What Do Marketing Executives Seek in Ideal Candidates?

Whether you are an active job seeker, or just seeking a promotion at your current employer, the job search process can be frustrating. I’m here to shed a little light on the hiring process from the perspective of hiring managers — CMOs, VPs of marketing, and directors of marketing

Robin: Do candidates who come through referrals rise to the “top” quicker? Does OnCourse have an employee referral program?

Evans: No, even people that have been referred in go through the same process as everyone else. OnCourse Learning does not have an employee referral bonus program in place.

Robin: What is the most important thing you consider in assessing a candidate?

Evans: The most important thing is that they are able to give clear examples of things that they have done. We interview in teams of 3, as a panel, and look for past behavior, which is the best predictor of future results. Typically, we don’t ask hypothetical or theoretical questions. We are looking for people that can give solid examples of what they’ve done. Candidates that can give us a description of the actions they have taken and state clear results. They don’t have to have results that necessarily knock it out of the park, but they need to take us through the actions of what they have done and demonstrate a mastery of their competency.

Another thing is we’re all taught to be team players, right?. So, a lot of times people answer questions with “we.” We’re actually looking for what they did as an individual, so it is okay to use “I” when discussing what you’ve done in the past.

Towards the end of an interview, we’ll use motivation fit questions. We want to know what type of work environment they enjoy or don’t enjoy. We ask these questions to try to understand if the person is going to be a fit within our culture.

Robin: How important is a person’s resume in the hiring process? How about a cover letter?

Evans: A cover letter is not important at all. Rarely do I see a cover letter, and I would never make a decision based on that. With a resume I’m looking for specific digital marketing skills like Marketo, Pardot, Hubspot, HTML5, etc. We want to know if do you have these certain types of skills sets. However, the more fact based you can be, the better. I like to see they did this and this was the result, for example the amount of leads generated or revenue.

I don’t have a ton of time to look at resumes, so ones with results will catch my eye.

I overlook resumes with just skills and no concrete career history. So, if there are no specific time frames for where you’ve done these things, I’ll skip over those resumes pretty quickly.

Robin: Do you check out candidates on LinkedIn before you speak to them?

Evans: I assume HR does. Sometimes my department posts a job, but the resumes come to HR. We then talk to HR about the competencies we are looking for. The HR person does look at LinkedIn because the post is there. I will then look at their profile.

LinkedIn is not like a resume, so I am not looking for all the terms as I mentioned before, but it would be nice to see their projects they have done. I do look for things that show experience with strategy, market research, brand launches, and brand management.

Personally, I don’t pay attention to the recommendations. I think just because someone doesn’t have any, it doesn’t pertain to their qualifications. It may just be your personality that caused you not to ask for recommendations. Certainly, it doesn’t hurt, but I won’t skip someone that doesn’t have recommendations.

I do look at what their degree is in.

Author: Michelle Robin

The toughest marketing challenge of all is marketing you, and the purpose of this blog is to help marketing superstars, like you, conquer that challenge and excel in your career.

Passionate about direct marketing and helping people find jobs, Michelle Robin has translated her extensive B-to-B marketing background into a career focused on her true love: creating powerful career marketing documents that lead to interviews at her clients’ target organizations. As Chief Career Brand Officer at Brand Your Career, she works with executive-level sales and marketing professionals across the U.S., and helps them discover their personal brand and fast track their job search.

An award-winning and dual-certified resume writer (NCRW and PARW), Michelle’s work has been published in the book, Modernize Your Resume: Get Noticed...Get Hired.

Need help discovering your personal brand? Download Michelle’s free Personal Branding Workbook. Just launching your job search? Get 26 action-packed tips to accelerate your marketing job search. You can also connect with Michelle on Twitter, LinkedIn, or email.

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