It’s common knowledge, searching for a new job is a long and tedious process. There’s hundreds of marketing jobs out there (when the market is good) with varying titles, levels of seniority, salaries, and responsibilities. How do you know which jobs to apply for or that will be a good fit for you? The road to nailing that interview and getting the offer is a long one and can often feel overwhelming and discouraging. The key is to stay patient, know what you’re looking for or what your nonnegotiables are in a new position, and know where to look.
In case you’re wondering why the hell is this marketing manager writing this blog, the answer is, it took me 9 months to find my current position at Intelligent Demand. In those 9 months I utilized every resource available to me and learned a lot about this process. I think it’s worth sharing what I’ve learned, especially in a time where unemployment rates are high. There’s a ton of marketers looking for jobs out there and if what I’ve learned can help someone else find employment they’re excited about and enjoy then I’m all for it.
Utilize ALL your resources
Do you know how many job search sites are out there? Upwards of 20, and that’s just what I could tell from my searches. In my experience and based on recommendations from my recruiter friends, Google is one of the best places to search for jobs. Google pulls from a variety of job posting sites such as Indeed, LinkedIn, Zip Recruiter, and Glassdoor, and brings all these jobs into one view for you. The second best tool in your job search is LinkedIn. LinkedIn can give you a more complete picture of a company you’re interested in applying to. You can see how many employees work there, who those employees are, and who you’re connected with. Seeing who you’re connected with or who you went to school with that works there can give you access to what is known as “the hidden job network.”
I first learned about the “hidden job network” when I reached out to alumni career services at the college I graduated from. Most colleges have alumni services that help you post-graduation find jobs, connections, and community. The career advisor I spoke with taught me all about the hidden job network and how I could use it to get more interviews at organizations I was interested in. She first introduced me to a LinkedIn group for my college’s alumni. College alumni groups are great places to search for jobs or to let people know you’re looking for employment. You can also lean on your fellow alumni for information about what it’s like to work for a company and/or introductions to hiring managers. When looking at a company on LinkedIn it will often tell you how many college alumni work there and you can see exactly who those individuals are. Don’t be shy, send them a message it could result in your next interview! While this is a great tactic don’t forget to be respectful of that person’s time and don’t be too pushy about introductions.
The third tool I recommend you look into is Glassdoor. As mentioned previously, Glassdoor job postings are pulled into your Google search so no need to rely on this tool for postings. Instead, the best use of Glassdoor is researching how employees really feel about working for that company and typical salaries they’re paid. With marketing jobs specifically, salaries for the same position can be a difference of $20-30K depending on the company. Additionally, the same job title can mean different seniority at different companies. For example, a Marketing Associate could have similar responsibilities and expectations of their role as someone who is a Marketing Manager. Which brings me to my next point, know what responsibilities you enjoy having and which you don’t…
Know what you’re looking for
This next section might sound really obvious, however, it is crucial to finding a job you love and not just something to pay the bills (although that’s the whole point of working right?). In the 9 months I was searching for a new position, I kept a note on my phone that listed everything that was important to me in my work, in a manager, and my basic needs such as commute time, salary etc. When I saw a job posting I was interested in applying to I would research the company and compare what I learned about it back to my note. If the company didn’t seem it would meet my basic needs I wouldn’t bother applying.
You may be wondering, how do you know if the hiring manager will be the right manager for you? Understanding this requires an interview or two. A lot of people think that the interview process is one way – the company asks you all the questions to see if you’re the right candidate for them – WRONG. The interview process is there for you to ask questions as well. There are specific questions you can ask the hiring manager to get an understanding of their management style and who they might be like to work for. For example, asking them “What was your most successful hire and why?” Their answer to this question will tell you what they expect from their employees, and what you might have to do in order to be successful in their eyes. They could say something like “I hired Jane Doe and she was successful because she always got everything done even if it meant working her weekends.” If you’re not up for working weekends, this manager may not be a good fit for you. A quick Google search for these types of questions will give you a lot of options to ask in an interview so you can be sure you have a good idea of who you’ll be working for.
How you’ll know when you’ve found the one
After all the researching, applying, interviewing, and stressing it’d be nice to know that you have finally found the job you’ve been looking for. But how? Well it should definitely meet your basic needs, have the right manager for you, align with your values, and involve work you enjoy doing as discussed above. But you’ll also want opportunities to learn and grow and maybe some mentoring. It’s important to feel like you’ll fit well with the culture of the company and get along well with your coworkers and build friendships.
Although there’s a lot of research and questions you can ask before you step foot in the building (or Zoom nowadays) it’s almost impossible to know what it will actually be like to work for a company. No job is perfect, however, I think if you spend the time to really identify what’s important to you and what you enjoy you’ll be much better off finding a position for the long haul and waste less time in the process.
I joined Intelligent Demand about 3 months ago and I am very proud of my decision to accept an offer here. The company values, kindness, authenticity, passion, and tenacity really resonate with me and I see them enacted with every team member at ID. I highly recommend looking at our open positions; there are a ton of them!