Over the last few years, I’ve been blessed to work with some pretty awesome organizations (e.g. Kraft Foods, Government of Canada, World Vision, Powered by Search) and I regularly get asked by job seekers if I have any job finding tips or resources to share.
The job finding plan below is an attempt to answer this question in some detail and a number of marketing professionals (Hamza Khan, Maria Shibaeva, Dan Radu, Michael Ash, Troy Boileau, Brett Langois, and Vlad Rascanu) have been awesome enough to provide their input as well. Enjoy!
1. Do awesome work at the company or organization you’re currently working with. Develop a good range of experiences and references.
2. Identify what your marketing dream job would look like by reading relevant books (see this Inc magazine article to get you started), blog posts (e.g. on the FreshGigs blog), and speaking with industry professionals (see step ‘5. be visible’ for more details).
3. Develop your experience in the marketing niche you’re most passionate about.
For example, if you’re eager to start working in digital marketing you’ll probably want to register your own website, start blogging about marketing and some of your other passions, go through the Beginner’s Guide to SEO, and get your Google Analytics and Google AdWords certifications ($150 in total for both of them, see the Google Testing Center).
You can also start taking on a broad range of marketing-related responsibilities in your current workplace.
4. Identify which company or companies you’d love to work for.
The following rankings should come in handy: Canada’s Top 100 Employers, Globe and Mail’s Top 1,000 (Canada’s most profitable companies), Branham300 (Canada’s top tech companies), and Profit Magazine’s PROFIT 500 (Canada’s fastest growing companies).
5. Identify and start interacting with the marketing leaders who work at the company/ companies you’d love to join.
6. Be visible. Based on some Google searches and their social media interaction, figure out what events are attended by the marketing leaders you’re targeting. Also figure out what organizations they like to volunteer with. Right after that:
- Connect with the marketing leaders at board of trade, chamber of commerce, Canadian Marketing Association, and meetup.com events in your area. You might want to join us for the Inbound Marketing Toronto and Innovative Evenings monthly meetups, which I co-organize.
- Volunteer your marketing expertise with non-profit organizations they are involved with (e.g. Rotary International and Habitat for Humanity). I volunteer with the later and have friends who are involved with the former. Getting involved with non-profit organizations will provide you with a broader range of experiences, and allow you to give back to the community and connect with marketing professionals in a casual, out of office setting.
7. Word of mouth: Ask your friends and family members to provide you with marketing job leads, just make sure you explain exactly the type of role you’re interested in.
8. Create a list of recruiters who specialize in hiring for marketing jobs in the location(s) where you’d like to work.
- Build a relationship with these recruiters via Twitter (see Classy Career Girl’s video on this).
- E-mail your resume to these marketing recruiters you’ve identified. Keep the body of your e-mail short and to the point. Make sure to make clear your experience, skills, the type of role(s) you’re interested in, the companies/industries that peak your interest, and your salary expectations.
9. Identify the job postings you’d like to apply for and send out at least 5 to 10 targeted applications per week.
- Create the list of jobs to apply for by looking at:
a. the career sites of the companies you’d like to work for;
- Learn what is the hiring manger’s name from the job posting or via LinkedIn (you may have to pay for the PRO version if you don’t have enough connections to see most of these peoples’ names and job descriptions).
- Find the hiring manager’s email address by asking through contacts or by doing Google searches for the person’s email address once you know they name.
- Send a brief, targeted e-mail to each hiring manager highlighting why you are a great candidate for the role. Make sure to include your resume as an attachment (note: .pdf files look more professional than Word files).
10. Follow-up with the recruiters and hiring managers two to three times, about once a week. You may want to do the first follow-up via e-mail and the second one via phone. That seems to work for me and some of the people I’ve spoken with.
11. Nail the interview, negotiate your job offer, and start in an awesome marketing role. This article was meant to provide you with plan for scoring the interview. There are plenty of online articles that can walk you through the interview process, the contract negotiation, and what do once you’ve been hired.
“I’ve got two different perspectives.
From the recruiter’s perspective I’m going to do a lot of outreach via LinkedIn. My best campaigns had about a 25% hit-rate on responses despite all of them being very targeted. It’s easy to ignore those emails, believe me I know. But sometimes I’d get an email months later because that person had just lost his or her job and they wanted my help. So, rude and unemployed, two strikes against you.
I’d say your best bet for always having a job is to always be “looking.” As in, if a recruiter sends you an email, send them one back thanking them for their time and letting them know what your situation is and what’ll actually sell you on a job, or if nothing will then when might be a good time to get in touch. Be active about it; ask them if you can get in touch in the future for marketing jobs if the opportunity arises. This is a person who can help you always have the best opportunities and really be your trusted adviser.
It’s not about good recruitment agencies so much as it is about good recruiters. Sarah Doughty, Brad Phillips, Andrew Deacon, Danny Ngo and Claire Leroux are all fantastic recruiters internationally in the IT and marketing worlds.
From a marketer’s perspective, make friends and be great to them without expecting anything in return. When asking for help, I’ve had dozens of people say, “what’s in it for me?” And I understand that, it’s human nature. It’s also human nature to be short-sighted, so don’t let that be an excuse. Take the time to help people out pro-bono. Connect people who can help each other out. Tout your friends’ successes and brag for them. Let them know you care when they get knocked down.
Some actions you can take today:
- Send one email to someone who helped you in the past out and ask them if there’s a favour you can do for them.
- Write a truthful and heartfelt recommendation for a former co-worker with whom you don’t frequently talk.
- Call a dozen local acquaintances in your industry and invite them to a casual dinner. Sell it as having “the most interesting people I’d like to know better.”
In the end, they’re the ones most likely to be there for you when you actually need help getting a job.
You thought I’d give you easy tricks like keyword-stuff your LinkedIn profile and spam it with Fiverr gigs, didn’t you? ”
“My personal favourite is Indeed.ca. Since it scrapes and aggregates job listings from thousands of websites, it’s really the only job board you need. I set up email alerts for terms like “internship,” “writing,” and “marketing,” which led to me finding out about the internship position at Powered by Search.
For young people looking for summer jobs or entry-level work, TalentEgg.ca is a great site. They’re really good about providing recent graduates with the resources they need to transition from school to work. Really friendly people too.
Twitter and LinkedIn are both great networks for forming relationships with people in your field that could turn into job leads. And of course, never underestimate the value of your personal network. I heard about the job opening for my current job through a close friend.”
Maria Shibaeva, who works as Sr. Assistant Brand Manager for Procter & Gamble and is very active in Rotary International’s charitable initiatives, shared about the importance of LinkedIn, recruiters, and mentors:
“By far the best resource that I have used and heard of others to use as well is LinkedIn.
The best approach to land a job through LinkedIn is to find a job you are interested in at a company you are interested in and once you found it to look through the employees working there and see if there is anyone working at that company that you have in your circles either as a 2nd or 3rd degree connection. Once you find the employee working there that you have in your circle as well then ask for your common connection(s) to introduce you to them. Once you get introduced message the person and ask them to go out for a drink so that you can find out more information about the company and how everything works within the company. During the meeting you can find out more information about the company and also prove yourself to be a good fit with the company/job in an informal atmosphere.
Once you are able to meet with that person you can ask them what the best approach to apply to the position you are interested in would be. Most often than not that person will offer to hand in your resume for you or at least refer you online.
This will definitely increase your chances of landing a job as you will stand out from the rest greatly.
I was actually approached by someone on LinkedIn this way and I have to say that it worked. I gave them a chance to prove themselves and I was impressed by them and did my best to help them afterword.”
A big thank you to Troy, Brett, Maria, and Vlad, as well as Hamza Khan (Founder and Digital Strategist at Splash Effect), Dan Radu (Founder and Marketing Automation Consultant at Macromator) and Michael Ash (Founder and Brand Development Consultant at AshIdeas) for their input in the creation of this article!
If you think that this article may help someone trying to find (better) work in the marketing field please share it with them. And please upvote it on Inbound.org.
If you have any useful tips or resources that we didn’t include in the article please share them in the comments section below.
Photo credit: Brandon Christopher Warren