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Looking for a New Job in Marketing? 7 Things You Should Know for Your Search

Embarking on the journey of seeking a new opportunity in the marketing field requires a strategic approach and a lot of patience to land your ideal role. Here are seven things that you should know before embarking on your search for that next opportunity:

Craft Your Resume to Highlight Keywords 

The widespread use of AI in various sectors is evident, particularly in aiding the hiring process. AI assists by scanning resumes for specific keywords and streamlining the selection process for hiring managers and Talent Acquisition teams. This situation offers both an advantageous prospect and a potential obstacle for individuals seeking employment. The advantage lies in strategically incorporating relevant keywords and structuring your resume effectively. Although a human ultimately reviews your resume, the objective is to ensure it gets to the top of the “”stack.””

If you’re in a more creative role, the benefit is that humans will review your portfolio. Use black or white backgrounds for creative portfolios, so your work pops. Hiring managers won’t want to sift through a cluttered portfolio to find your gems—you need to lay it out so it’s easy to see your talents and past work.

Lean Into Your “Weaknesses”

The days of trying to spin your weaknesses into strengths or some kind of humble brag (“”You know, I just work too hard sometimes) are over. Most hiring teams (and professional recruiters) will see right through it. Instead, try a new approach: Lean into the things you’re not good at and address them head-on.

In Adam Grant’s book Think, he shares a story about a woman who wanted a Product Manager job but wasn’t remotely qualified for it based on the job description. Instead of first detailing her strengths that would transfer in the space (which she had many of), she talked about how she wasn’t the ideal candidate for the job but why they should consider her anyway. Describing her background and experience and how someone who didn’t necessarily match all of the qualifications would benefit the team worked out: She got the job.

The lesson: Will you be 100% qualified for every role you want? No. Should you still apply? Absolutely.

Never Assume (and get it in writing!)

No one likes making decisions under immense pressure, so when it comes to looking for a new job, if you have the option to look while you’re still employed, it’s always a better idea to do so if you can. Regardless of the circumstances, getting as much information as possible when looking at new jobs is critical to ensure you’re not making a decision you’ll regret. Assumptions are not your friend in the search process.

Interviewing can be a blur, especially when looking for your next move and under pressure from a time standpoint. Take notes, but get everything in writing. Did they say you could work fully remote? Confirm it! Did they tell you the salary was negotiable? That there’s a bonus structure? Get it all in writing. It’s never a fun time to get excited about an offer only to find out that they’re coming in below your asking, won’t allow you to work remotely, etc. And while we’re on the topic…

Ask for What You Want (and know your worth)

Be direct about what you want. Giving super broad salary ranges or saying you can make something work that will make your stress levels soar (like going into an office for five days with a horrendous commute) won’t serve you well.

Do research ahead of time. Talk to people in the same job in different industries. Run data. Ask recruiters for their insight.

Also, if you’re working with a Recruiter, ensure you know what you need and your career objectives for your next role. Clear expectations prevent disappointment on all fronts and prevent burned bridges in the future.

Never Quit on Your Worst Day

This is age-old advice that holds (in most cases). It’s less about a literal “”worst day”” and more about checking into what makes you dislike your job or feel it’s time to move on. It’s important to reflect and work to understand what you’re looking for in your next opportunity before you jump at the next thing to get out of your present job. Making a list, talking to people who have left your company, and speaking with your networks and Recruiters are all great ways to discuss what’s missing in your current role and verbalize what you need to clarify your thoughts and ensure you’re ready to move on.

Leverage Your Networks

Many people find jobs through networking. Much anecdotal evidence supports that networking is a powerful way to find your next role. But where do you start?

  • Do a quick inventory: search your LinkedIn for former coworkers and contacts from college or grad programs. Make a list of everyone you’d feel comfortable reaching out to. Ask friends if they’ve heard of openings in your field. Take coffee meetings for exploratory conversations and proactive discussions before you ever need a job. Help other people when you can, and they will likely do their best to return the favor in the future.
  • Make yourself easy to find. Ensure you have the Open to Work banner on your LinkedIn profile if you are out of work or have visibility turned on for Recruiters to see you’re open to a new opportunity if you’re still working. Many recruiters utilize these indicators on LinkedIn, so you will get noticed if you have them set accordingly.
  • Industry-specific networking groups (like AMA Atlanta!) are also great starting places. There are often free or low-cost events you can attend where the sole purpose is to meet new people and forge new relationships. The AMA Atlanta Around Town events are excellent, casual ways to network with fellow marketers. Take advantage of those opportunities, and immediately follow up with those you meet via LinkedIn and email.

Consider Utilizing a Specialized Recruiter in Your Job Search 

Recruiters have a direct line to the hiring managers (in most cases) and insight into what they’re looking for. They also can offer a different perspective and represent the candidate better than a resume or portfolio of work can.

For example, we supported an e-commerce retailer searching for a new E-Commerce Marketing Manager. We presented several candidates, and the client said they did not want to interview one of them (who we will call Joe) due to their experience not aligning with their vision for the role. We pushed back, and the client said they’d give them a chance. After the interview process, the front-runner was clear: Joe. Not only did Joe get the job, but he was offered above asking.

The moral of the story? Recruiters are advocates. They are there to bridge the gap between the talent needed and a company’s overall vision for the role. They have a unique perspective that can help you get your resume to the top of the stack and challenge hiring managers with inaccurate assumptions.

The search for your next opportunity can feel like a job in itself. Don’t be discouraged. You are traveling a path that many have traveled; leverage the wisdom of those you know who have recently gone through the search process. You’ll be surprised how many people would love to share their advice on this topic – you need to ask!


About the Author:

Ally Rakoczy Pridgen

Practice Lead at TEKsystems for Digital Marketing and Creative