I work with some very impressive people. The marketers at HubSpot are extremely intelligent and very dedicated to their jobs. That's a commonality for most young professionals of my generation. I've observed my colleagues, thought about how each is successful, and come to the conclusion that the majority share not only brilliance and ambition, but these common skill sets:
1. Writing skills.
When you're reading a job description, you often find "strong writing and verbal communication skills" and you probably think 'I went to college, I know how to write.' But do you really? Part of the reason I write this blog is to improve my own writing skills. For marketers, this ability is essential. Just because you took a writing course, or a couple, doesn't make you a good writer. There are two very basic ways anyone can improve their writing: read and write more (start a blog). There isn't a shortcut here. Writing is vital and often overlooked by most young marketers.
2. Technical know-how.
You probably know how to navigate around the internet, search on Google and run a few other applications like Microsoft Office. But do you understand how Google actually works? Do you know how a website is structured? Marketing is transforming. Drastically. Every marketer should consider learning how to code. I taught myself using codeacademy.com and reading code for familiar sites such as Hubspot.com. You don't have to be able to write a website from scratch, but understanding HTML and CSS on a basic level will differentiate you in any marketing position.
3. Design chops.
If you're in marketing, you have a creative side. You probably know the difference between a good design and a bad design. I recommend learning Photoshop, what a vector image, what the various image file types are (eps, png, and jpg) and how each is used. Try photoshop out for 30-days on a free trial. You can watch YouTube tutorials to learn new things. Again, you don't need to know everything, but learning the basics and understanding how to crop an image or add features like text to an image will help you differentiate yourself.