Market research offers plenty of opportunities which are great for recent graduates who already possess many of the eligible skills.
Here are some of our top tips to land your first role:
If you have an area that you are interested in, great! But the good news is, there are plenty of paths to take, so it is always useful to explore various avenues before you become set on one idea. A good place to start is by identifying where your skills lie. Being particularly good with numbers suggests a quantitative route, whereas interests in behaviours and cultures may make qualitative research more appealing to you. Then, keep up with industry goings-on, especially in your specialisms. Maybe you have a strong focus in automotive or retail. You may be able to identify areas you would like to work in and the top employers offering roles in this field.
Extra Tip: Do not be afraid to take on more generalist roles. These will help you gain experience and develop your skills.
Strengthen your skillset, knowledge, and CV! Are there any grey areas? Take the initiative to learn more about them. It is worth noting that many agencies will have a blog or articles published on industry websites. Reading them will help you understand a company’s perspective on topical matters. Research Live, Greenbook, ESOMAR and Marketing Week are also great resources to look at. You will learn a lot about trends, new marketing strategies and best practices while showcasing how active you are to prospect employers.
Extra Tip: Apply this information during your application to demonstrate your knowledge, enthusiasm, and passion for the role, specifically during the interview stage by discussing some of your own evidence-based perspectives.
Network, network, network. Thanks to the digital world, networking no longer needs to be done in its traditional forms. Being able to do it directly from your sofa means there is no excuse! Connect with industry professionals and seek their expertise. How did they get into market research? What does their typical working week look like? What courses would they recommend? The more you know, the better. These contacts may prove useful now and in the future. Who knows, they may be able to point you in the direction of an employer who is hiring. Showcasing your interests and ambitions is never a bad thing.
Get started as soon as you can, even if you have not found a suitable employer yet. Work placements are a great way to gain real-world experience in the junior stages, even if they are only small-time gigs. And they may make it clearer the path you want to pursue. Do previous mentors or connections know of any projects you could assist? Put your skills out there. It is the perfect way to get your foot in the door and gain further insight into the industry. While exercising your marketing skills shows other employers you are pro-active. You can prove your capabilities, learn more about yourself and stay occupied between your job searches.
Extra Tip: Remember to always look at what you create with a professional mindset. What value does this add to the audience? What research did you do to prove your strategies?
A CV does not always showcase our capabilities or tell our true story. Connect with experts, follow blogs, and interact on social media. Build a professional profile on LinkedIn and consider if having a website will make you stand out further. This is a great way to show how passionate you are about the work you produce. Employers want to see evidence of your understanding. An understanding that is specific to market research, rather than traditional marketing. This could include informative videos, published articles or even case studies showcasing your latest successes. Demonstrate your skill sets and impress potential employers!
What skills do you possess that translate well into a market research role? You might not have full-time experience, but that does not mean you do not have the transferable skills to be successful. Maybe it was skills gained from part-time work or on a course project. Focus on the skills you have and how they match the ones emphasised in job descriptions then purposely highlight these in your CV, Cover Letter and during the interview stage.
You do not need to know everything. Showcase the work you have done to develop yourself and why particular employers will provide the perfect opportunity for you to learn more. Even professionals with years of experience have to be open to growing. There is always more to learn, especially in a fast-paced sector that is always changing. Often, they will look past the CV focusing on ethos, passion for the company and industry. So, bringing as much industry knowledge as you can to the interview stage is often more impressive. After all, companies will hire the person behind the CV not the CV itself.
Tell us how you implement some of these tips. And get in touch with us if you would like further assistance in finding your perfect Market Research role!