Job hunting for senior marketers
Inevitably as the economic downturn starts to bite, experienced senior marketers will, through no fault of their own, find themselves having to pick themselves up and find another job.
Speaking to former colleagues, my peer group elsewhere and various other contacts here is a distillation of all the good advice they had to share:
- Decide what your differentiators are. Where do you add value? Ask your network how they see you. It can be very enlightening.
- Don’t panic if your technical skills aren’t cutting edge but do use this time to get up to speed. Learn how to build a WordPress site, tinker with Twitter and Instagram if you haven’t already, brush up your LinkedIn profile and make sure you know how all the bells and whistles on it works. InDesign, video editing, how podcasts work etc are all interesting and useful things to know. You may never have to use them professionally but it will improve your ability to commission and manage projects, and to manage those how are delivered across digital marketing channels. If not digital marketing skills, what else have you always meant to get under your belt/brush up on but never had the time?
- Work your network. Realistically it’s much more likely to deliver your next opportunity than recruitment consultants or LinkedIn is. It’s soul destroying using firms’ online application systems and heartbreaking when recruiters don’t reply to your applications. Your network won’t do that.
- Be clear what you want. If you are looking for a new role say so. There is no shame in it. If you are after freelance work to fill the gap say what sort of projects. Contacts will want to help but it’s much easier for them to offer you work and recommend you to others if you are clear what you want/need.
- Tweak your CV for the job. People don’t read between the lines – spell it out don’t make them work for it.
- Practice interviews. It may be a while since you had to interview for roles. Get contacts to run you through your paces.
- Keep your nerve. Don’t be arrogant but being needy is no more attractive in job interview than it is in first dates. If you need help getting your nerve up do watch Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk “Your body language may shape who you are“.
- There are upsides you age so don’t fudge it. You may be competing with people ten or more years younger than you but that means you have ten years more projects done and experience hard won. Your new employer will benefit from the fact that while we all have things to learn, an older candidate will arguably have more to contribute.
- Promote yourself. You are free to express your views and blog about anything you are passionate about while you have no employer restrictions! Besides if you can’t promote yourself how can you promote your next employer?
- Stay sane. Don’t job hunt all day. Morning or pm but not both. Find something else to do – volunteer, set up a side business. It will also help at interviews if the gap is a long one to show you have used the time wisely. Also see point 7!