Best Marketing Advice For Recent Graduates

100 Marketing Experts Share Their Career Wisdom

Best Marketing Advice – 100 expertsOn the MetroNorth railroad, heading back to Grand Central, I gave my two cents regarding how to get into marketing to a recent graduate seated opposite me.

I recommended spending time on social media to understand how businesses use it to achieve business objectives (as opposed to using it to socialize) and starting a blog.

To supplement this advice, I pulled a notepad out of my backpack and jotted down a few books and resources.

While I’ve taught a lot of graduate marketing students, I later wondered if I had given her the best advice. So I reached out to a diverse group of marketers and asked the following:

  • What is your BEST piece of advice for college graduates looking to get into marketing, PR or social media?
  • It’s really simple. You don’t need to put this aside and think about it. Just your quick answer along with your name, company, bragging rights.
  • Only 1-5 sentences. Whatever you think is appropriate. It can be your words of wisdom or a blog or a book.

Based on my request, here’s a content curation roundup post of the BEST marketing career wisdom from 100 global marketing experts.

Their collective insights break into 5 major categories:

  1. Job search recommendations and tactics. These suggestions encompass a combination of general job seeking strategies and detailed tips.
  2. Life advice. This guidance applies more broadly than getting your next position.
  3. Marketing in general. These tidbits approach marketing with a capital M.
  4. Social media skills. These experts focused on the power of various social media platforms.
  5. Content marketing experience. These marketing suggestions encompassed content marketing as well as other writing related skills.

10 of The best marketing advice tips

To whet your appetite for more, I’ve culled 10 tips that represent the depth and breadth of knowledge included in this Best Marketing Advice For Recent Graduates.

  1. If you got into communications because you were told there would be no math, unfortunately you were misled. Jay Baer – Convince & Convert and New York Times best-selling author of Youtility
  2.  [T]he secret to getting ahead is aligning your career mission, your passions and personal motivations with a skill that businesses are looking for. Aside from that, just show up with a good attitude, remember that little things matter (like sending “thank you” and other follow-up emails!), and try to learn as much as you can. Michael Brenner – Head of Strategy, Newscred
  3. …[M]y advice is, be young, be broke, be hungry, but work as closely as you can to the part of the business you want in on.  … Also, call your mother often. Josh Chasin – Chief Research Officer – comScore
  4. On any job, be 100% present until you decide not to be … [and] [n]o moment of anger or frustration is worth the negative long-term impact it can have on your own marketability. Stephanie Fierman – Global CMO, MediaCom Worldwide
  5. Actually try to sell something using social media channels. Danny Iny – Founder/CEO, Firepole Marketing and author of Engagement From Scratch!
  6. Always be problem solving! Don’t think about how to be a “cool” marketer. Think about how you can help. Carrie Kerpen – Likeable
  7. Don’t treat your first job as a lifelong commitment. Michael Kolowich – KnowledgeVision
  8. Master the art of writing, storytelling and language, as this is the future (and the present) of marketing and PR. Cathy McPhillips – Content Marketing Institute
  9. Stay humble, always be willing to do the job no one wants, and never underestimate the power of getting into the office a half hour before everyone else. Peter Shankman – ShankMinds
  10. Never lose your passion. Passion fuels your energy. It’s what keeps you moving forward, what shapes who you are. Ekaterina Walter – CMO, Househappy and author of Think Like Zuck and co-author of The Power of Visual Storytelling

Best Marketing Advice For Recent Graduates

As a recent graduate, look not only at their advice but also what these experienced marketers chose to brag about. In some ways, this is more insightful than their words of wisdom. It shows what they think is important about what they’ve accomplished to-date.

Across these 100 pearls of the best marketing advice for recent graduates, there are 5 key themes that resonate. Given the breadth of collective knowledge, it’s worth your time to consider them whether you’re a recent graduate looking to break into the field or an experienced practitioner.

1. Know math, statistics and data analysis. Being a marketing geek is sexy.

2. Polish your writing skills by blogging and telling stories. Writing is every marketer’s job, not just creatives.

3. Get out and network. The clear message: The strength of your relationships matters. Do it via social media and in real life.

4. Build your personal brand. You need to stand out from the pack when you’re seeking a job. Position yourself for the long run doing what you’re passionate about.

5. Just do it. Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity. Get out and start being part of a team. Not in your dream job? Don’t gripe. Find a way to get the experience you need to get it.


Set life goals. Include everything, not just your career. Your life is a canvas waiting for you to act.

Dream big and act small. Take the job you can get.

Don’t wait—start now!!

What marketing advice would you give to recent college graduates and why? As a recent college graduate, what do you feel you need to succeed as  a marketer?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

PS. This post was originally published on July 14, 2014.



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