So you applied for a great marketing job that you’re really interested in. Even better, your marketing executive recruiter and the client thinks you might be a good fit for the position! You’ve made it past the first round of selection—along with several other qualified applicants.
When recruiting marketing executives for senior level positions, we encounter a lot of smart people. Once you make it down to the short list, competition gets tough. It’s difficult for anyone to distinguish themselves when competing against talent at this level. Faced with a group of all-stars, how do you get chosen by the hiring manager?
One sure way to get moved to the front of the pack is to demonstrate your interest through action. You can speak loudly enough with your actions to demand attention and distinguish yourself from competition that is just talking. And you don’t have to be competing for a top-tier management or executive position, either; even mid-level marketing jobs warrant some extra effort if it’s the kind of job you really want.
Even exceptional talent can get overlooked if they fail to display real interest in the role and the company. On the other hand, it’s always a refreshing experience when a candidate is honestly excited about a potential new role. Your marketing recruiter and hiring manager absolutely notice signs of interest—even small ones. If you’re genuinely intent on getting a particular job, taking a few extra steps will distinguish yourself and bring you to our top of mind.
Need to make sure you make a good impression? Try some of these basic strategies to show you REALLY care.
Do Your Homework
With the staggering amount of information available online, it’s never been easier to research the company you’re applying to and the contacts you’ll be interacting with. There are endless resources you can access concerning almost any business out there: the company’s website, press releases, social media and more.
Take stock of the company’s core values and business foundations. What is their mission statement? Their USP? Find out what they’re doing. What are they talking about on blogs and official social accounts? What news have they recently announced? Think about how your experience and interests relate to what that company is doing, what it wants to be doing, and what you could help it do better. Heading into discussions of a position armed with this background information makes a huge difference. Bring up your thoughts on high-level aspects of the company or ask about something unusual you noticed. You’ll immediately raise your profile as someone who knows what they’re talking about and is genuinely interested in that organization’s success.
Create a 100 Day Plan
What would you do if you got the job today? You should have already demonstrated your previous success in your initial interview and preliminary discussions. But how will you carry on that success into future results? Do you have a plan in place to integrate yourself with a company’s processes and start producing results quickly? Having an idea of how you want to approach the job and a schedule of goals to achieve is impressive and enticing to hiring managers.
How elaborate your plan should be depends on how much information you can get about the job and your judgment of how your contacts will receive it. You may want to draft an intricate 6-month strategy or simply work out the methodology you’ll use once hired to make a plan at that point (this is where your homework really pays off). Use your plan to give a glimpse into what it would be like to work with you on a day-to-day basis and talk about how your skillset and mentality make you uniquely qualified to carry it out. Do everything you can to tie the plan to realistic and important results they are looking to achieve. We are not simply looking for activity but how are you going to add value both short and long-term.
Be Responsive to Your Hiring Contacts and Marketing Recruiter
You know how satisfying and valuable it is to get quick responses. Recruiters and hiring managers feel the same way. As one of our data points, we perceive your responsiveness to be a reflection of your reliability, initiative, and interest. Now that instant mobile communication is available to almost anyone, there are few excuses not to provide reasonably quick responses.
If we have to wait a long time to hear back from you, even for small things, we’re going to turn our thoughts and efforts elsewhere. But if you answer our calls, respond almost immediately to emails and quickly fulfill requests for information and documentation, you’re sure to get a smiley face by your name.
Go the Extra Mile (Literally)
We recently had a great candidate that lived a couple states away from the job she was interviewing for. When our client wanted to do a follow-up interview, they offered the option to do it via video chat; a very accommodating (and increasingly common) gesture. Instead, the candidate insisted on an in-person interview and made the long drive. We were impressed by the dedication—and you can bet the client was, too.
No one would have blamed her for taking the more convenient option. In a time where smartphones are ubiquitous and video chatting is becoming a standard form of communication, it’s tempting for interviewer and interviewee alike to opt for phone and video conference interviews when possible. After all, who doesn’t want the option to interview from the comfort of their own home? Image source
But going the extra mile shows your interest in the role and dedication to presenting yourself accurately.
Do Something Extraordinary
You probably have no idea who you’re competing against. But if you really, really want the job, then other people probably do too. Maybe you’re the most qualified of the bunch—or maybe you’re against incredibly experienced and impressive individuals that will go to great lengths to impress the people responsible for the hire.
Even if you do everything right—craft the perfect resume, fill all the job requirements, nail preliminary interviews—you can still be outshone by someone who does all that and more. The marketing recruiter world is replete with legends of job candidates going the extra mile to show off and stand out. These methods are sure to make an impression, though it’s not guaranteed to be a positive one. It’s up to you to decide how you can display your skills, experience and creativity in a way that will impress and add value to your future employer.