in college, but others may be more flexible. The connections you make while completing an internship can help you grow your network and find potential career opportunities.
Related: Learn About Being a Marketing Intern
3. Write a resume
It's important to write a new resume to highlight your marketing skills so you can show employers you're qualified for these roles. If you're still developing your marketing background, use your resume to showcase your software competencies and any relevant experience you may have in your volunteer or work history. For example, you may have volunteered for a community organization to create a newsletter or updated your company's social media pages to attract new followers.
One way to ensure prospective employers see your resume is to customize it specifically for your desired position. Use keywords from the job posting to highlight the exact skills an employer is seeking. As a marketing professional, remember that your resume is one of the best ways to market yourself to employers. Ensure your resume is easy to read and free of grammatical errors to show employers your excellent writing and communication skills.
4. Network with industry professionals
Networking is a significant part of the job search process, and now there are online and offline opportunities. One way for new marketers to network with industry professionals is by attending conferences or events coordinated by marketing organizations. Consider enrolling in a networking organization for marketing professionals to attend these events. You can also look for marketing groups on social media to learn from industry experts.
Use your network to identify open positions and learn the direct contact information for hiring managers. Many employers use applicant tracking systems to scan resumes using filters to look for qualifying information, such as education. For this reason, sending your resume directly to a decision-maker within a company can help ensure employers see your skills and qualifications.
5. Build a portfolio
When applying for marketing jobs, it's helpful to have an online portfolio you can show employers to demonstrate your skills and professionalism. Depending on the marketing position you're seeking, your portfolio may include text, video, images or audio on a website, which you can share with hiring managers. Your portfolio can be a collection of samples of your work to show your achievements to employers. You may add these features to your online portfolio:
Resume: Add a digital version of your resume to your portfolio website that features a list of your most recent work experience and relevant skills.
Contact information: Include your contact information, such as an email and phone number, on your website to make it easy for a recruiter or hiring manager to contact you after reviewing your work.
Testimonials from previous clients: If you've completed any marketing projects, even if they were volunteer opportunities, ask the clients to write testimonials for your online portfolio. Testimonials can reflect positively on you as a marketing professional.
Sample work: If available, upload and share sample work on your portfolio website. Use photographs, digital downloads or links to any marketing projects you've completed.
Social media channels: You can include links to those pages if you have professional social media channels. A hiring manager may want to see the content you share, so consider curating a social media feed of marketing updates to emphasize your passion for the industry.
Biography: Write a biography to create a webpage about yourself. You can include personal details, such as your favorite aspects of marketing and your career goals in the industry.
Related: 5 Tips To Create a Digital Portfolio
6. Earn a certification
If you don't have a marketing degree, earning a relevant certification can help show employers your knowledge and skills. Becoming certified in marketing can also highlight your commitment to learning and growing in the field. Search online for certifications you can earn in different areas of marketing, such as social media or data analysis. Choose a certification course based on your interests and the marketing specialty you want to pursue. Once you've earned the certification, highlight it on your resume and online portfolio.
7. Apply for jobs
You can apply for marketing jobs when you finish your resume and online portfolio. Use all available resources to find open positions, including online research and network connections. Look on virtual job boards and interact with marketing companies on social media to identify available positions. Research each job carefully and submit a resume tailored to the work and skills the job requires. Follow up with any applications through email and continue to develop and improve your marketing skills as you look for new positions.
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