How to get a job in mar­ket­ing
Jeff & Lindsay Sage / 18 November 2020

We’ve been getting a lot of requests for informational interviews lately. 

We connect, we jam, we share what we know. We try to make additional connections and answer questions the best we can. It’s what the last generation did for us and then some. So we do our best to keep the tradition alive and to contribute to a healthy industry culture.  

Since the requests are coming in more frequently than usual (another gift from the pandemic) we thought we’d share some thoughts on the most common questions we’ve been getting since March. 

It’s not an exhaustive list, but we hope it helps anyone looking to work and play within the marketing, communications and PR landscape.

Has the pandemic changed things?

Yes. 

As organizations begin to think through life after the second wave, marketing-communications budgets are going from zero to hero in a hurry. There’s a much stronger emphasis on quality communications - public relations, community relations, internal communications and crisis communications are all up for us across the board.

If you can tell a story and translate by medium, we need more of you. 

What do you look for in a candidate?

Creativity, problem solving and empathy have always been at the top of the list. But if there’s a gap in values alignment, ability rarely makes up for it in the long term. 

As we continue to get used to periods of ongoing uncertainty, adaptability is now the table stake. Change is part of the DNA of this industry and the most successful people can sow new and improved outcomes from adversity.

What are some practical tips for getting noticed when jobs are scarce?

Know what you’re selling because you know what they need. Make the pitch no different than if you were already hired and doing the work. Potential employers are your audience.

That means:

  • Well-researched positions
  • Compelling headlines
  • Clever brevity 

Demonstrate you have a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by the place you’re applying to, before you say one word about yourself. That’ll get their attention. Then move on to how you’d become an irreplaceable part of their team.

What’s the one thing you wish every applicant knew?

Creative storytelling is more important than ever. It changes things. And it always will.

Sometimes we’re:

  • Introducing a life saving technology;
  • Communicating difficult, organization-altering news;
  • Creating a startup brand;
  • Evolving a brand that’s been around for 100 years;
  • Being an ally to organizations who serve marginalized or vulnerable people.

It’s the most challenging marketing and communications landscape of our lifetime. Partisan politics, a pandemic and a polarized world.

Apply like you want to make a difference.

And you will.


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