Do You Have These 7 Marketing and Communication Skills Hiring Managers Struggle to Find?
While it is true that everyone (and their grandmother) has a Facebook account, not everyone knows how to use social media to meet corporate goals. And using Canva once or twice does not give you an eye for graphic design. The proliferation/democratization of such tools has flooded the applicant pool with marketing and communications professionals, but many do not possess the skills needed to stand out from the crowd. How many of these highly sought-after skills do you possess?
1. A knack for copywriting
Clear, consistent, and compelling are the “3 Cs” of copywriting. Are you able to take a dry and complicated topic—for instance, the need to purchase a certain type of insurance—and make it intriguing and persuasive? Not everyone can “translate” information from a subject-matter expert and make it digestible for the layperson. If you have this ability, be sure your work portfolio highlights your talents, and remember that today’s copywriters are responsible for everything from 280-character tweets to multi-page whitepapers.
2. A good sense of grammar and style
We are not talking about The Devil Wears Prada-type of style; we are talking about Associated Press or Chicago. And how comfortable are you with commas? In today’s world, many students graduate without ever having diagrammed a sentence, but spell-checks and grammar-checks are no substitute for being a strong proofreader with a firm grasp of grammar rules. Your cover letter and resume are your first opportunities to showcase your abilities in this area.
3. Social media prowess
If you want a career in marketing and communications, you cannot “give up” social media, no matter how much it might improve your mental health. This industry requires you to participate in social media and keep up with the latest trends. Not only do you need to understand how each platform works and what types of messages are most effective on each, but you also need to have an eye for the latest viral trends and potentially find ways to latch on to them. You do not want to miss the next ice bucket challenge, for example.
4. Video editing skills
“Let’s just make a quick video on that” is something marketing and communications professionals hear all the time. Sadly, a “quick video” is somewhat of a unicorn. Those TikTok stars are spending a lot of time on content creation, with a heavy side of video editing. Being able to edit your own videos in Adobe Creative Suite or another software platform will definitely help you stand out from the crowd.
5. Graphic design chops
In the olden days, a copywriter could rely on their graphic design colleagues to manage photos, illustrations, and layouts. But today’s world of slashed budgets and an always-on social media culture that demands an image or GIF for nearly every post has writers and project managers finding themselves designing some of their own reports and social media assets. Set yourself apart from the crowd by understanding what a brand style guide is. If your new organization does not have one, make creating one the first order of business.
6. Project management and budgeting skills
Unless you’re going to work for a large corporation or agency, you will likely find yourself playing the role of project manager in addition to creative. This flexes a separate set of brain muscles than copywriting or graphic design. Stand out by showing your ability to set a project timeline, identify and allocate necessary staffing resources, and develop and stick to a project budget.
7. Data analytics experience
In the days of marketing yesteryear, you had to wait a few weeks to see if your direct mail piece was going to move the needle. Not so in today’s digital world. Marketing metrics are available almost instantaneously, and generally you can adjust your strategy on the fly in response to real-time data. The ability to navigate Google Analytics, understand email marketing statistics, and sift through social media data to identity trends and develop action plans will raise your stock as a candidate.
Marketing and communications is increasingly a 24/7 field. You never know what curveball someone in your target audience will throw your way. But with the right skills in your lineup, you will be prepared to hit a home run.