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Marketing and Retail Sales Careers in Consumer Products

The consumer goods industry includes careers ranging from manufacturing and design to general business, marketing and sales. This week, we will focus on the Marketing and Retail Sales careers in consumer products. Popular marketing careers include copywriters, art directors, print and digital designers, packaging designers, brand managers, marketing research specialists, and marketing managers (in marketing departments or for outside agencies). Sales occupations include retail sales workers and managers, door-to-door sales workers, merchandise displayers, and buyers. 

With an increased focus in how products are made and sourced, including policies about overseas labor and sustainability practices, the policies, processes and the digital transformation of marketing and retail sales has had great impact on the types of careers, as well as skills needed to pursue them.

Skills needed to enter these careers:

For most of the marketing and retail sales occupations, you need to be able to work well with others and have an interest in people, an ability to communicate orally and in writing. Curiosity, persistence, initiative, resourcefulness, and an ability to perform in stressful situations are also beneficial. Market Research Analysts need to be detail oriented, and accurate; have the ability to work easily with words and numbers. Graphic Designers need artistic talent, creativity, and imagination. They must be sensitive to beauty, have an eye for detail, and have a strong sense of color, balance, and proportion. Copywriters also should be creative and have a broad general knowledge, strong research and computer skills, and the ability to clearly express ideas.  Retail Sales Managers should enjoy working with and supervising people, and be willing to put in very long hours. Buyers need negotiating and persuasion skills in order to be effective. They use critical thinking, analytical skills, problem-solving, mathematical, and decision-making skills. 

How the Industry hires and when:

The economy can have a big impact on which companies are hiring. Some high-priced items, such as cars and high-cost electronics may see less sales, while items such as food and clothing are generally consistent. With regards to the pandemic, food and technology purchases have increased while retail infrastructure has taken a big hit. It is important to be aware of company trends in reaction to the economy and the consumer behavior due to the virus. 

Generally, larger companies that regularly hire a large number of entry-level employees will list full-time and sometimes internship opportunities as early as the Fall through college career centers and on their websites. Those that are smaller will likely hire in the Spring and hire as needed. Utilize company research and networking to inquire directly with employer representatives about their hiring plans.

Resources for finding more information, companies and positions:

Learn more and connect with Bucknell alumni, parents and friends through these upcoming events:

Talking with Bucknell alumni and parent contacts, as well as employer representatives is an excellent way to dig deeper into the industry and learn more. These two upcoming events will offer you a chance to do just that as well as make connections and learn about specific organizations, career paths, and work environments.

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