It may surprise a few but one of the most common themes when speaking to clients at the moment is how difficult they say it is to find the right marketeers for the roles they have. And certainly if you spoke to most marketing candidates, they'd almost be the polar opposite saying that trying to secure marketing roles has definitely been easier!
So what’s it like? As is the case with these things, I think there's an element of truth in each view. At Markit Recruitment and considering we're a start-up business, we've been positively surprised by the number of clients wanting us to help them recruit marketeers. So contrary to what you'd perceive from watching the news there are marketing jobs out there. Having said that, we also know from experience that clients can be very demanding, and trying to secure an offer is no mean feat.
So what can you do if you're a candidate looking for a new marketing job in 2012?
Most of this is common sense but overall I'd have a broad approach to finding a new marketing job. Only exploring one avenue won't drive enough of the volume you'll need in today's market.
Firstly, I'd speak to a shortlist of marketing recruiters to get a feel for what they're all about and whether or not they're best placed to help you. Get them to discuss some roles with you, gauge how they sound, ask them directly if they can help you - this is your opportunity to assess them. I'd then invest some time and go and meet 2 or 3 recruiters face to face. I appreciate time is precious but it'll be time well spent, and may save you time further down the line when you turn up for an interview and it's a total miss-match. On top of that, the best marketing recruiters will give you advice on your CV, how to get the most out of interviews, feedback on what's achievable - and all that's free!
But before you go, have a think about what you've done in your marketing career, your tangible marketing achievements and what makes you a good marketeer. Selling yourself and positioning what you actually do is important because it'll give the recruiter the confidence to put you in front of their client and it’s not something you do every day.
Secondly, I'd explore your contacts and connections. Not every company wants to use the skills of a marketing recruiter and you might find a great opportunity where an old colleague or friend works. It also helps with the 'what's it really like?' question.
And finally I'd monitor the job boards early every week which is when most new roles are published. Specialist job boards like www.onlymarketingjobs.co.uk or generalist sites like www.monster.co.uk will have companies who'd prefer to recruit directly. Use your marketing skills to market yourself, make sure what you’ve been doing relevant to the role is on the CV, be targeted and specific. But don't apply for a VP job when you're a marketing executive, or for something you've never done before! In this market you'll only waste your own time and get frustrated.
So whilst it's tough there are things you can do to help yourself. Yes it's not easy and it requires a bit of investment from you but if you really want to move and you’re prepared to invest in yourself, there are definitely some great marketing roles out there.