Editor's note: This post makes mention of a dedicated Jobs site on inbound.org that has been moved since the publish date of this post. You can now find jobs on the inbound.org site via the Jobs tag in the forums, located here.
You aren't working? What? What's wrong with you?
Well, in case you haven't noticed (if you're reading this, you probably have) people aren't just handing out jobs. But if you're looking for a job in marketing -- specifically inbound marketing -- there's some light at the end of the tunnel. According to Monster.com, "In 2012, leading-edge internet technologies will again be a leading generator of marketing jobs." And the job search giant cites that people with skills in SEO, interactive marketing, mobile marketing, and marketing analytics are in the best position among their marketing colleagues. Basically, the job market is hot for your skills, and people want to hire you.
So what's the problem? The problem is that marketers are often the worst at marketing themselves. That translates to trouble, well, translating job skills during the application process.
Here at HubSpot, however, we've spent a lot of time hiring inbound marketers -- a few hundred, in fact. Actually, we care so much about finding amazing inbound marketing talent that our co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah teamed up with SEOmoz's CEO Rand Fishkin to add a new section to their non-profit project, Inbound.org, dedicated explicitly to posting jobs available in the inbound marketing world.
"Rand and I started Inbound.org to connect people to awesome inbound marketing content," Dharmesh told us. "Now, with the launch of jobs.inbound.org, we're hoping to expand the community and connect organizations to awesome inbound marketers. We hope this will be a valuable resource for the community." Added Rand, "Web marketers have long needed a place to discover and post job opportunities. This field is growing incredibly quickly and demand for talented SEO, social media, content, email and other inbound expertise has never been higher. If jobs.inbound.org can help solve some of that pain, Dharmesh and I have done our job."
So since we're so into finding people who love this inbound marketing stuff, we thought we'd put together some tips for aspiring inbound marketing job seekers. If you're looking to get hired as an inbound marketer, here's what you should be doing to impress hiring managers.
8 Tips to Get Hired as an Inbound Marketer
1) Be a Content Creator
Content creation is kind of a big deal for inbound marketing. As in, if you don't do it, it doesn't work. Seriously, your marketing just stops working.
So it makes sense that when looking to hire an inbound marketer, content creation skills is one of the first things hiring managers look for. And how do we look for it? Just saying "content creator" on your resume isn't enough; people hiring for inbound marketing positions use this little tool called Google to see if you actually create content. So do a quick Google search for your name, and see what comes up. Is it your personal blog? Content you've written for other people's blogs? News content you've authored? Infographics you've designed? Tutorial videos you've recorded? Whitepapers you've put together? If it's none of the above, you're in trouble.
Why? Because 1) it means you're not really an inbound marketer, and 2) it gives us no indication of whether you can actually create content when asked to. And even if you're applying for a job in, say, mobile marketing, it doesn't mean you won't have to create content from time to time, even if it isn't the primary function of your role. The content out there under your name doesn't have to align 100% with the content you'd hypothetically create for the jobs to which you're applying, it simply has to be relatively well-written and demonstrate your capacity to put pen to paper (or cursor to screen, rather). Unless you're applying for a blogging job -- then it should be ridiculously well-written ;-)
2) Have an Active Social Presence
You know what else should show up when someone Googles a prospective inbound marketing hire's name? Their social media accounts. I'm not saying you need to make your Facebook profile public or anything, but you should be able to be easily found on networks like Twitter and LinkedIn, at the very least.
And it's not enough to just have the accounts. You actually have to use them. When your last tweet was sent out two months ago, it doesn't look like you really "get" how social media works. That's not a good sign for someone who will have to use social media to generate leads and grow their reach. So if you haven't already, set up your social media accounts, and start using them to connect with people and share interesting content -- maybe some of the content you created as a result of tip #1!
3) Be Part of a Community
Speaking of social media, if you're actively involved in it, you'll start to find little communities you can be a part of, like LinkedIn groups or industry forums. It behooves you to become an active member of these communities -- even if they're offline, in fact -- because you never know when these connections will pop up again down the road. Online communities are the new, efficient, and effective way to network!
Take that new job site on inbound.org, for example. There are hiring managers galore posting open roles for inbound marketing positions. You know what else they're doing? Clicking a few tabs over to participate in the inbound.org community, posting content and engaging in conversations with other members.
Think it'd benefit an inbound marketing job seeker to establish credibility and thought leadership with the people over there? Yeah, I think so, too.
4) Develop an Analytical Mindset
Inbound marketers aren't afraid of numbers. Some people get into marketing because they think it'll be like craft hour every day, but the reality is, design is just one of the many elements of inbound marketing, and even that is based off of data! Well, if you're working in an inbound marketing company, it is. Professor of marketing at Pace University Larry Chiagouris notes, "The good entry-level jobs in 2012 will be for new graduates who are comfortable engaging in some form of analytics." He goes on to say that marketing departments and agencies want people who are "somewhat well-rounded, who are not afraid to wrestle numbers to the ground, but [who] are also able to express themselves in writing and make recommendations intelligibly...They look at budgets, sales data and forecasts, and analyze which marketing media and channels are working and which aren't."
Yup. Nailed it.
So make sure your resume reflects comfort with different analytics platforms -- if you don't have that comfort, develop it -- and you understand how to make data-backed marketing decisions. If you're interested in learning more about key data points every marketer should know and how to use them to make good marketing decisions, download our free ebook, How to Unlock the ROI of Your Marketing With Analytics.
5) Don't Shy Away From Technology
Inbound marketing requires a certain level of comfort with technology. You don't have to be a master coder or anything, but you should be comfortable doing things like learning new software, navigating a CMS, figuring out how your company's CRM works, even doing some basic HTML. Again, being a full-on expert isn't always required (although if you're in marketing operations, for example, you should probably be more CRM-savvy than the average bear), but comfort, coachability, and the ability to self-teach are critical. Plus, they're indicators that you'll be able to keep up with the fast pace at which the inbound marketing world moves. There are new developments every day!
6) Always Be Learning
Speaking of which ... there are new developments every day! You should be staying up to date on industry developments, and be able to talk intelligently about them. Did Facebook recently release a new feature or tool to help out marketers? (Hint: they probably did.) Make sure you're reading up on these types of developments, and know how to apply new concepts and tools to inbound marketing. That's the kind of stuff that keeps your marketing tactics from becoming stale, makes you insanely effective at your job, and positions you as a forward-thinking candidate that can bring something new to the table.
7) Read Everything
Aspiring inbound marketers should be reading everything they can get their hands on about inbound marketing, and doing it all the time. Be prepared to rattle off the publications you read on a daily or weekly basis, know the names of important authors and bloggers, explain why you read what you read, and, you know, actually read them. That's the only way you'll be able to stay up to date in the fast-moving inbound marketing world.
8) Use Inbound Marketing to Get a Hiring Manager's Attention
Hiring managers are inundated with resumes whenever a new position is posted. Consider how yours could stand out in the crowd, or "get found." That is a basic tenet of inbound marketing, after all! For example, Anum Hussain, a star intern on our inbound marketing team here at HubSpot, applied for her position here by creating an ebook. She selected a HubSpot ebook and adapted it to be 7 Reasons HubSpot Should Hire Anum Hussain, maintaining the same layout and design as one of our ebooks. That certainly got our attention, and it was also indicative of her talent. That was almost a year ago, and she's still rocking and rolling in our marketing department!
It doesn't end there. We've had employees launch full-fledged inbound marketing campaigns to apply for their jobs here. Another member of the marketing team, Sam Mallikarjunan, created a website called HireMeHubSpot where he created content about why he would be an excellent hire for HubSpot, built a landing page with a webinar about why HubSpot should hire him, and used social media to distribute all this content. He even launched a paid campaign on LinkedIn targeted at everyone working at HubSpot, another campaign on Facebook targeted to anyone living near HubSpot that either worked here or was a fan of our company page, and an AdWords campaign targeted to anyone living near Cambridge, MA searching on the term "HubSpot." Now that's the kind of innovation hiring managers want out of their inbound marketers!
What other tips do you have for people trying to get a job as an inbound marketer? If you're a job seeker, feel free to head on over to Inbound.org and check out the new job board!