In 2017, I helped several people market themselves for marketing positions.
Most of this was pro bono work helping friends or their contacts. I love doing this and feel privileged that people ask for my assistance. Hiring new marketing talent was always something I enjoyed and spent an enormous amount of time and energy to find great talent.
Hire slow and fire fast was my motto.
One of the key takeaways from every discussion with prospects is that I remind people that in 2007, we hired marketing people for specific skills, but in 2017, we hire marketing people for core skills.
The difference is important.
Employers have a more difficult time finding people who exactly match the skills required with the industry knowledge. Today, an employer looks for people they can hire who can learn about the industry but have the critical core skills needed for success in their organization.
What Employers Want from Marketing Associates
- Are you a good communicator?
- Can you easily be trained to learn a specific industry skill or technology?
- Do you demonstrate initiative and a proactive orientation?
- How well do you play with others and behave in a collaborative style?
- Do you talk over others or are you a good listener?
- Are you action oriented?
- Are you afraid to fail or take calculated risks?
- Are you bossy, a bully or difficulty to get along with in the workplace?
Companies often benchmark the behavior and core skills of their most successful associates. They have an idea in their mind of what core skills an ideal employee would possess.
One of the best questions a prospect for a marketing position can ask a potential employer is what the core attributes of the people who succeed in marketing at your company are? And, what are the reasons that employees fail at your company?
Tips for Getting that Marketing Job
Remember that you are marketing a product called “me.”
How do you position yourself in your interview and your resume or application? If you have two powerful intersecting strengths, leverage them. Maybe have fun and describe them as your superpowers.
- I’m the Swiss-Army Knife of marketing. As a marketing generalist, I have done everything and have a very broad range of expertise. Another way of phrasing this is that you position yourself as a utility fielder – able to play any position.
- I’m that rare combination – a marketing & math nerd all rolled up in one.
- I have superior listening skills and am a stickler for details. I’m the person who finds those undotted i’s and uncrossed t’s.
- I’m that person who sits in a meeting, and when everyone else is talking, I’m listening carefully and then, offer a summary and synthesis of all the key ideas discussed in a meeting.
- I have a powerful skill to learn new things quickly. Last year I learned to speak two new languages.
- Last year I gave 20 public speeches for my company, so I am highly capable of representing your company in public settings.
If you are looking for a new marketing position, think about how you can position yourself in your resume so that you’ll stick out from the crowd. You are marketing yourself, and when you think of “you” as a brand, you can see the value in a meaningful point of differentiation.
Although it has been almost a decade since I interviewed for a job, I used to describe myself as someone who spent half his career as an entrepreneur and half in the corporate world of marketing. And I know the difference between spending $30 and $30MM to market products.
How are you communicating your core skills in your marketing job search?
Don’t forget if you are looking for a marketing job, it is a chance to show off your marketing skills. Be creative. Stand out. Don’t be afraid of an on strategy gimmick like the Swiss Army Knife image on your resume. I do offer job coaching for marketing professionals. 919 720 0995 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your situation.