It seems everywhere you go you can find tips and tricks to finding your next job, whether it is planning your career and figuring out when to make the next jump, or being unemployed and just hunting to get back in the game.
The most popular tip, of course, is to network, and we all know that the most networking happens when you are out of a job. During my latest job search where I landed a Marketing Solutions Consultant role here at DemandLab, I was fortunate to have already had a great job. It’s with this perspective that I want to share the best tips I have to help you land your next martech role.
The Job Search
For nearly 3 years, I worked at a great consulting firm and worked for the best boss one could ask for. When I set out on a journey to move to a fully remote environment, I knew it could turn out horribly. Leaving a great situation means you can and likely should be very picky. To maximize your chances for success, you need to put in the prep work and decide what it is you want to change, and what you are looking for in your next role.
Step 1: Define your role
“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything” is a quote attributed to several people and it can’t be more relevant than it is to your job search. Before you read up on the latest roles, my best advice is to write your own job description. You need to understand what you want to do before you can go find it, otherwise, you risk taking something that sounds great, but doesn’t meet your goals. Once you know what you want to do, you can start looking for your dream job. I have been fortunate to work in Marketing for a decade, so I was confident that I wanted to remain on the Consulting side. There is a huge difference between corporate and consulting marketing roles, so understanding the differences is a good starting place to determine what you are looking for in your next role:
Access to data and internal company resources beyond the marketing team.
More variety in work to help you become a jack/jill-of-all-trades and explore many more martech instances.
Deep dive into market/industry company-specific needs.
Less control; clients need persuasion and recommendations to take your advice.
Can sometimes be more execution and less strategic depending on the role.
Can be project-based where you don’t get to always see the fruits of your labor.
For my search, I laid out my top 3 criteria:
A Company with a Vision of who they wanted to be
Step 2: Start your search
For my next role, it was a rather small pool of organizations to choose from; I was fortunate to have met several people at various industry functions and knew a lot about them by reputation. Looking at niche sites are far more conducive to this type of job search. Bigger job search websites can take you off your desired path and make it harder to find the right type of role you are interested in. Reaching out to organizations you admire is also a great way to find out about off-market jobs. By taking this approach, my search was relatively short and painless.
Years ago, an organization I was working with brought in a recruiter who I got to work with closely. It shocked and horrified me the stories he shared about terrible job applications. Here are my tips on how to not get tossed:
Update Your Resume. If you have links to past work on your resume, make sure they are up-to-date and still active.
Include a Cover Letter. When you have narrowed down your choice, you need to show the organization that you chose them and why you will be the right fit. Also, address the letter to your future boss; with Google and LinkedIn it shouldn’t be hard to find out who you will report to.
Update LinkedIn. Ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and aligns to the letter with your resume.
Many people will tell you to interview your prospective employer as much as they are interviewing you. This is a great piece of advice, but not always the easiest to execute. When you need a job, it is far easier to appear to be a desperate candidate which makes interviewing your prospective employer more difficult. If you can really commit to interviewing your prospective employer, here are the steps I took that you can apply to your interview process.
Step 3: Initial Meeting
I love the way DemandLab handled the first interview. It was a very easy conversation with Anita Williams, our Client Services Manager, who described the process. She was instrumental in making what could be seen as an arduous process, into one that allowed both sides to get to know each other and determine how the rest of the process would flow.
Tip: Be relaxed, be yourself. You don’t need to prove anything during the first call, just be open and honest. You both need to explore and get to know each other. There will be time to assess your skills and experiences later to determine if you are right for the role.
Step 4: Test Time
If you can’t do the work, there is no point in wasting each other’s time. At DemandLab, prospective employees complete sample exercises in one of the many platforms you will work in as a Martech Delivery Team member. I raced in and went to work, and within a couple of days was ready for the next challenge.
Be complete—attention to detail is basic; show that you deserve to be here.
Be prepared to explain your rationale–there are often multiple ways to achieve the same result, be ready to defend your decision.
Trust that you are prepared and just do your best.
Step 5: Show them what you’ve got!
Now that I had proven I had some knowledge required, the real test came. Meeting with our Chief Marketing Technologist and proving my worth. Eric Hollebone knows his stuff, and there is no room to try to BS your way through him. Add in his years of consulting experience, he has developed an innate ability to ask questions to get to the root of the issue. This pressure cooker is the interview to prepare for and then some. When you are preparing for your next role, you will meet someone who knows their stuff, and if you don’t, run! If you don’t want to be challenged and work with people smarter than yourself, Martech isn’t for you.
Tip: Be prepared to talk both at the lowest level-of-detail while also remembering that as a martech professional you need to match it with high-level strategy.
Step 6: Meet a Coworker
Once you have passed all the hurdles to prove you are up to the job, take the time get to know who you might work with every day. Talk to some of your potential coworkers. This stage is where we really get an understanding of the fit. Bring your questions, understand what we do, and let’s see how we can work together. This critical step helps both sides figure out if we can do this long term. Especially for remote teams, being a part means we need to work harder to work together and communicate with ease.
Tip: This is your chance to get to know what life is like at your prospective company. If you are like me, you’ll want to ask about the day to day, what everyone is like, and dig deep into what you’ll be doing.
Step 7: Meet the Boss
You made it, we’re in the home stretch now. At this stage in the DemandLab hiring process, you get to meet our All-Star Founder, Rhoan Morgan. Perhaps you have listened to her podcast, connected at a Philadelphia Marketo User Group or have met her at one of the many events she frequents in the martech space. Now is your chance to impress her and get her final seal of approval. Rhoan is very approachable so come in relaxed and prepared for a conversation. Again, fit is the key in hiring, you will be working with a super talented and creative team and we want you to bring us to the next level.
Tip: Be relaxed and ask the questions you haven’t had the chance to yet. This will be the last exit to decide if you want to get off the ramp before making a commitment. It’s also your last chance to impress us, so bring your A game, which if you made it this far, we know you have.
Congratulations: Enjoy your new Adventure
When you are ready to start looking for your next role, remember to take control of your job search by defining the job you want, search out the organizations you admire, and be sure to ask the right questions to ensure you will fit in with the organization for years to come. If you do this, you’ll be like me, in a role you love working with people who you enjoy working with every day.
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