Hear that? It’s the sound of a great career move disappearing because you were too slow to act.
We marketers like to preach the importance of being “nimble.” To be able to quickly respond to challenges and take advantage of great opportunities that come our way.
And we also know that most opportunities, especially the best, don’t last long. Organizations that drag their feet or lack even the vision to see it coming get left behind.
Today’s marketing environment demands timely messages and quick responses from brands. We know how valuable it is to be ready for almost anything, and have seen the positive results of jumping on a trend as it skyrockets in popularity.
In a lot of ways, a marketing job opening is like any other great marketing opportunity. And it’s those that take initiative and go out of their way to engage with interested hiring organizations and marketing recruiters that more often than not are able to land the best jobs.
Avoid a Career Nightmare
A hiring employer’s nightmare isn’t dealing with a bad candidate: it’s working with a good one that misses an amazing opportunity.
Here’s a horror story recruiters, especially marketing recruiters, experience all too often (warning: not for the faint of heart!):
- After some time struggling to find great candidates for a tough search, we finally identify an excellent candidate. Their resume looks great, their references check out, they’re looking for a new opportunity and seem excited about the position.
- After an initial application or even a few steps into the process, they seemingly fall off the face of the earth. Emails aren’t answered, phone calls aren’t picked up, job offers go unaccepted. Sometimes days go by without any interaction.
- But marketing is moving fast, and we can’t afford to wait while a critical position remains open. So we offer the job to someone who is almost as qualified and much more responsive.
- Here’s the horrifying part: the ideal candidate follows up to express their interest… right after the offer letter was signed by someone else.
Ok, so maybe that’s not going to make up the plot of the next Stephen King novel. But it’s sure to be at least a little scary to anyone who is looking to take that next big step in their career.
Your Marketing Job Timeline
The best job opportunities are also the most essential to the company. Marketing is moving fast, and they can’t afford to keep a critical spot open just for you–not matter how qualified you are. Every day they wait is lost potential productivity in this industry.
But that doesn’t mean you have to be waiting by your phone every minute of the day or drop whatever you’re doing any time an email comes in. Instead, responding within a reasonable amount of time is perfectly fine.
What constitutes “reasonable”?
- First, if you ever commit to a timeline, stick to it. When you say you’ll provide references by a specific time or schedule any kind of meeting, follow through with punctuality.
- When there’s not a hard deadline, you should do your best to respond within the same day or first thing the next morning. In general, the sooner the better.
And If you’re ever unsure, don’t be afraid to ask! It’s much better to ask what kind of deadline you’re on than to risk missing the opportunity of a lifetime.
Reinforce Your Personal Brand
If you’ve ever had a customer service agent answer your phone call on the first ring, or gotten an instant email confirmation, or received a reply on social media after just a few moments, you know how satisfying fast feedback can be. And your perception of the brand or individual providing the response probably improves dramatically.
Recommended Reading: Get Career Opportunities to Come to You with an Online Personal Brand
Your own responsiveness reflects upon yourself in much the same way. Quickly following up to missed calls, providing requested information and replying to emails makes you look attentive, decisive and enthusiastic about the position–all great traits employers are looking for in their marketers.
A strong early impression created by remarkable responsiveness could be enough to differentiate yourself and move your resume to the top of the pile.
Responsiveness Doesn’t Have to Mean Commitment
Some marketers hesitate to respond because they feel they need more time to learn about the job or consider the opportunity. This is an easy way to lose it altogether.
Remember, following up quickly and consistently does not commit you to a role. However, it may help you keep the window of opportunity open for a little bit longer while you weigh your options.
Once an employer or recruiter has shown interest in you, it’s always a good idea to stay in regular communication if you think you might want the job. Even periodically checking in to reaffirm your interest can go a long way.
Just don’t wait too long to make that final critical decision!