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Want to get a job in marketing?

July 5th, 2007 · 10 Comments · Agency life, Strategy

Jobseeker We're looking for a few good men/women at MMG and as I endure the misery that is looking for the diamond in the rough, I decided to create a cheat sheet for our applicants. it occurred to me that if you swap out MMG for the marketing group of your choice, 99% of the advise is universal.

So, if you are a job seeker, heed my warnings.  If you are a job filler, perhaps you'll find some value in offering your own version of this list to your candidates.  And, of course, if you

Without any further ado…here's my counsel.

If I were you and I wanted to snare a job at McLellan Marketing Group, here are some of the things I would and wouldn't do.

I would:

  • Read the MMG website carefully, to get a sense of culture and tone.
  • Sign up to receive MMG's weekly e-newsletter, the Marketing Minute.
  • Read Drew's blog and if I really want to stand out from the pack, I would subscribe (via e-mail or RSS reader) and within a week, make an insightful, articulate comment on a post.
  • Ask my friends, contacts etc. if anyone knows anyone at MMG who could make an introduction.
  • If the timing is right, I would attend one of MMG's monthly branding breakfasts.
  • Be very mindful that my cover letter/resume are the biggest demonstration of whether or not I get branding & marketing.  I would ask myself…if I were a product and MMG was the target audience…how would I sell me?  How would I make myself different from all the other applicants?
  • Download and read "Giving College Grads a Fighting Chance" not because Drew had anything to do with it, but because I love to learn.
  • If I have a blog, I'd link to Drew's because I know he'll check to see who I am.
  • Know that they're going to check my MySpace, Facebook etc. pages.
  • If I had no relevant job experience, I would look at the job experience I did have and figure out what elements of marketing were present there.
  • If I didn't get the job but still think this is the place for me…I would stay engaged.  I would keep reading/commenting on the blog, I would attend the branding breakfasts.  I would become someone they notice/know.

I would not:

  • Send a cover letter or resume that even slightly reads like everyone else's.
  • Rely on any cover letter/resume book. I would throw those away and refer back to my marketing text books.
  • Under any circumstances tout my ability to work with people (or that I like them) as a strength or skill.
  • Send anything that a pair (or two) of fresh eyes didn't proof.  A typo will get me tossed right into the "no way" pile.
  • Hit send or lick the envelope until I checked and double checked the spelling of the agency, the agency owner's name and anything else (like their clients) that I might reference.  (see bullet point above)
  • Try to BS my way in.  Because I should expect that MMG will smell that a mile away and ask about it until I admit that I sent the same "I believe your agency is perfect for me" cover letter to 12 agencies.
  • Humiliate myself. I would double check that I put the right cover letter/resume in the right envelope.  I'd hate to be the one who makes that mistake.
  • If I really wanted to work there, I wouldn't give up.  I wouldn't be a stalker, but I would keep at it.  I would look for ways to help them, even before I got a job there.  Because I would believe that I am going to work there eventually and begin behaving like I already do.

You don't have to do any of this.  It's your job hunt, after all.

But remember, at MMG we hire as much for "culture fit" as we do for competency.  We can teach you marketing.  We can't teach you to be a team player.  Or curious.  Or passionate about our work & our clients.   We're not going to force you to be someone who believes in giving back to the community.

So along with your work and academic achievements, show us that stuff.  And show us that you get why that matters.   Then, we have something to talk about.

Your job is pretty straight-forward.  If you're smart and creative enough to sell us you, we know you can help our clients.

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10 Comments so far ↓

  • CK

    Great advice, indeed. Good luck finding diamonds ;-). Drew, are you looking for entry-level staff? I’m just trying to understand what you’re looking for so I can help you–you never know, I might just know someone or know someone that know’s someone…well, ya know how it works ;-).

    PS: Another reason to work at MMG? They serve warm, yummy cookies!

  • Adam Brucker

    Hey Drew, Great post – looks like we’re in the same boat on this one:

    link to criterion-advisors.com

  • Nic Darling

    This is a great post. It almost makes me wish I was still looking for a job . . . almost. I wrote an article a little while ago asking employers to do exactly what you have done here. It only makes sense to ask for what you want.

    Here’s my related post. Sorry about the link length. link to marketingneophyte.com

  • Lewis Green

    Drew,

    Great way to advertising for a diamond. I’m not interested in relocating but to anyone who thinks this is a good opportunity, I agree. Drew is a good person and a smart marketer. Working with him would represent a great opportunity for you.

  • Drew McLellan

    CK — I am looking for someone like Ryan Karpeles. Fresh from school but hopefully with some internship or web 2.0 experience.

    I don’t expect to find someone quite a savvy as he is, but that’s the general profile.

    Drew

  • Drew McLellan

    Adam,

    Bravo! You had me laughing AND nodding my head at the same time. Here’s hoping we both find what we’re looking for.

    I have to say though…Colorado plays a lot better than Des Moines!

    Drew

  • Drew McLellan

    Nic,

    You know, I never thought about it from the perspective you shared, but you are right. We post a generic ad and then whine because we get generic applications.

    I am never going to do that again! Thanks for the insight. And…Blue Moon rocks!

    Drew

  • Drew McLellan

    Lew,

    Now, if I could score an employee like you, I’d be golden! You sure you don’t want to try the midwest…

    Drew

  • Lewis Green

    Drew,

    I spent five years in Greater Chicago. Loved the city, loved the people, hated the climate. If you want a good marketing telecommuter, I’m your guy.

  • Drew McLellan

    Lewis,

    Much as I would like to have you wearing an MMG tattoo (did I mention that job requirement?) I need someone here…managing projects.

    Besides, I am betting you don’t work for an entry level salary any more!

    Drew

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