Marketing Career: How to get your next job in marketing
Sure, the economy is a bit uncertain. But companies are still looking for high-performing marketing professionals. I know because they post these job openings almost daily on our marketing job listings page.
In fact, I recently came across a shocking bit of data in The Wall Street Journal. From my experience, jobs in advertising and marketing tend to be the most sensitive in an uncertain economy. In a recession, most CEOs seem to cut the marketing budget as step #1 (Step #12, corporate jet).
However, according to SimplyHired, marketing managers is “where the work is,” as it’s listed as one of the occupations listed as having many openings.
I’m not personally familiar with this metric, but marketing managers is listed as having 108 job openings for every 1,000 people employed. That is much more than the “few openings” for mental-health counselors and preschool teachers, with only two openings per 1,000 employed. It’s even more than registered nurses, which I always see recruitment ads for and is widely regarded as desperately in need of more talented people (82 per 1,000).
Intuit is one such company hiring marketing professionals right now. So, I sat down with Leslie Mason, a Senior Recruiter at the computer software company, to help give you an inside scoop about what companies are looking for when they fill these plentiful marketing job openings.
Daniel Burstein: How is looking for a job like marketing a product? How is it different?
Leslie Mason: In a job search, basically you are the product, and you are marketing yourself to the company. Brand is important, what you do and how you are viewed in the marketplace.
Also, research is important. Job seekers should research prospective employers, the company and the posted job openings, to match your skills and experience with what the company does and is hiring for. You want to know your customer’s needs before marketing yourself to them. You want to present yourself in the best possible light to first obtain the interview, then to gain additional information and ultimately the job offer.
It differs from marketing a product because employers can’t compare prospective employees like they would a consumer good, say one cleaning product to another. There are variables in experience, expertise and compensation all across the board.
Also, there is the variable of the prospective employee’s engagement in the search … are they passive candidates, not actively looking for a job and need to be wooed into considering a move, or are they active job seekers who are ready to accept immediate employment?
DB: From my experience, marketers are worse at marketing themselves. What are some good, out-of-the-box ways you’ve seen marketers promote themselves in a resume, interview or any other part of the hiring process?
LM: Most recently, I’ve seen marketers promote themselves to me using social media. I had one candidate contact me on Twitter to thank me for commenting on her blog posting. This started a conversation about one of my internal communications roles, and she ended up interviewing for the position. I have seen videos posted on people’s YouTube accounts directed to a particular company, expressing interest in working for them.
As for the resume, I’m a big fan of citing examples on your resume – use links to your social media sites, directing hiring managers to your blogs, tweets and online profiles. Your LinkedIn profile should be up to date and professional with links to all your other social media profiles.
In interviews, either phone or in person, the most successful candidates come prepared and give me examples of marketing campaigns, strategies, projects, etc … anything related to the job I was referencing.
One time I had a candidate come to an interview with mock-ups of how she would redesign the client’s website if she were hired. (This was a priority of the job and, it really impressed the hiring manager that she did her homework and put together a great example.) After the interview, she also followed up with a strategy of how she would do the job after being hired. That extra time and effort landed her the job.
DB: What are some ways marketers have gone over the line in selling themselves? Or ways that just fell flat and didn’t resonate?
LM: Obvious lies during an interview, taking credit for a campaign which is not yours, exaggerating results … definitely not a good idea! Anything not honest and accountable usually ends up coming out during the process. Over explaining or talking down to the interviewer is never a good idea.
DB: You mentioned some exemplary active uses of social media by job candidates, where people are actually trying to get your attention. Do you actively search out social media activity as well?
LM: LinkedIn is the first place I look for potential candidates. I read their blogs, check out their Twitter profiles, social networks like Facebook and Google+ … anything that will give me insight into their personal brand. Are they a subject matter expert in any areas, how do they conduct themselves online, how large are their networks? All this plays into my decision whether to contact them or not.
DB: What are the three most common mistakes you see marketers make in the hiring process and how can they improve?
1. Not having their LinkedIn profile current with an active email address linked to it that they check daily.
2. Not being prepared for the interview, researching the company beforehand, having examples of work handy, etc.
3. Current technology – at least have a general understanding of the newest technology, being aware of social media and what’s going on in social networks, with mobile technology, globally, etc.
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