What do you do to standout from the thousands of others in exactly the same situation?
I interview a lot of people here at HubSpot, and I think there are a few things you can do. Here are my top 10:
- Start a blog. This is critical. At HubSpot resumes that list a blog immediately move to the front of the line. Here's why: Online marketing is a complicated ecosystem in which blog posts are the cells -- the most basic forms of life. If you've started and maintained a blog, you understand that ecosystem. You understand how search engines suck up content and spit back visitors. You understand how web applications work. You understand the concept of linking. You understand widgets and basic html. You understand how important pictures and video can be. You get the point. Start a blog.
- Take your job search seriously. Sounds basic, but it's really, really important. Don't start off your interview joking about drinking with your roommates, as one unsuccessful HubSpot applicant did this year. Show up on time, respond promptly and be prepared. It's easy, and it makes a huge difference.
- Be confident. The job market is tough and looking for a job sucks, but don't let it show. Walk into your interviews with your head high and everything under control. This is critical for marketing roles because it's how marketers have to present their product.
- Start a Twitter account. Twitter will teach you a lot about new marketing techniques, but even more importantly, it will connect you with professionals and companies looking for talent. It's also very useful from the employer's standpoint. Right now I'm following several people who have applied for jobs at HubSpot. Twitter is a way for me to get to know them better.
- Think analytically. Inbound marketing is comprised of two main activities: Creating content and measuring its use. Candidates who can do both well get hired. Period.
- Know the company. If you're interviewing at HubSpot, you better know what inbound marketing is, and you better know how our approach to marketing is different from that of traditional marketers. Every company has similar "must understand" tests. Figure out what they are before you apply.
- Demonstrate a content mindset . Go to meetups or events and post to flickr, YouTube or Facebook. Show that you're not afraid to dive into these tools. Online marketing is about building an online presence through content. The more you can do that, the more valuable you'll be to a company.
- Show that you get stuff done. There are people who get stuff done and there are people who talk about getting stuff done. Show that you're the former. Blogging and creating content is a great way to do that.
- Get passionate about something. People need to know what makes you tick. You're going to be a much more productive employee if you're excited about what you're doing, so employers want to understand what gets you fired up.
- Learn to write well. Much of the day-to-day inbound marketing grind is writing -- case studies, blog posts, emails, video scripts and lots more. If you can write clearly, your employer will be able to keep you very busy.
What tips would you add to this list? Please add them in the comments. I'll update the post with some of my favorites later in the day.
One more thing: If you're a job seeker in the Boston area, definitely check out today's MITX Digital Combine being held at the Back Bay Events Center all afternoon. I'll be speaking on a panel at 3 p.m., "Positions in the Digital Industry: The Opportunities, Skills, and Experience Needed."
A couple more great ideas from the comments:
- From Kevin Richard : "Interact with people in the industry/area you want to work in."
- From David Spinks : "NEVER pass up an opportunity to reach new people."
Photo: Robert Crum on Flickr
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