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: What tips do you have for someone looking to further their career in marketing?

Evans: Marketing today is becoming specialized in certain areas. We have people on our team that are heavy on technology vs. others that are heavy on creative. For example, we have a channel team and brand team. You have very different types of skills sets.

Before, marketing was a bit more general. Today, you need to decide on the direction you need to go. If you like the analytics and the programming, then digital is a good route. If you’re not in digital today and want to go to that, I would recommend attending a boot camp before you jump into that. If you want more of a marketing manager role, I suggest getting skilled in market research. I think market research is a lost art. It’s hard to find people that do market research in a fact-based way. If you want to progress and lead a marketing department or become a CMO you need to get a flavor of all those areas.

Robin: What is your favorite recruiting story?

Evans: I have been using the Targeted Selection method for a long time. When I was at Nielson, I brought it there. We got a resume for an entry-level marketing job from someone who was currently a bar tender. She did have a marketing degree, and when you looked at her resume, you could see her competencies fit really well. Then she knocked it out of the park in interview. So even though we got a hard time for bringing someone in that was a bar tender, she worked out really well. Today she’s a mid-level manager at PepsiCo. I really believe when you find someone with the core competencies that match the role you can teach them the other pieces they need.

Robin: Do you have any favorite questions you like to ask in interviews?

Evans: I’ll answer this in two ways. First, I don’t have specific questions during the regular interview process because I stick to the process. The process is all about asking for examples to demonstrate the competencies we’re looking for.

Then, at the end of the interview when we talk about motivational fit, I’ll ask some specific questions. Something like, “Using adjectives, describe you most ideal (or least) ideal work environment.” This helps give me a sense of the culture they would like or not like to be in.

Robin: What is your best advice for job candidates seeking a marketing position?

Evans: I would say it depends on where you’re at in your career. If you’re still in school, get a marketing, journalism or communications degree. If you’ve started your career and don’t have marketing experience, get an MBA.

Sometimes what they call marketing is nothing more than sales, but it’s a different type of sales job. If you like being across the table from the customer, then go for a sales type of role. If you like the power of persuasion, create some presentations or decks or write some copy. Show people you have the ability to use words to persuade action.

Finally, the more fact-based you are, the better chance you will have in landing the job. Marketing is becoming more, and more, and more, a fact-based discipline.

OnCourse Learning earned a place on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies for the third year in a row this year. Perhaps it’s an organization you want to check out to help grow your career. Visit oncourselearning.com to view their open positions and learn more.

Are you a marketing executive who wants to share your hiring best practices? I’d love to talk to you. Contact me at michelle@brandyourcareer.com.

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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