At Carter Murray, Siobhan Kehoe is responsible for sourcing marketing professionals for businesses within the UK’s commerce and industry sectors – which is anything outside of professional and financial services.
She talks to talented people every day who are either marketing generalists or specialists across communications, business development, customer relationship management (CRM) and digital marketing.
Are you a generalist or specialist marketer looking for a new role within commerce and industry? If so, here are some CV and interview tips from Siobhan on how to stand out in a marketing interview process.
What are your three top tips for someone interviewing for a marketing role?
- Research! Make sure you look at your potential employer’s company website and social media platforms. Come prepared with opinions and guidance wherever relevant to your potential role. For example, you could explain how you’d improve their customer journey or increase their followers, interactions and even sales
- Prove your value through tangible metrics and evidence. It’s great for interviewers to learn you’ve increased your company’s LinkedIn follower count or web users, but by how much exactly? And how did you do it? Did you use templates? When delivering a marketing campaign, what was your return on investment? Say what you did and how you did it. Make sure these are on your LinkedIn profile too!
- Clarify the difference between what you achieved independently and what your marketing team achieved or how you supported someone more senior. Be prepared to discuss successes in both
What should a marketing professional always include on their CV?
Employers are always interested to know what digital tools you can use – even if you’re applying for a generalist marketing position. This demonstrates your ability to use technology, which plays a critical role in optimising campaigns and tracking their results.
These tools could cover social media channels, website and Google Analytics, search engine optimisation (SEO), email marketing, content creation and more. Examples of standout tools might include Salesforce, MailChimp, HubSpot, Microsoft Dynamics and more.
Including these tools also shows your adaptability and willingness to learn about new technologies. There will always be new marketing tools available and you can stand out by showing you’re following the latest marketing trends.
How can a marketer stand out in a marketing job interview?
Whether your marketing interview is in-person or online, researching your potential employer is crucial when preparing for an interview. This shows your interest and knowledge while enabling you to explain what you’d bring to the team. For example, you could propose a marketing campaign to boost their sales with their target audience (just make sure they haven’t already done it!)
Look at the company’s mission and values so you can show how yours align. You can also review their products and services, explore their channels and research their competitors. This shows your mindset and that you know how to understand your market.
What skills should a marketing professional have?
It really depends on your specialism but there are many appealing marketing skills and qualities that marketers can gain. These could include hard skills – such as copywriting, analytical, time management and digital – but also soft skills like communication, creativity and an eye for detail.
It’s likely you’ll have many of these skills – just make sure you demonstrate them clearly for your interviewer! You could even use examples.
What’s more important for a marketing professional, qualifications or experience?
It depends on the level of the role you’re applying for. Of course if this is more senior – such as marketing manager – experience is required and can be gained from a variety of specialisms and industries. Whether you’re entry-level or senior, a marketing-related degree (such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing) helps candidates stand out, especially if there are lots of applications.
But you don’t always need a costly degree or qualification that can take years or more to compete. There are many free and short-term courses you can take – such as Google Digital Garage, HubSpot Academy, OpenLearn and FutureLearn.
How can a marketing person find out which industry or sector is right for them?
Start by asking yourself what you are interested in. What do you like learning about? Is there a market or new product you’re drawn to or feel passionate about? It could be anything from tech, beauty and food to coffee and travel. The business could be well established or a startup. Whatever it is, go for it!
Evaluate your interests and options, then research them – including job searches. You can also seek advice from professionals and recruiters in that industry though events, webinars, LinkedIn and more.
Remember that you might join a new sector and find out it’s not for you – and that’s fine too! Gain enough experience to help you develop your marketing career and take your time looking at new options.
What questions can marketing professionals ask their interviewers?
Asking marketing interview questions is a great opportunity to show your interest in the company and job description. It also helps you prepare any follow-up questions if there’s another round.
And remember, you are interviewing them too as this marketing director or hiring manager could be your future stakeholder. You could ask around culture, marketing strategy, role expectations and more. What’s their focus for the next quarter? How’s the marketing team structured? How do they stay up to date with the latest marketing trends and technologies?
Most importantly, use these specific questions and answers as an opportunity to assess whether this business and its stakeholders are right for you. It could be a match made in heaven!
If you would like to find out more about the above, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with Siobhan at firstname.lastname@example.org.