Any marketer who has gone through a job hunt knows – whether it’s short or a long drawn out process – that it’s a rollercoaster ride of sorts. From the pre-phone interview with H.R. to the final offer call, a candidate can go from excited to tongue-tied in mere seconds. Let’s admit it, it’s awful, but it’s a reality that we face at one point or another in our careers.
If you’re a job seeker who has just started browsing postings or have been looking longer than you would like to admit, here is a process to help identify what may be holding you back from landing a job:
It seems like the most obvious thing to do, but many job seekers skip evaluating themselves and clearly identifying who they are in the job force. This quick evaluation will help job seekers focus on which jobs are a fit, and to eliminate job postings that applicants are over or under qualified.
Key Questions to Ask Yourself
- Are you entry, mid-level, or a senior level marketing executive? Or are you somewhere in between, due to major brand experience or a lack of experience in a key marketing area?
- What level of brand have you worked on? National, Regional, and/or Local?
- Rate your skillset from 1-5 on marketing skills to identify your core strengths and areas of professional development.
- What job titles are you currently applying for?
- Have you acquired marketing specialization skills such as demand generation, branding, analytics, or social media marketing?
Here’s an example of an evaluation:
Mid-level marketing executive, but may be seen as “entry level” due to a hiatus from the workforce, with national, regional, and local brand experience, but predominantly national. Skills include Writing (4), Research (5), Brand Planning (3), Media Planning/Buying (4), Social Media (3), Content Writing/Planning (3) , Analytics (1), Technical Skills (3). Qualified for position in Digital Marketing Manager, E-mail Marketing Manager/Specialist, Content Writer, Content Planning Manager, Writer. Extensive brand planning experience.
It doesn’t matter how strong your skillset is if it doesn’t match the job requirements currently in demand, a marketing job seeker will not land a job. By monitoring the amount of postings for viable positions, job seekers will get an idea of the demand for their position. It’s also a good idea to look for a job under several titles.
LinkedIn Premium will let job seekers know how many applicants applied for the position. For a recent marketing role for a regional brand, there were 300-500 applicants. Applying for a position in this fierce competitive environment is most likely a waste of time, unless the job seeker is a perfect match for the role. To focus your energies, it’s best to evaluate job opportunities before applying.
If a job seeker has identified that there is low to no demand for their skillset, or the market is flooded with highly qualified applicants, the next step is essential to finding a job.
Once job seekers have defined who they are in the marketplace and the demand for their position, the next step is comparing themselves against the competition. This exercise will help job seekers to identify what roadblocks they may face in getting hired.
There are several ways to do this:
- Go on LinkedIn and critically evaluate your skillset against marketers who have a position you are looking for. What skills do they have? Certifications? Brand Experience?
- Collect job postings and look for trends in job requirements. If a job seeker identifies there are baseline skills that many postings have, it is critical to obtain these skills.
- Embrace exceeding the HR wish list. If anyone has told you that 80% of a job listing is enough to apply for a marketing position, they’re wrong. Marketing is fiercely competitive. The sooner job seekers embrace that they need to exceed the HR wish list, the sooner they will find a position.
So, you’ve read through this article and you’ve come to the realization that there are some skills that would make you a stronger marketing candidate for hire. The next article, Marketer’s Job Hunt 103 will give suggestions on how to obtain these skills quickly and at a low cost.
Kathleen Rogers has a passion for research-driven content writing and has always been inspired by creative thinking. Recently, she explored her source of inspiration by completing a second degree from USF’s Art History program. A notable highlight from the start of Kathleen’s career, she was trained at the award winning creative shop Cliff Freeman & Partners, a subsidiary of Saatchi and Saatchi Global.