Liz WallaceThis is a guest blog by Elizabeth Wallace, who attended a seminar I gave to undergraduates last week at Keele University about getting into marketing.

As a marketing virgin with aspirations of making it big in the world of PR and posters, I attended Paul Kirby’s talk on “Three Things You Need To Know To Get A Job In Marketing” bright eyed, bushy tailed and unprepared for the harsh realities I was about to face. Octopus PR’s founder delivered a crash course in what he likes to call “smart marketing” to the keen marketers of Keele. This was consolidated into three short, sharp blasts of knowledge:

ACCURACY

This self-diagnosed dyslexic, with distaste for both proofreading and spellcheck, was savagely disheartened by this first tip to say the least. However, discovering that Paul disposes of an application and/or article with even the slightest grammatical error inspired me to check, check, check and double-check this review for such blunders!

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

We were exposed to a letter from an applicant that used the address “Sir”. Acceptable, you may think? WRONG! Accordingly, it is a polite masking of ignorance and a lack of research that will get your submission no further than the paper shredder. Uh-oh, lesson learned that I need to start setting aside time to delve through websites to identify my recipient by name, as I am guilty of “CC-ing” all potential employers into an email containing my CV, beginning with “Dear Sir/Madam”.

BE CREATIVE

The use of several ambitious examples like Matthew Epstein’s YouTube appeal to Google for a position in their product marketing team (well worth a watch) and a Keele marketing graduate’s website demonstrated how far applicants will go to secure a career in marketing and how even the most ludicrous of ideas can be successful! Making your mark is evidently important and Paul’s method of conveying this definitely broadened my horizons.

To my surprise all of the aforementioned recommendations seemed fairly obvious yet the well- selected practical illustrations ratified the gravity of what a simple mistake can do to your marketing career. Concluding the scare-fest was a “So, you’re over the first hurdle” exercise, encouraging us to cleanse our social media sites and disregard most previous CV presentation advice and display them in imaginative ways. Overall, the talk was, for me, exceedingly informative and opening my eyes to a new potential in the realm of marketing.