How to get a marketing internship, even with no experience
For the last months, I took part in numerous selections for interns in marketing. I very often got surprised with something I noticed in the resumes or cover letters of the students who were applying to get a marketing internship.
This is not because the students often have no experience. Of course, most of them don't have. That's why internships matter so much, right? To get a first professional experience.
No, what disconcerted me the most is that to get a marketing internship, a lot of the students don't mention any small side-project or any interest linked to the marketing area. Nothing in their resume. Nothing in their cover letter either. It gave the sad and erroneous impression that because the candidate doesn't have any experience in marketing, the person doesn't have anything to tell at all.
Students, the truth is: even with no experience, you can get a marketing internship without so much trouble. But there are things you have to mention in your CV or cover letter. This article is made for you, to help in identifying what you can tell, to get a marketing internship even if you have no experience.
Searching for a marketing internship with no experience: 3 advantages
We were all there: in the middle or at the end of our studies, seriously starting to estimate how long it will take to get a first professional experience. Even finding an internship isn't easy; it depends a lot on your industry and your country, and sometimes on your network and your school reputation too. The good news is that to get a marketing internship, the journey is still relatively straightforward and relies on you a lot, in my opinion. It means you can influence the process.
Indeed, if you want to get a marketing internship, you are in a favorable context for 3 reasons:
Marketing exists from time immemorial in a way or another, but modern marketing is very new and is evolving all the time, especially regarding online marketing and all that is based on data (personalization, predictive analysis, etc.). Experience matters, but marketers having a marketing internship position available will appreciate a lot of profiles that show that they are curious and learning all the time. A lot of the marketing jobs of today didn't exist 10 years ago.
There is a lot of hands-on work in marketing: creating a banner, writing copy, launching a landing page... All this, you can test online without spending money at all, for example with free trials.
Marketers like other professionals give importance to the mindset and the personality of the student for an internship. So just show better who you are and you will already do a good part of the path.
However, despite a context that is rather open and positive, you have to work a bit on your resume and your cover letter to make it attractive and more concrete, so you can at least get an interview. Let me show you how with simple tips and tricks.
Marketing internship resume with no experience: my practical recommendations
Students, even with no experience, there are a lot of things you can add to your CV or cover letter to get a marketing internship. At the end of the day, marketing is one of the fields where it is easy to train one's self and learning by doing some small projects, without any money to invest in.
As a recommendation, here is what you can add to your resume:
1 > The marketing specialties you study at school. Don't list them all, only those that are linked to the internship offer like for example branding, online marketing, pricing, etc. This will give a more concrete feeling of your marketing knowledge to the recruiter.
2 > The marketing research or exercise you did in your studies, summed up on a one-pager. It can be a survey to measure the awareness of a brand, the analysis of a marketing campaign, or the new trends in social media. Providing an overview, you show that you can consolidate your learnings shortly and attractively, and show a bit of your marketing knowledge.
3 > Your social media account if you develop a consistent communication there (and only if you do and if the content is not purely related to private stuff). For example, imagine that you are a big fan of walking: if most of your posts are about this topic and that you developed several ways of promoting your passion on your social media account (with pictures, with quotes, etc.), then it may be worth to share the link in your resume and give a bit of background about your account, namely, what is your goal with it and how you do it.
4 > The URL of your blog, the reference to your podcast, etc. If you don't have any, you won't invent it. However, if you always wanted to write and never did it, it may be the right moment to test yourself... and mention your new experience in your resume. Indeed, when you start a blog or a podcast, or anything similar, you developed a lot of competencies that you can then list in your resume. Some examples: the creation of a concept, technical implementation with a selection of the tools, creation of content, interviews of specialists, promotion, etc. In itself, launching a media, as humble as it is, is very helpful to develop competencies in very different areas. It is a good way of checking what you like too.
5 > The Meet-up you take part in regularly. Students don't think about this enough but if you attend conferences, workshops, meetups, or any other events related to marketing on a steady basis, it means that you are curious and developing a network. So it is worth to be mentioned on your resume.
6 > The website you did for an association, your family, etc. Like with the blog, building a website is a very interesting project in itself. It doesn't matter if you built it for a tierce or yourself, and to what extent you were responsible for a special aspect or everything. What is important to show is that you are creative and able to get things done. This is priceless in marketing.
7 > Your role as an advisor when you gave advices to a relative regarding his communication. Marketing is much more than only communication. However, the communicational perimeter is a very good way to test yourself by providing feedbacks to others regarding the poster your friends created for a concert, the newsletter that your brother just launched, the website of the restaurant nearby, etc. If you can provide feedback regarding marketing communications, even if it is a bit informal, this is a small experience you can perfectly add to your resume. Don't make it bigger than it is, though.
8 > The top 3 of the marketing blogs you follow, or the brands you like, or examples of marketing campaigns you enjoy. Marketers like passionate people, so if you can show concretely that you are interested in marketing, you will become a more legitimate candidate, even with no experience.
9 > Some design, video, or copyrighting tests you do during your free time. There are a lot of tools available for free on the market so money is not a blocker at all.
As you see, even with no experience, if you follow some of these recommendations, you will increase considerably your chance to get a marketing internship. However, the cover letter is important too.
A marketing internship cover letter with no experience... but looking good
Your resume is definitively a key piece in your application to get a marketing internship. However, don't minimize the importance of your cover letter. Your letter gives a more personal touch to your application and it may help to get an interview, even though you don't have any experience.
Here is how in 2 recommendations:
1 > Be honest regarding the fact that you have no experience in marketing but underline that you want to learn. Curiosity and appetite for new knowledge have become very crucial for marketers in the last decade, so show that you have this mindset.
2 > Mention what aspect(s) of marketing is the most appealing for you (pricing, communications, media and channels, advertising, market, product marketing, branding, etc.). Marketing is a very vast territory nowadays, so just by mentioning what you like, you make clearer the type of tasks that the recruiter could give you. In the case, you don't know your favorite areas yet, simply say that you want to stay multidisciplinary for now. It is fine too.
As you see, it is simple. This won't guarantee you to get an interview, but this should help without a lot of effort.
With no experience (or with experience), your personality matters
In conclusion, no matter if it is for a marketing internship today or a marketing job tomorrow, you have to stand out. The best way of doing this is to show better your personality and provide some tangible piece the recruiter can rely on. The fact of having no experience is not a big blocker in itself if you are able that you have a real interest in marketing by showing facts, especially in your resume.
The recommendations I gave here are not much. But they can make a difference between getting a first internship interview or not. It means, between getting your first marketing internship or not. you don't even need money or special equipment. Your creativity, with a bit of time and talks to people, is just what you need.
Put all the chances on your side. From the beginning.
I hope it helps.