Fresh out of college and looking for your first position in marketing (or maybe a public relations position)? You may be surprised that hiring managers are looking for different things than you’d expect or learned in school. Even veteran marketers are being asked to do more with analytics, creativity, and strategy. Having a good track record or academic credentials is a great start, but it’s not enough to prove you’ve got the chops to be a great marketer.
Here at SHIFT, our marketing department is hiring a Marketing Coordinator and while I get ready to start the interviewing process, I’ve put a lot of thought into what is important to me as a hiring manager, and thought I’d give potential candidates a peek into what we’re looking for here.
1. What do you do in your free time to expand your marketing skills? When leaving college, there is the mistaken perception that learning is complete. To excel at the work you do, a passion for learning new things is required. To stay current in marketing, learning new things is mandatory.
2. What have you read lately? What blogs/newspapers/other media do you read on a regular basis? Where do you keep up to date about what’s happening in your industry and in the world in general? If you don’t have a good answer to these questions, then it tells me you’re looking for a job, not doing something you are passionate about.
3. Do you practice critical thinking? Many marketing roles are evolving into specific roles that include analytics and research. Are your comfortable with numbers? Can you think logically about questions and find creative solutions to problems? Do you take the time to look beyond a quick and easy solution and dig to find a longer term, if painful, solution to problems? Great solutions aren’t about finding the quickest and easiest route but the one most appropriate to the issue at hand.
4. Can you write in different styles? A blog post for a client has a different tone than a blog post for your personal site. A press release uses different language than an email to a client about day to day issues. Can you be flexible and fit your tone to match the occasion. Can you convey information concisely while getting the points across? These are valuable skills in any professional role but especially in marketing and public relations where more than half of your time will be spent writing!
5. Do you have a time management system? Are you familiar with Basecamp? Track projects in Excel? Use a sheet of paper to make a to-do list? All of these answers work, and if you’re fresh out of college you know that keeping track of a calendar full of deadlines and prioritizing your work has an effect on your day-to-day success.
At every level of success, these are skills you’ll need from day one of your first job through the end of your career. Even if you aren’t currently looking for a new position, these are great habits to get into. They will inevitably help boost your current job performance and will definitely catch our attention when you come in for a interview at SHIFT.
As the remarkable Dr. Seuss put it, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Senior Marketing Analyst