9 Things Every Marketing Graduate Should Know

2020 was a tough year to graduate in but now, with multiple vaccines approved, 2021 is looking brighter for prospects. Considering this and its possibilities for graduates we have spoken to 9 different marketing professionals and asked what they have learned throughout their career that would help marketing graduates moving forward.


  1. When applying for jobs; do your research on the company and tailor each application to the relevant job spec and company.  Be creative – perhaps include a video of yourself or something that makes you memorable amongst the droves of other applicants. If you don’t hear back, remember many companies are in ‘Covid times’, so be patient – but definitely follow up. A phone call (or even a physical CV in the post) goes a long way these days as hiring managers are constantly bombarded with email applications.

Your interview will most likely be online so make sure your camera and microphone are working properly, and again think about your background for the call – what will make you stand out? Lastly, do your research on trends in your industry, join business organisations relevant to your field (i.e. The Marketing Institute) and take part in webinars/instalives etc. to stay informed.

–       Judy Hopkins, Partner at integrated marketing communications agency Hopkins Communications.


  1. During my career I learned that nobody knows everything! Don’t beat yourself up if you feel your expertise is lacking in one area of marketing. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice or help, as that’s the best way to learn new things. The world of marketing is ever evolving, so take some time every week to discover new approaches or strategies. Follow some dedicated marketing social media accounts or sign up to email newsletters to get daily tips so you’re ahead of the game for both your business and your personal career development!

– Rebecca Noonan, Digital Content Manager and Marketing Executive at Corks RedFM


  1. Make sure to always ask questions, enhance your practical knowledge and aim to understand the strategic initiatives behind marketing activities that you are involved in.

I always advise marketers to have a little black book. This is a notebook that will be your secret weapon where you document all of your learnings; be it a piece of advice from your manager, key take outs from an article, book or academic paper or something that resonated with you from a podcast or webinar. Make sure to revisit this regularly and you will be surprised how it will help develop your marketing acumen and aid you to successfully make valuable contributions in the workplace.

– Holly Barry, Brand Strategist at Barry Group


  1. The fundamental requirement of your job is to make your boss’ job easier. Anticipate what is needed, come up with new ideas and execute them well. If you think you know a better way of doing something, suggest it! Just because it is the way they have done things for 100 years, does not mean things can’t be improved. A good team listens to all opinions in the room.                                                                                                                                   – Sarah Malone, Marketing Manager UK and Ireland at The IRONMAN Group


  1. When working in marketing you must be able to differentiate between branding and advertising, as the company’s brand and tone need to be developed correctly in order to have a higher return on advertising. You can achieve this by understanding your target audience, creating good copy and shareable social media posts to establish trust for the brand and then researching and calculating the ROI for the medium you intend on advertising with such as, Print, Radio, Digital, Social Media, etc. Make sure to invest in good graphic design and images as this is crucial to the brands image and remember to show your interest and passion in the marketing campaigns you create.

– Anna Foster, Director/Co-Founder of Limelight Media


  1. Always be testing & and don’t be afraid to fail. Digital Marketing allows you to create content fast, get feedback quickly & see what works best with your audience. So, whether you’re working on organic content or ad campaigns don’t be afraid to try different things, just make sure to measure the results. If it didn’t work you learned something, if it did, keep testing to improve on it.

– Mark Flavin, Director at Cliq Media & Marketing


  1. Ask yourself what you want out of your career in the long term & set smaller short-term milestones to reflect this in your first year of working. Continue this personal development plan throughout your career. You will be amazed by the amount you have achieved in a short period of time.

– Méabh Brady, SuperValu Format Development and Local Marketing


  1. Don’t underestimate the benefits of networking and building up relationships.
    You never know when someone will come in handy to a project you are working on or for some advice. Likewise, you never know when you will be of benefit to them. Be open to attending networking or industry events (even online), reach out on social media and just get to know people.

– David Doyle, Brand and Business Development Manager at Velo Coffee Roasters, Marketing Consultant and Lecturer.


  1. Surround yourself with like-minded people, attend local networking events and connect with industry leaders on social media platforms in the marketing sector. I found this to be an important way to learn from my peers and to build a great contact list.  I would also suggest finding a mentor you can learn from. I have had some fantastic mentors over the years and their experience is always invaluable.

– Shane Murphy, Owner at PLAY Creative Agency