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Careers Centre

Marketing and sales

Sector Overview


You can read information about role responsibilities, salary, working hours, what to expect, qualifications, skills, work experience, career prospects and related roles on the following Prospects Job Profiles:




You might also see other job profiles of interest in the Marketing, advertising and PR profiles page (which gives links to the 18 profiles in the sector).




You might also see other job profiles of interest in the Sales profiles page (which gives links to the 11 profiles in the sector).


How to gain experience/internships

Work experience is highly valued by marketing and sales recruiters. It demonstrates your commitment to and understanding of the role, and adds a new dimension to your CV, helping you make sure that you are happy with your career choice. It is useful to get involved in marketing different events at university, or assisting companies with casual promotion work. Many recruiters seek Campus Brand Managers to promote their organisation and products and this is a popular way to gain experience whilst at University.

Sales experience can range from working as a sales assistant to charity sign-ups with organisations such as Champions Life Academy.

Developing an analytical approach to looking at and comparing brands will also help develop your skills and knowledge. Even experience in retailing will be useful if you think about the marketing mix while you are there.

Don’t underestimate the value of making speculative applications. Some smaller employers may not advertise relevant vacancies.

There's a good range of marketing and sales work experience opportunities advertised through CareerConnect.

We have previously advertised marketing and sales vacation work opportunities for the following organisations: NB this is not an exhaustive list.

Companies recruiting for sales and marketing may also run courses during the Christmas holidays (e.g. P&G Commercial Career Academy 3 day course) - check CareerConnect regularly to see what’s new. Courses are often used as part of the selection process, and in some cases it is essential to attend the company’s marketing course if you want to obtain a marketing job with them. Increasingly larger recruiters are making permanent offers after individuals complete work experience placements.

Additional resources


How to get a (graduate) job

Entry into marketing and/or sales can be through a good number of highly competitive graduate training schemes (such as the ones mentioned under 'How to gain experience/internships' above. Alternatively, look at opportunities to enter as a marketing assistant, offering lower level support to a marketing team and the chance to move to a higher position after some time. Indirect entry into marketing can sometimes be achieved through another route, such as sales.

Some job roles may not be widely advertised, so it may be worthwhile joining a recruitment agency specialising in marketing and/or sales positions, especially if you're prepared to temp or work on short contracts. The CIM has produced a Consultants' Directory covering an array of marketing/sales disciplines in addition to general recruitment.

Some graduate marketing and sales recruitment deadlines are as early as October and November, so it's important to apply early in your final year. Some smaller marketing consultancies, and sales opportunities not necessarily restricted to graduates, may come up all year round. Smaller agencies may not advertise vacancies for graduates and speculative applications may be required.

Regularly check CareerConnect for marketing and sales opportunities.

There are many job search websites which specialise in Marketing and Sales jobs, e.g.




Applications, interviews and assessment centres

The recruitment process for marketing and sales graduate training schemes may vary from company to company, but is likely to consist of the following:

Check the employer’s website as many provide details on their own individual recruitment and selection processes. Smaller organisations may be happy to accept a CV and covering letter and will have a less formal approach to the selection process.


Relevant Postgraduate study

This industry is unusual in that many marketing recruiters typically value real experience rather than further academic study. This is especially the case for sales. Graduates can consider postgraduate courses either specialising in marketing or mixed with more general business subjects, but this is by no means a requirement and is not likely to secure a higher salary.

Once you become a marketing or sales professional (or in some cases, before) you are likely to be encouraged to study for professional qualifications. In marketing you would typically study the Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing through the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). Visit the CIM website to view the wider variety of courses available.

The Institute of Sales & Marketing Management (ISMM) offers nationally-recognised qualifications for sales professionals that are relevant to both students and their employers.


Key UK links and resources

Careers Centre resources


Use CareerConnect, your central careers hub, to:



General marketing and sales careers information

Professional Bodies, Trade Organisations & Journals/Magazines


USA resources

The USA job market and recruitment timetables, for both internships and graduate jobs, for sectors of employment often differ from the UK.

The Careers Centre subscribes to the reputable independent USA careers information and vacancy provider Vault. The links below will take you directly to Vault subscription resources which cover this sector. You may find further useful and relevant resources linked from there as well.