Strengths Weaknesses • Seeks the theoretic knowledge and practical skills found in college-trained candidates • Entry level positions expect knowledge in several areas of marketing • Job growth is strong in most of Ontario • Job future is very good in the area • Sales is often thought to be synonymous with marketing, making a job search more difficult
• Job postings are often mis-categorized (as above) • Agencies may expect specialization in a certain area (and my program is integrated) Opportunities Threats • Quickly changing field means lots of opportunity for professional development • Marketing jobs are also looking for design skills • Aspects of the marketing field are integrated (just like the IMC program) • Digital advances change the field rapidly
• Other graduates in my program will also be looking for work • Graduates in other marketing programs will be looking for work • My skills could become outdated quickly as new technologies are adopted in marketing • Conestoga may not be as well-known or as well-respected outside of Waterloo Region
Personal SWOT Analysis
Strengths Weaknesses • I have a background working with non-profit organizations • I have experience working in destination marketing and tourism organizations • I have sales experience • I am highly creative • I love puzzles and am a methodical problem solver • I have an English degree that developed my critical thinking and analytical abilities • I am a strong team leader who can handle personal conflicts between team members • I understand marketing concepts and have the ability to apply them
• I have a strong technical knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite and am skilled in Dreamweaver, Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop • I have a strong work ethic and can work under pressure • I am organized, methodical, and love setting up and working from to-do lists • My planning and digital experience is limited to volunteer or in-school projects and may be disregarded by prospective employers • I find it hard to be motivated on lengthy or complex tasks without clear benchmarks of success • I need to take time to establish checkpoints which may delay the start of a project • I require time to break down ideas into tangible tasks
• I’m not as invested in others emotionally • Sometimes my work ethic turns into unrealistic expectations for others’ level of work Opportunities Threats • I can leverage my design principles, design aesthetic and program knowledge as an advantage for an employer • I have volunteer experience as a social media coordinator and as an event planner and have gained real-world samples of work for my portfolio • I work as a freelance designer and have experience working with clients • I’m from Stratford, so I have a different network of connections than my classmates
• My experience as a team leader in term 1 helped me to learn how to manage people and keep a project on-task • I can turn my love of lists towards planning and strategizing in a workplace setting • I can network and attend sessions set up by marketing associations (I’m a member of CAMP and the CMA) • I may face competition from classmates with similar career interests • The significant shift towards digital channels and content means I need more digital experience • My lack of emotional connectivity can be off-putting or viewed as selfishness
Short Term Goals & Objectives Goal: to develop my practical marketing and communications skills Objective: graduate from Conestoga College’s Integrated Marketing Communications post-graduate program by April 2016 Objective: sign up for a digital analytics workshop to be completed by July 2016 Objective: attend further marketing classes in the fall of 2016 with a focus on social media Goal: to work in a marketing/communications role in the Kitchener-Waterloo area Objective: schedule 10 interviews with potential employers by July 2016 Goal: to develop my graphic design skills through my freelance design business
Objective: get 5 new clients by December 2016 Goal: to be working in an integrated marketing role that combines elements of marketing, public relations, advertising, communications, and/or graphic design Objective: gain a position within 3 years Strategies & Tactics Strategy Create a portfolio for interviews Tactics Include samples of my design work. This will illustrate my sense of design and my understanding of design principles. It will also offer me the opportunity to share more about my work history and personality with prospective employers.
Include copies of my integrated marketing communications plans (including my Shoppers Drug Mart sample plan, the Doors Open client plan, and THEMUSEUM plan from my placement). These will show my knowledge of marketing concepts, demonstrate that I think strategically, and prove that I can write comprehensive plans responding to a variety of marketing situations.
Include samples of written material such as press releases, sample ads, content marketing samples, research papers, and blog posts. By having a variety of written work to put into my portfolio, I can show prospective employers I am well-rounded in the type of writing I can produce. The samples I include need to be excellent examples of writing to be successful.
Strategy Update my look to transition from student to professional Tactics Get new glasses. Choosing modern, on-trend frames will show that I pay attention to current trends.
Get a haircut. Personal grooming is an important step in presenting a professional image.
Plan a series of professional interview outfits. By creating a series, I would be prepared for any number of interviews required to obtain a position. I learned from a coffee session further interviews may be scheduled to determine fit, and I would want to have several outfits at the ready.
Strategy Build my online presence to represent my personal brand Tactics Create a LinkedIn profile and keep it updated as I develop my skills. The networking opportunities available with LinkedIn are invaluable. My profile will make me searchable to prospective employers. Keeping my skills and experience up to date will make it easier for employers to see my value and personality outside of the resume.
Keep my personal blog updated with relevant posts about marketing. By continuing to write my blog, I will develop my writing skills, learn more about marketing in the real world, and create an additional case for my value as a writer.
Update my online portfolio with design samples. I can use pieces developed for digital displays in an online portfolio to ensure these pieces can be displayed appropriately and ensure there is no duplication of content.
Join professional associations. I can benefit from being listed online as a member of organizations as well as getting access to networking events and training opportunities.
Promote my freelance design business on my blog website. Featuring my freelance information on my site may attract more business. It will also show prospective employers I have a strong design background.
Strategy Update my resume ahead of job search Tactics Tailor the resume towards the job posting. By customizing the resume with the relevant skills and experience, I can make my resume fit the job posting.
Strategy Search job postings online and in a variety of locations Tactics Attend P4E job fair, targeting organizations looking for marketing positions. As the fair is only open to students of Conestoga College, University of Waterloo, University of Guelph, and Wilfrid Laurier University, there may be exclusive opportunities to tap into.
Search job postings on school boards. As alumni of University of Waterloo and Conestoga College, I have access to exclusive job posting boards for my search. These postings are specifically looking for graduates of these schools, meaning there is already interest in my candidacy.
Search online sources. Making a regular habit to visit sites such as indeed.ca, waterlootechjobs.com (via Communitech), and jobbank.gc.ca will ensure no job postings are missed. I will also set up job alerts for specific criteria. Both marketing associations and LinkedIn posts jobs. I have alerts set so these opportunities are brought to my attention. I also have several LinkedIn contacts who send me jobs from their networks, including unadvertised positions. By having multiple sources, I will have the best chance of finding the right fit.