This article was written by an external contributor. Katherine Sayer talks about how you can use the extra-curricular activities you love to help you land that dream marketing job…
Without a degree in business or advertising, it can seem impossible to put together a competitive CV for a career in marketing. We get that some parts of your schedule can’t really be rearranged, such as studying and sleeping. And this means that can seem tempting to abandon your extra-curricular activities in order to gain some precious time to enhance your resumé through work experience and the like.
While it is definitely valuable to have time to focus on your career, abandoning your hobbies is a high price to pay. As the catch phrase in marketing goes – it’s all about thinking outside the box. So, think outside the box with these steps you can take to add to your marketing CV using the power of extra-curricular activities:
If the theatre is your passion, there’s no need to take a final curtain call in order to prioritise your career. Drama and marketing often go hand in hand. Take on a role as a producer for a student play and you’ll be responsible for advertising the production to the student body. This could be on social media or through physical poster and leafleting campaigns. The experience you’ll gain is identical to the experience level coveted by marketing firms in the real world, and is a great way to contribute to your passion while gaining transferable skills.
Alternatively, you could take on a role as a designer or costume maker, using your creativity to produce a marketable aesthetic according to the specific brief of the script. This is just the same way an advertising agency might use a brief from a client to produce an advert in the real world of marketing. Even directors are showing their ability to respond thoughtfully and creatively to a brief. So if drama is what you love, looking backstage can do your CV a world of good.
Whatever sport you play, the likelihood is that at university level your team will need a social secretary. There’s no need to ditch the pitch. You can continue playing exactly as before, but with the added responsibility of helping to organise socials and events, whether this is fundraisers, drinks events, or even curry nights.
The experience you’ll gain in managing logistics, overseeing events and liaising with venues on behalf of a brand will stand you in good stead for a career in marketing. Most marketing roles often involve organising events, and let’s be honest, this is the only way you can ever put arranging a lads night out on your CV. For a more involved role, most sports teams will also have a treasurer, who will be responsible for helping to organise sponsorship, so assisting the treasurer in their bid to gain sponsors might be a strong way to demonstrate your ability to liaise with potential clients professionally.
The majority of student charities operate on a smaller scale than national charities, but this doesn’t mean you can’t apply the same business model. Big charities like Oxfam have entire departments devoted to social media marketing, which may sound daunting. But acting as the media officer for a charity on a student level is likely to involve scheduling posts on Twitter and Facebook, and possibly helping to organise the odd promotional campaign. This voluntary experience in social media marketing will stand out on your CV as well as helping those in need. Who knew that Instagram could be good for charity AND good for your job prospects?
Yes, I know what you’re thinking. But clubbing could (potentially) be good for your CV. This is mostly because the majority of clubs in student cities are just venues playing host to club nights organised by events companies. These events companies operate just like any other events or marketing agency. The crucial difference is that rather than promote their events through corporate advertising, they will often advertise on the ground within the student community – through so-called “reps”. By applying to be a rep, not only do you enhance your knowledge of event promotion and targeted advertising, but you will also (often) get free club tickets. That sounds like a win from our perspective.
So, whether you’ll be dancing your way to your dream job at a marketing firm or acting your way into advertising, the proof is in the pudding. If you think outside the box, you really can enhance your resumé through your day-to-day hobbies. Don’t give up your day job, it just might get you your dream job further down the line.