Applying for a job, can feel quite intimidating – but it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether it’s your first job, a significant career move, or an internal promotion, it’s a undoubtedly a big deal. We get it. And so does Dene Gambotto, the Founder and Managing Director at iknowho – a specialised recruitment business for the marketing world.
Dene is as much a recruiter as she is a marketer, so she’s got some fabulous insights to offer. In a recent conversation with Flaunter’s Managing Director, Lisa Cachia, Dene generously shared her advice on how to secure your dream job in marketing or PR. And with over 15 years of experience and a keen eye for talent, her wisdom is incredibly valuable.
You’re looking for a role in PR and Marketing, where are the latest and best places to search.
I know I’m biased, but a specialist marketing recruiter.
By talking to a specialist recruiter, you have more choice! Plus, you have someone working with you to prepare you for interviews and salary negotiations.
What are some of the most important things to include on your CV (also discuss how long it should be, is brief better etc).
CV writing is a form of marketing, the product is you. It’s a fact that employers and recruiters are generally time poor – so make it super simple to ascertain what your key skills are from the front page. A CV should be short and sweet – and act as an intro to you and your skills.
Here are some of my favourite CV tips from the team at iknowho;
- Think of a CV as the shop front window to you! Ensure that you have your best product on show and not hidden on the second page.
- It’s OK to have two versions – one that you send to apply and a second more detailed version that you may wish to send out once you have locked in an interview.
- Avoid using graphics or design (unless you are a designer!) and cover pages, as these distract the viewer from your key skills.
- There is no need to include a picture of yourself – why give the employer the opportunity to make a judgment on you prior to an interview?
- When adding personal hobbies ask is it relevant to your job search? Does it give the prospective employer a reason to meet or not meet you?
- No matter how many years’ experience you have it should easily fit within two pages, any more and you start to lose your audience.
- Remember, the purpose of the CV is to secure an interview – it does not need to cover every detail of your career to date.
What are some of your top tips when interviewing for a Marketing or PR role?
Interview preparation can really help you stand out from other applicants. Here are some tips to help you put your best foot forward.
Know who you are meeting
- Check them out on LinkedIn / Ask your recruiter to tell you a bit about their style.
- Do any of their recent posts resonate with you, or give insight into recent work?
- Have you worked at the same places previously / do you have contacts in common? Only mention these if you are sure they would give you a positive informal reference.
Research the company / their marketing
- What do you know about them?
- Become familiar with their product or service offering. If they have stores – try to visit one.
- Research relevant marketing activity. Do they have any campaigns in market?
- What do you like / dislike about their campaign activity and why?
- Have they won any awards lately? made any announcements? been in the mainstream / marketing news?
- Why do you want to work there? (Include skills you bring to the role, as well as why it appeals to you)
- Familiarise yourself with the job spec (or the brief from your recruiter).
- Be prepared give an example for each skill experience listed in the job spec using the STAR approach.
- Interviewers are interested in learning about specific marketing projects / campaigns you have worked on.
- Be prepared to talk in detail about at least 2-3 projects you were actively involved with from start to finish.
Use the STAR approach to give structure to your answers.
S – Brief overview of the situation – The product, target market, background.
T – Outline the task – What was the brief / challenge?
A – Action taken – What did the team do and what did you personally do?
R – A sentence about the results and any key findings / learnings
Show your interest by asking questions
Come prepared with at least 5 questions that you want to ask about not only the role but the company. Write them in a notebook you can refer to in case you forget them. Don’t wait until the end to ask them. You should be asking questions regularly, to show that you’re listening, engaging and interested in what they are saying.
Develop a Key Point Agenda
- What are the key things you want to ensure, no matter what, you get across in the interview?
- Develop a 3-5 point agenda that outlines why you’re the perfect fit for the role.
- Write it in a notebook as a ‘safety net’ for you. This will help you remember the key points you want to get across, so you can work them into the conversation.
What to bring to your interview.
- First impressions count! Be on time (or 10 mins early), dress appropriately, be well groomed and smile.
- Show an active interest in learning more about the company, team, and role.
- Come prepared with a notebook and pen.
- If appropriate, bring a short portfolio of your campaigns/work to share with them
- Have your key point agenda and your questions written down – you can refer to these points to make sure you address them.
You know what you’re worth, but how do you sell it to secure the salary you want.
Fortunately, negotiating a salary doesn’t have to be daunting. With some clever planning and a rock-solid game plan, you can get the best possible deal from your new employer without breaking a sweat.
The first thing you need to consider when negotiating your salary is how much your skills are worth. Ask yourself what you’re good at and why, as well as what makes you stand out from your peers. As with any successful negotiation, information is crucial, so arm yourself with facts and figures before you attempt to nudge the numbers up.
Find out the current market value of the role by talking to colleagues and looking at industry salary guides. Try to research the salary history of similar roles at the company that wants to hire you, as well as their ability to pay what you’re asking.
Another great resource is jobs ads – do a search on LinkedIn, Seek or Indeed for similar roles – this will give you an indication of what the market is paying.
When it comes down to the negotiation, kick it off by confidently stating the salary than you’re looking to earn based upon knowing where your skills sit in the market.
If they counteract you with a lower offer, ask for time to think about it, step back from the process, and critically assess what’s on the table. And if you really want the job but your new employer isn’t budging, consider negotiating on the other perks included in your total salary package, such as additional training, bonuses, and annual leave.
iknowho are a leading specialist marketing recruitment agency, connecting handpicked talent with premium brands and agencies. If you’re looking for your next marketing or PR superstar, or want to land your dream role, we highly recommend reaching out to Dene and her team.