Michelle Reeb is COO and co-founder of The Marketer Network. Michelle wrote this Professional Points of View in response to a question posed by members of BMA Colorado. The Marketer Network provides highly effective career development programs for marketing professionals, helping you achieve a career you love where you’re able to experience joy and fulfillment at work in a way that nourishes your entire life.
Many experienced marketing professionals fear they will be passed over for a new and exciting opportunity for reasons that lie beyond thier control. According to Reeb, however, marketers can take the reins of their job search and control the elements that are most valued by the hiring team to help them become the top candidate...the one who lands the offer.
Does This Sound Like You?
“I have a wealth of experience, over 20 years in B2B Marketing, yet I’m stuck in my job search. I’m having a hard time getting an interview, and when I do, I’m not getting the offer. What can I do differently to receive the consideration I believe I deserve?”
1. Match Your Experience To The Expectations Of The Hiring Manager
All too often, we see resumes that provide a lengthy and detailed list of impressive experience, however, no attempt is made to connect that experience to the needs of the hiring manager and the future success of the business.
You can stand apart from your competition by reviewing the job description and assessing what you believe the new hire's top goals will be. Connect the dots by highlighting how your experience is exactly what they are seeking. For example, a job description may emphasize the importance of your proven ability to drive business growth, yet your resume currently focuses on your demand generation expertise.
The solution may be a simple modification to the way that you describe what you do well, converting the leads you generate into revenue. The renewed focus on what matters most to the hiring manager will capture their attention and spark their curiosity for further evaluation.
2. Demonstrate Your Unique Value
Consider the knowledge you’ve gained from unique experiences that no one else can offer the team. We often use this approach to help top applicants earn an offer. The basic concept is simple and one we all use as marketers, the USP (Unique Selling Proposition). This technique has even been successful in moving our clients ahead of internal competition who were, by company protocol, slated for top consideration.
Based upon study of the job description and research about the employer and their competitive landscape, you should develop a strategy that positions you in a class by yourself, with unique and valuable experience that no one can match. When the hiring team appreciates the distinct value in your unique background, you’re poised to earn the offer. Reeb points out that this is something the Marketers Network does to help its candidates get hired (for a fee).
3. Showcase Your Collaborative Nature
When it comes time to interview, it’s best to approach your interviewer with thoughtful questions, the kinds of questions you would ask in your first week on the job if you were the person hired.
If you enter your interview with the attitude that you have all of the answers, you will likely lose out on an offer. What most employers seek is a partner who is curious to learn everything they can and find innovative and creative solutions to meet customer and business needs.
As you’re interviewing, it will serve you well to think about the needs of the person who is hiring you. What does the business expect from them and how can you help them achieve those goals?
If you can create a legacy of supporting your manager and colleagues in achieving their goals, they will wrap you in caring support and powerful recommendations, which are most helpful when you’re seeking promotions or future opportunities. If you haven’t already established this kind of relationship with your former teams, begin now, starting with questions in your interviews to learn, understand, appreciate and hopefully help your future teammates achieve their goals.
Related: Many experienced marketing professionals are pursuing opportunities via their network. An introduction from people who know you and how you work is the best way to get your foot in the door. If you happen to be applying for positions online and not getting through to an interview, you may want to read our related post, Getting Past The Applicant Tracking System.
The Bottom Line
Set your fears aside. The truth of the matter is that most hiring managers prefer to hire someone with experience and they are happy to pay for it. Let your unique differentiator be your mindset - the fact that YOU are the one candidate who is looking out for the best interests of the company and the hiring manager.
Take a deep breath. You can do this. Simply discover what matters most to the hiring manager (ask if you need to) and share your experience-based knowledge to help them visualize how you can help them achieve their goals. If they view you as a collaborative partner throughout the hiring process, they are able to envision you as a member of their team, a feeling they need to have to extend an offer.