Q: I've been searching for a creative-marketing job for quite some time now. With 10+ years of experience, I thought I would have been invited on a few interviews within the last year and a half, but have yet to receive one call. I see the same job listings posted and reposted, what is the best way to get your resume noticed?
A: Thanks for your question. You raise several very important issues. First, let's talk about your job search strategy. Yes, you should be following jobs that are posted. In most fields, job postings are easy to access and provide useful competitive information about what companies and industries are hiring, what skills are required and sometimes even compensation for a specific skill set. And many companies post jobs. However, not all jobs are posted. I would like you to think about how you are using your time.
Networking is still the most powerful job hunting tool. Networking is critical to discovering the hidden job market - those jobs that are not posted. Networking is also key to being referred into a company. Have you been using LinkedIn? LinkedIn is a very powerful networking tool. It does not replace the old-fashioned, traditional networking of meeting contacts for coffee or for lunch, but it is very valuable for connecting with and expanding your professional network. There are also subgroups on LinkedIn that target very specific interests, skill sets and specialties. There will likely be subgroups that target creative marketing. Also, Twitter is an easy and simply way to find out more about job openings. You can follow a targeted group of people, professional associations or companies.
I hope that you have been active in professional associations that might offer you opportunities to network. Alumni association events can offer helpful networking opportunities. There are also some great Meetup groups in the Boston area. Visit www.meetup.com to better understand how Meetup groups work. Meetup is an online community that links specific groups that meet to discuss a variety of topics. There are Meetup groups that focus on networking, sharing job leads and marketing.
Work on a two-minute job pitch speech if you haven't already. In two minutes, you should be able to summarize your skills and work history. Make it memorable and authentic. Here is a sample:
Good morning! My name is Mary Jones. I am a creative marketing professional with more than 10 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. I have a particular passion for public relations. I also enjoy media relations. I have an undergraduate degree from University of XYZ and an MBA from ABC University. I am now in the market for a new opportunity. Can I have about 20 minutes of your time to pick your brain to determine if you, or your network, may know of opportunities that might be a good fit for my skill set?
My personal observations over the past several years with regard to marketing roles are:
1. There has been a shift toward quantitative, more data driven marketing roles where a company's investment can be measured.
2. Email marketing, natural and paid search and tracking and analytics are skills that seem to be more in demand.
3. Roles in online marketing seem to be growing while roles in traditional marketing seem to have stabilized.
Think about your skill set. If you have some of the online marketing skills, are you highlighting them strongly enough in your resume? Make sure that your resume is crisp, easy-to-read and not too dense. Include meaningful metrics where possible. Use bullets to list skills rather than a paragraph format. A resume should summarize your professional work history and not include every detail. Ask a trusted friend or colleague to critique your resume.
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Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.
Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.
Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years experience. E-mail her directly here.
Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.
Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at WinterWyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.
Tracy Cashman is a partner and the general manager of the Information Technology search division at WinterWyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.
Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.