Alright grads, soon-to-be grads or young professionals; we get a lot of questions about what to bring to an interview or what to submit when you really want that call. Gone are the days of print portfolios…but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring something to showcase, more than likely the individuals interviewing you are big fans of printed stuff. They probably still have a printer at home. Use your online portfolio to get the interview and then blow them away with a nice marketing piece featuring you, in person.
Show Your Personality
We’ve been preaching it for over a decade: business is not black and white. Underneath that one professional’s bland, corporate exterior is a real person with unique hobbies and interests *gasp.* We want to read your story and see your pictures to get a sense of your personality – whether it’s you sitting behind a plate of delicious food, reading your favorite book, or hiking a mountain (whew, go you); give a potential employer something to relate with on a personal level. Bonus points if it’s a picture of you and a dog (a rescue dog – don’t be a dick).
This one is a bit more obvious. You should always include a downloadable PDF version of your resume on your website (make sure to create an ATS-friendly one). The one-page resume rule no longer applies, as an employer, we welcome resumes longer than one page, as long as they’re relevant. Share your experience with quantifiable accomplishments, skills, certifications, extracurriculars, and volunteer involvement. Skip the purpose statement – those are really dumb.
When choosing your work to showcase, remember to keep it simple and relevant. You don’t need to show everything you ever done and overwhelm your future employer (we’re optimistic for you). We don’t care what you did in college. You want to pick strong pieces that are on brand for the company you’re applying to. We love anything that shows personality, so throw in some swear words, our favorite begins with an ‘f.’
In the world of marketing, learning doesn’t stop once you graduate. Our industry is changing daily, whether it’s Zuckerberg messing with us or Musk screwing around with Twitter or space, you need to stay on top of trends to be good at your job. If you want to stand out among your peers, write on a recent industry trend and share your thoughts. Showing you really understand design, PR, writing, digital, etc. will blow a potential employer away.
We know you’ve got a few letters of recommendation on hand, pulll out some quotes from them and sprinkle throughout your online portfolio or add to your printed resume. Having someone else sing your praises is a hell of a lot more impactful than you tooting your own horn.
What have you been up to? Did you attend a seminar, workshop, networking event? Employers want to know what you’re doing to give back or stay involved with your industry. Here is our push to go to an American Marketing Association, PRSA, AIGA or other professional association meeting. Investing in your network is necessary.
It’s really not hard to stand out among other applicants, demonstrate your knowledge, commitment to learning, dogged determination and your personality.
P.S. We’re hiring for a few good peeps. Check it out.