If you could ask a marketing recruiter anything, what would you want to know? - Created by Marketing Mob
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Created by Annelle Barnett - Marketing Mob - For more great resources like this, Join The Marketing Mob!
Questions asked by members of Marketing & Communications Women of Atlanta Facebook Group
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How does someone get a marketing job without any marketing experience?This is a tough one and every entry-level employee struggles with it. Here are a few ideas:

Internships are the best way to gain experience. Even if you've already graduated, this is a great way to learn and potentially move into a full-time position with that employer or with a connection you've made through the internship.

There are lots of free online training programs. As most marketers are aware, HubSpot is a great resource for this. If nothing else, you can learn the vernacular and concepts so that when you're interviewing for entry-level positions, you have a leg up on others who haven't.

Many business leaders are open to having someone shadow them for a day (1/2 day). This will make you more comfortable in a work environment.

Networking - Don't be scared to reach out to family friends and people on LinkedIn for help. The world is a lot more open to helping others than it used to be.
What are the top 5 job skills required for marketing positions? This will vary significantly by position but more generally, here are my thoughts:
1. Resourcefulness - there are way too many marketing disciplines and tools to keep up with these days. Knowing how to find people or resources online to help you do and/or outsource what you don't know is key. Don't be afraid to say that you don't know everything but you can find the answer.
2. Ability to impact the bottom line - Analytics tools have driven this. We can now measure marketing's impact on a business. These are exciting times for marketers.
3. Testing & Analytics - Per item 2 - companies are often looking for people who can test, analyze results and adapt accordingly.
4. Curiosity - The constant quest for learning, trying new things, finding answers and solving things.
5. Humility - This is becoming more sought after vs. those who are braggadocious taking credit for everything even though it was a team effort.
What value does a creative background hold for a marketing professional? (photography, retouching, commercial photography for social media)Totally depends on the marketing field. For social media and website creation, this can definitely give you a leg up. For other fields, it will be more of a bonus than a qualifier. If that makes sense.
What tactics to get noticed really work vs. undermine the credibility of the applicant?Being actively involved in organizations (AMA, AIMA, BMA, etc.). Don't just attend their events, volunteer, join the board. This is the best way to get to know people. And also gets you and your skills in front of people.

Also, social media groups (such as Marketing & Communications Women of Atlanta :) FB Group ).

If it's an external recruiter don't hesitate to reach out to them via LinkedIn or email. They're very receptive to this.

Not many people are brave enough to contact the hiring manager, which means you will be noticed if you do. This must be done tactfully but can be effective.

Reach out to people in your network who can make introductions.

Buy as many people a cup of coffee as you can to help spread the word about your job search.

Go old school - Potentially send a hard copy of your resume in a large envelope. No one else is.

Also, did you know that you can run ads to a specific job title at a specific company on Facebook? Perhaps something creative can be done here.
What would you recommend to a graphic designer who wants to transition into marketing roles?The easiest way to transition into a new discipline is to do it within your current company (if there is a marketing position available). They know you best and will being more willing to take a chance on you trying something new. Sit down with the head of marketing and ask what she/he would like for you to know before moving over or if they'd be willing to train you in the new role.

Try to learn on the job. If there are marketers in your current organization, start shadowing and really paying attention to what they're doing to learn. You can also start learning online through research and free online courses. Integrate marketing into the materials that you design. Ask whomever your designing for, what the purpose of their materials is and start thinking through the steps for achieving their objectives. Make suggestions and learn from their feedback.

Get involved in marketing organizations and take online/offline courses.
I would like to understand HR application systems. They have a reputation of being back holes and pointless.

Can you explain how recruiters interact with the system to filter candidates?

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) work just like Google Keyword Search. Depending on the organization, there are 10s to 100s of thousand of resume in the system. They can be mind boggling to sort through. The person searching the database is often an internal recruiter and not familiar with the marketing vernacular or disciplines. They are operating on matching bullet points and keywords in resumes to those in job descriptions. For instance Marketo will match with Marketo but marketing automation or MAP will not and, because they're often recruiters (vs. marketers), they don't know how to broaden that search.

I often advise to have a bulleted list of skill sets at the top of your resume that can easily be changed out to match the primary keywords in the job description. If the requirement says Marketo - include Marketo, you can change easily change it out or the next application. Of course, you need to actually have these skill sets (don't embellish to make the match). :)
Who decides to send a rejection note? What level of the organization?It depends on how far a resume gets. An internal recruiter will often handle the initial screening and will compile a shortlist of candidates for the hiring manager. The hiring manager will say yay/nay. So it depends on if you make it to the shortlist or not. There is a similar process with external recruiters in that they do the first scans.
Does anyone really get a job by just filling out an application?Yes, definitely. But it always helps to reinforce your application through an introduction or connection with a hiring manager.
What jobs are available at 200 plus a year? And what are the requirements?This is less about type of position and more about seniority and level of experience. $200+ is typically going to come at a VP level and above.

Or, you can take the leap and work for yourself, which can go either way depending upon your grit.
What would be your reservations about hiring a career changer who recently switched to marketing but has 1-2 years of work experience?It is much easier to switch disciplines earlier on in your career than it is later when you have many years behind you. The reservations would depend on the position and how difficult the area or industry is to learn. Having a couple of years experience helps with already knowing the business world (whereas someone totally entry-level is more green). It shouldn't be too touch to switch if you're willing to take a step backwards in order to go forward.
Same question, but make that 10 yrs experience in another industry & a graduate degree in communications.This is a little more complicated as you've set up the foundation. It's definitely not impossible though and much easier today than it was even 10 years ago. As I mentioned in question 9, the easiest way to transition into a new discipline is to do it within your current company. If that is not possible, perhaps try to take on some freelance projects to get your feet wet and build up some experience. Charge a reasonable rate as you'll be learning on the job and your client will be disappointed if their expectations don't meet the rate you charge. If you're moving from communications to marketing, that's not a big leap. The primary difference will be to develop content that drives business results vs. communicating for the sake of information. As previously mentioned, HubSpot is a great resource for this.
Also as a female recruiter, do you attempt to place women first to even out the salary gap?I'm not an attorney so I can't say this with any legal authority but I operate under the EOE principles where you can't discriminate on gender, race, age, etc.
How does one find a position at the VP level these days? They are rarely listed on company websites or job searching sites. This is tough as you are correct, they don't advertise these as often. And, due to fewer VP-levels needed, there just aren't as many of these positions available. External recruiters (executive search firms/recruiters) are typically working to fill these positions. I just filled one last week. Getting on their radar is a good idea. Also, using your network to notify you when they hear of things and to make introductions. Reaching out with cold connections on LinkedIn is often acceptable at that level.
And if you get a VP interview, what is different about that negotiation process compared to a position at a lower/different level?They will expect you to negotiate so be prepared to. Unless their offer blows you away on the first round, this is your life too and I'd encourage you to ask for what you deserve (as long as it's reasonable for the position). It's like buying a house, you make money on the buy, not the sale. If you don't ask for it now, you will not get it in the future. If you have a current position, you'll have more power in the negotiation process.
Does a masters degree or advanced certifications matter to hiring managers?In larger corporations, yes. They are big on hiring MBAs, especially if there is P&L responsibility. Also, if you're in a specialized field, it could be beneficial. In most SMBs (small to medium sized businesses), it does not matter much. I have not yet had a client require it. And in the new world of modern marketing and the Internet, being able to show that you can drive results might be more/just as important as education.
Which resume formats are best - and worst - for getting recruiters attention? (i.e. infographic resumes, resumes with pictures, dynamic vs. static file - since i know some dynamic files can translate badly in some recruiting systems)I will add this to the Google sheet but the heavy graphic resumes do not fare well in the applicant tracking systems. If you're not in a creative field, I'd suggest an old school version. If you do opt to have a creative one or you're in the creative field, it's good to have 2 versions. One for applying online (definitely go old school here) and one for sending directly to hiring managers. However, I do find that the crafty ones are often missing key information about the candidate and their capabilities. So, if it looks fancy, be sure it still contains all of the pertinent information. Kind of like what we have to accomplish as marketers. Pretty pictures alone won't sell the product without superb messaging and key differentiators.
Do you have any suggestions for overcoming ageism?I'm sure there are other opinions on this matter and probably highly-passionate ones.

My thoughts are: Marketing is moving at lightning speed. As one's career becomes more senior level, it is imperative to keep learning and growing. It is no longer sufficient to rely on one's ability to create strategy without knowing how to execute and implement the strategy with technology and digital activities. This is often where age is seemingly the issue but it can be more a result of lack of skills using current technology. Staying current on the latest and greatest is the best way to ensure you continue to stay relevant. Constantly learning and growing. Being a thought-leader, contributing content, speaking engagements, etc. is great for staying in front of the marketplace and establishing yourself as someone who can attract opportunities rather than having to seek them out.

The ability to show results matters more than anything else these days. Being able to effectively show results will remove everything else from the equation.

Also, with a good deal of experience at a senior-level, there is always the option of going it alone and creating your own business/destiny so that you don't have to rely upon someone else's terms. Although, this is coming from a 10 year entrepreneur so I'm definitely partial. Business ownership is not for everyone. Just know than there are more options than what's in front of you.
Why is it that people who relocate from big cities have a hard time?Hmm, this is an interesting question as I have not heard this before. My guess is that it's more challenging in a new market because your network is not as strong here as it was in your prior city. Establishing a strong network and leveraging that network is the best way to find the hidden jobs that aren't being publicized, which also ensures less competition for the job. If you haven't done so already, potentially start inviting people to coffee 2-3 (or even more) times/week and participate in the marketing organizations in ATL - AMA, AIMA, BMA, PRSA (especially for communications). Reaching out to account executives and account managers who work at Communications Agencies and asking them to coffee or a call might be a good place to start. Agencies work with many companies and are very well connected.
Hi Annelle, I'm a career changer with 5 years of experience. I'm switching from science to marketing. I have some transferable skills but what's the best way to get experience in digital marketing?I answered a similar question in line 16 but will expand on it here: The easiest way to transition into a new discipline is to do it within your current company, if that is a possibility. Science to marketing is big leap but I will say that marketing is becoming more and more scientific, especially when it comes to data. Perhaps you move into data science as it relates to marketing(?). This is a HOT field right now and lots of positions will continue to open up. Also, the discipline hasn't been around very long and there will likely be a shortage in supply of people so it will be easier to leap into it versus more competitive disciplines.

If data science doesn't interest you, I'd defer to my previous answer: perhaps try to take on some freelance projects to get your feet wet and build up some experience. Charge a reasonable rate as you'll be learning on the job and your client will be disappointed if their expectations don't meet the rate you charge.
What’s the best way to know your worth and how you should be compensated? If underpaid in a current role, what’s the best way to negotiate?Doing online research and asking friends or colleagues in similar roles (I'll emphasize - do NOT ask people in your current company) to determine salaries for similar skill sets, titles and positions can help. There are a lot of salary reports released that you can access online. Recruiters can often advise if they have specifics on your background and industry (industry does play a part in salary).

If you are underpaid, arm yourself with data and confidence and ask for it. It might be surprising to hear that most employers are willing to give a salary increase if someone just asks for it. If they are unwilling to provide an increase, ask for them to work with you to devise a plan to get you to that next level. Don't put it all on them, participate in this process. Define the objectives to be met, establish the timeframe and secure commitment from the supervisor that, if you meet the plan, you will receive an XX% increase.
I appreciate the question. I've often been slightly unsure about using recruiters because of the tendency of them to favor the employer, meaning finding the best candidate at the lowest salary. How can I best use recruiters, like yourself, who want to help candidates, like me, find the best position for the best salary? I'm flipping the coin. I am interested in knowing what marketing and communications position offers the highest paying position with mostly sales skills and a little marketing and communications. Please, also correct me if I am wrong. Thank you for being proactive. I'm trying to understand more myself.It is true that recruiters are paid by the employers (or their clients) but we also want to help our candidates find great jobs with a salary that is comparable to their experience. Recruiters cannot help you with jobs that they aren't actively working on (i.e., we cannot go out and find opportunities for you) but, if we're actively working to fill a position for which your skills and salary expectations are a match, it's in everyone's best interest to present you to the client and move forward. We work on a contingency basis so we're not paid a penny unless we fill the position. So it is in our best interest to get the best candidates in front of the client as fast as possible. The way that recruiters are paid is counterintuitive to the the low salary discussion. Recruiters are paid a percentage of an employers salary. So, the higher the salary, they higher the fee. However, I personally operate in a way that matches a candidate and their salary requirements with the employer's budget requirements. I'm very open and transparent and ask for salary requirements at the beginning of the interview process. If it's not a match with the position I'm working on, it saves everyone from wasted time in an interview process where salary expectations don't align.

You might try a sales/account manager position for a marketing agency or with a marketing technology company. I'm not sure if these are the highest paid but it's a good way to potentially transition from sales into marketing.
My question is regarding direct outreach. Do you think reaching out directly to an HR professional without a contact or introduction is acceptable? Once a relationship is established, at what point do follow-ups become annoying? Great thread. Thanks!The acceptability of this will vary by the HR individual's personal preference but I say, why not. They're probably getting hundreds to thousands of applications so how else will you get noticed. However, be thoughtful (and respectful) in your communication and delivery. The goal is to draw attention to yourself so recap why you're great for the position in a few bullets. Be concise and use your marketing skills to be convincing.

Once communication is established, I agree with Erin Mueller's note: "I’d say immediately after you apply or interview and then again maybe a week later if you haven't heard anything. Past that I wouldn't reach out anymore. Keep it light and not too aggressive."
If you want to grow vertically, how do you convey your determination without undermining your skill set for the job? You might not have director experience but you don't want to hop from one manager job to the next.Agreed. You probably don't want to make too many lateral moves. We do actively source for people who are one position below the position we're recruiting for. Especially if they have a couple of years in that role. For instance, we will be actively looking for candidates currently in a manager position with 2-3 years of experience in this role for a senior manager or director level position. Depending upon the position and job requirements, of course.
Should an early career digital marketer focus on being a generalist or a specialist?It might be a good idea in the early stages to be a generalist so that you can get your feet wet and gain expereince in many different areas. This will allow you to see what area(s) you enjoy and then narrow in on a specialty, if you decide that you need one. A generalist can always become a specialist but it's more difficult for a specialist to become a generalist. Management level positions (especially in small to medium sized businesses) typically require one to be a generalist as you're responsible for the whole gamut of marketing.
Also in this category - How can a generalist who wants to become a specialist set themselves up for the transition?In your current role, you can start focusing more specifically on this area of expertise. Of course, you'll still need to get the job done in all of the other areas but make yourself great at the area in which you're chosing to specialize. If possible, attend trainings, events, conferences, etc. in the specilized field. Ask to shadow someone who's already doing this work or try to find a mentor in the field. Online education is always helpful. Develop your skills while you're a generalist so that you still have an income to pay for the trainings and learning opportunities.
I've been in insurance for over 27 years handling claims but not by choice. I needed a job. I like marketing and it was my first choice. What advice can you give me to get into the profession.It's never too late for anything! :) This answer is similar to one previously written. It's definitely not impossible to make the leap and much easier today than it was even 10 years ago. As I mentioned in question 9, the easiest way to transition into a new discipline is to do it within your current company. They are more willing to take a chance on someone they know, especially if the work ethic and cultural fit is there.

If that is not possible, perhaps try to take on some freelance projects to get your feet wet and build up some experience. Charge a reasonable rate as you'll be learning on the job and your client will be disappointed if their expectations don't meet the rate you charge. Even if you have to do some work for free (potentially as a volunteer for a non-profit), it will be pointing you in the right direction.

As previously mentioned, HubSpot is a great resource for ongoing taining and education - most of which is free. Read and learn constantly.
Question about the dreaded “desired compensation” question on job applications: I’ve noticed more companies require it, and won’t accept words like “negotiable” - they require you to put in a dollar amount. Glassdoor has been a great resource to help me guess for some, but what do you put when you have no clue what their range may be? I don’t want to over ask and not even be considered, but I don’t want to leave money on the table either. Any advice is appreciated!
Hi Melissa Anderson Khan - They ask this question so that they don't waste anyone's time - it's not really to play games. Maybe a good rule of thumb is to think of what your bottom number would be and then add $5K (if you're salary is under $100K) and +$10K if you're over $100K. The reality is, they have a salary budget/range and you either fit in it or you don't. They will also know pretty quickly if your salary doesn't match you're experience level so it's best to just be honest and ask for what you feel your experience is worth. I've had similar situations to Micki Odom Velmer, where someone junior asks for $100K more than where they should be for their experience level. I say good luck to them and wish them well. Those will be the people who complain that no one will hire them too. ;) I've also had experiences where someone lowballs themselves and then, when it comes to the salary negotiations, they ask for $20K more than what they originally indicated. And then my client can't pay that much for them (it's not that they're unwilling, their business just can't support the higher salary). Then, we've all wasted time and energy on 4-6 interviews and have gotten nowhere. It's best to be honest about what you need plus a little extra cushion.
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