Getting The Job

Choose the right job

Yesterday’s article gave tips on how to prepare for your first job. Once you have a clear direction and strategy in place, the next step is to focus on choosing the right first marketing and mass communications job.

This involves finding out about the various entry-level jobs available, their functions, challenges and the traits required for each position.

Here are 10 positions that fresh marketing and mass communications graduates can consider:

1 Marketing executive

This is a typical position for new business and marketing graduates. You will be part of the marketing arm of an organisation, and be in charge of planning and executing marketing activities.

There are largely two types of marketing positions: marketing and marketing communications, often referred to as “marcom”.

In marketing, you look at the entire process and explore pricing, distribution, products and promotional issues. In marcom, the scope is mainly on utilising the advertising and promotions budget and how to formulate an integrated marketing communications plan for your company’s products and services.

You need to be creative, resourceful and able to handle stress. You need to have strong communications and presentation skills, be outgoing and relate very well with people.

2 Account servicing executive

In the advertising world, account servicing executives (known in the trade as “suits”) are people who manage a client’s advertising portfolio.

They look into their clients’ advertising needs and work with a creative team to develop the creative concepts, branding strategy and plan. They also work closely with media planners, buyers and traffic executives, so good people skills are a must.

The work is fast-paced and demanding. If you enjoy a less bureaucratic environment, agency life can be fun as you will be surrounded by creative and free-spirited people.

3 Public relations executive

As a PR executive, you look at public relations initiatives to build corporate reputations, employee relations, government relations, crisis communications, media relations and so on.

A job with a public relations agency hones your skills as a broad-based PR practitioner, as you will learn about the multi-faceted issues faced by different industries. You will also work with many stakeholders like the media, governments, NGOs and corporations.

4 Journalist

As a journalist, you will be expected to meet deadlines and to cover stories assigned by the news editor. A good journalist needs to be objective, conscientious, resourceful yet critical in his or her work.

There are many types of journalists — print, broadcast, Internet, radio — all of whom have different work demands and newsroom styles.

You must have a thorough understanding of current affairs and news. Other traits include a nose and eye for a story, emphasis on accuracy, impartiality and the passion for the truth.

5 Assistant producer

The primary role of a television producer is to control all aspects of production, which range from idea development for shows and cast hiring to shoot supervision, fact-checking and overall quality.

Fresh graduates will start as assistant producers. The entertainment industry moves at a very fast pace and an effective producer must have time and resource management skills and the ability to work with multiple stakeholders.

6 Event executive

As an event executive, you will help your clients plan their company events, which may vary from the annual dinner and dance or staff family day to high-level events like forums, exhibitions and road shows.

You will work with partners like performers, lighting and sound people, advertising agencies and contractors. Your basic task is to ensure that the event goes well and to minimise hiccups as much as possible. Multi-tasking is a desired trait.

7 Customer service support executive

As the name implies, customer service staff provide front-line customer support, particularly for feedback and complaints. You will need to follow your company’s standard operating procedure on how customers’ feedback and complaints are channelled, resolved and taken into consideration for further improvement.

8 Market research executive

Market research executives collect, analyse, interpret and present information to explore the potential market for a product or service. This may involve organising surveys or opinion polls, analysing statistics and/or negotiating with clients.

You’ll need excellent organisational, report writing and presentation skills, as you have to present the findings to both managers and clients.

9 Social media expert

This industry is still new but there are a few social media companies that provide Internet-related services to help clients better manage their online marketing strategies. If you have a strong interest in social media, start at a young start-up social media company.

10 Entrepreneur

If you are prepared to take the risk, start your own business, perhaps providing marketing-related services to professionals in this industry.

The risk is high, but with perseverance and determination, the rewards are worth the effort you put in. - Source: Singapore Straits Times/Asia News Network

Article by Dennis Toh, a publicist with Flaunt PR & Communications.