I recently finished a round of hiring for an entry-level position in marketing, and I had an abundance of really great candidates. That’s not something I say just to be polite. Really, we had some great applicants send in their resumes and come in for interviews.
As an employer, it gives me a fantastic advantage in that I can be very picky. In fact, I have to be picky to be able to make a decision. If not, I’ll want to give way too many people a job, and we simply did not have enough positions to go around.
When an employer can be that picky, the little things begin to really matter. I begin to think, How hard will it be to train this person? How much time can I save by hiring this person who has a little bit of experience?
Mind you, experience is not the only thing that matters — certainly not in an entry-level position. But when a candidate has relevant freelance experience, then I know that person understands what I’m looking for.
If you’re trying to get started in marketing, then understand that this is the mindset of the people who may hire you. We’re not hiring because we’re bored. We’re hiring because we have need, and we need to get you going as quickly as possible. Go find some freelance work, and don’t worry if it pays you well. Pick it up on the side while you use something else to pay the bills. You can even use volunteer work to get relevant experience. It’s available, and it can make the difference between you getting your start or not in the career path you want.