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On this page: Erin Kennedy, CPRW, offers strategies for breaking into the sales and marketing industry.

Breaking into Sales and Marketing

At the moment, sales jobs, whether they're telesales or in-house sales, are high in demand. If you are getting ready to switch the focus of your career into sales or marketing, now might be the ideal time to do so.

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With every recession, there's an upward trend in higher education. Many go back to school to pick up new trades and skill sets that are marketable in the new economic climate.

The increased popularity of the web as a means of marketing has also made specialized marketing jobs very attractive and important.

Formal Education

Many universities are rushing to catch up, with programs specifically geared toward the sales and marketing industry of 2010 and beyond. A recent Google search on the term "internet marketing degree" (with the quotation marks) had 514,000 results.

So, if you're trying to work yourself into this field, beginning your search by taking a few courses can help not only prepare you, but will also help you tailor your resume for applying for these jobs.

Informal Education

If additional school isn't in your budget or timeline, then another option is self education. Speak with any friends or relatives in sales and marketing positions. Ask them to go over their common tasks with you. Learn their lingo, and be ready to speak with an informed opinion during interviews.

Even if you're just beginning, knowing the basics will help convince a potential employer that what you lack in previous experience, you more than make up for in initiative. Do all the research you can online, and if you can pick up any freelance work similar to what you'd like to do, jump all over it!

Individual contracts or outsourced work may not pay much, or be very steady, but they'll give you valuable experience. You can also consider picking up an internship somewhere, if there's one available.

Make Your Efforts Visible to Potential Employers

Just remember to make sure your resume reflects the fact that you are entering this field because you want to, and not because a certain position happened to be open. Show potential employers what steps you have taken to prepare yourself for sales and marketing jobs. You can even make yourself a portfolio geared toward your specific skills.

If you want to break into internet marketing, then make sure your social networking profiles are all spectacular. If you want to work in telesales, prepare a few scripts, and be ready to go over them with the interviewer.

Bottom Line:

Don't be intimidated by the idea of breaking into a new industry. We are long past the days of lifetime employment with one company. Employers understand this, and many welcome it, because trainable but inexperienced employees can be a great business investment. Just do your homework, and come to your prospective employers well prepared.


About this author...

Erin Kennedy, CPRW, CERW, BS/HR, is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and Career Consultant who has been helping clients since 1998. She is also the President of Professional Resume Services. Connect with her on Google+.