A few months ago we went through the process of hiring for our marketing team at GoReact. After frankly telling one candidate he didn’t have the experience we were looking for in the position he asked if we could give him some advice.
“I’m having a hard time getting in the door because I don’t have any experience.”
I’m going to walk you through how to get an interview for just about any marketing job (or any job, really).
“In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.” — Seth Godin
This is our starting point. Your number one goal in the application process is to stand out and differentiate yourself from every other candidate for the job. If you are applying for a marketing position, what better way can you show your chops than actually doing a great job of marketing yourself?
These require no prior experience to accomplish and will help separate you in any application process.
1. Get a Website and Custom Email Domain
This one is so easy it should be a no brainer at this point. With services like Squarespace, all you need is a domain name and a few bucks a month and you can quickly build a professional looking website. Think of this as your digital resume. Instead of competing head to head with generic Microsoft Word template resumes, you can build your own interactive website with links to all your relevant experience.
If you want to take this a step further, create a custom landing page for each company you are applying for. Templates make it dead simple to clone a layout and build a new page. Customize your messaging, experience, and website copy to nail the specific job you are applying for.
Think of it as transitioning from shooting with a shotgun (your homepage) to a sniper rifle (custom page).
Having your website will also lay the groundwork for a few of the fun tricks we’ll talk about later.
Once you have your domain, get an email address for it. In a world of applicant@gmail email addresses, firstname.lastname@example.org will stand out nicely.
Zoho offers no-cost email hosting. This will be the first place you may need to put a bit of sweat equity into figuring out how to set it up, but Zoho has a detailed guided walkthrough. After getting it set up you can IMAP it into your email client or even back into your Gmail account.
Finish step one and you are already starting to separate yourself.
2. Get Some Certifications
This one is insanely easy and super valuable. Applying for a job that is asking for experience using Google Analytics, but you don’t have any experience? Head to the Analytics Academy, complete a few certifications and add them to your resume. In addition to looking good on your resume, you will have some in-depth knowledge of how to use the product.
Note: Now would be a good time to install analytics on your own site. #Experience
Here are a few free marketing certifications that can help your resume stand out:
Chances are in your marketing career you are going to spend a lot of time with Google. It’s worth getting certified in both analytics and ads.
There are quite a few paths you can follow for each, but I’d recommend starting with Google Analytics for Beginners on the Analytics platform and the Digital Sales Certification on the Ads side.
Note: If you fail any of the exams, you can take them again, but you will need to wait 7 days.
Hubspot has quickly become one of the most used marketing automation platforms. Check out the Inbound Marketing certifications. Nobody does inbound better than Hubspot, and you will learn a ton. If the job application asks for Hubspot (or competitors like Marketo, Pardot, etc) experience, make sure you have a few certifications on your resume.
If the job you are looking at asks for paid ads experience, here are two more you can layer on top of the Adwords certification to really round out your arsenal.
Looking for Salesforce experience? They have some robust training and certification programs you access for free.
Lynda isn’t technically free, but you can get 30 days for free and blaze through as many certifications as you want. After that, it’s $30 a month to keep access. Take advantage of the free month and make sure you link to your certifications on your LinkedIn Profile, website, and Resume once you are done.
It’s unlikely you will need to get every certification listed. Find the right ones that tailor the job you are wanting. Get them, and then tout them! There is a good chance the applicants you are competing with aren’t certified. Separation is becoming clearer.
3. Ditch the Boring Resume
Don’t let Clippy guide you down the wrong path here. With minimal effort, you can create a resume with enough design to stand out. Find a great resume template, and then customize it for every job you apply for. There is much better advice around on how to write a resume but remember these things.
- Catch their eye
- Simply over clutter
- Tailor it for each application
- Narrative wins!
If you need help finding a great resume template, start here.
4. Get Creative!
This is what is going to separate you as a great marketer from an average one throughout your career, so you might as well get started early. Put yourself in the shoes of the person on the other side of the hiring process.
Do you know who it is?
What are their responsibilities at the company?
What problem are they trying to solve by hiring you?
What do you know about the company?
What does their marketing look like already?
Think like a marketer! Have a persona in mind that you are marketing. Use this when tweaking your resume, writing your cover letter, and building a custom landing page.
Take it one step further. Here’s an example.
Let’s say you’ve built a custom landing page for your application. If you load the Facebook Tracking Pixel on that page, you now have the ability to target Facebook ads at anyone who visits the page. Imagine being the hiring manager for a position and having a Facebook ad show up in your newsfeed reminding them about that candidate whose site they looked at earlier.
Yeah. That would stand out.
Start thinking like a marketer and you will find plenty of ways you can creatively target the people making the hiring decision. If you are struggling thinking like a marketer, scroll up and start knocking out some certifications.
You may not need to follow every step in this guide to land the job, but the excuse of “I don’t have enough experience” doesn’t hold a lot of water in the marketing world. Create your own experience!
Your application can say everything that’s needed about your skills. So make it happen!