Everyone who is interested in marketing wants to land a job they are passionate about. However it is not always easy to get hired at this marketing dream job. So what does it actually take for you to become hired there?
Well, let’s flip sides for a moment.
Let’s say you are the recruiter for a great marketing company that is looking to hire some talented marketing professionals. Would you hire someone who knows how to handle all softwares with excellence but has a rude personality? Or would you rather hire someone who isn’t that good with software, but is an excellent, coachable, team player with great attitude? I believe that the majority would go with the second person.
Interviewing Guy Smith, a marketing teacher at Antioch University with over 10 years experience of being a marketer, I asked him what kind of person he would rather be working with; a highly knowledgeable person that you couldn’t get along with, or a person that had no knowledge but were easy to work at. Guy replied:
“I’ve seen situations where people get along with everybody, but was incompetent, and vice versa, if someone is a jerk, nobody wants to work with him. So the answer to your question is that I would choose the person you can get along with.”
“Interpersonal skills are everything. If you can’t get along with people it doesn’t matter how much you know or how successful you are, who wants to work with a jerk?”
I agree with Guy, and it’s obvious to see why. Who wants to work with someone that can’t get along with you? The problem here is that schools doesn’t always teach soft skills like coachability, team player abilities, and attitude. You have to figure that out yourself. You also have to know what type of person the company is looking for. If you want to become an accountant you should be detail-oriented. If you are looking to become a sales representative you should be goal-oriented. Wouldn’t it make sense to know and develop these traits before you apply for a job?
Of course it would, and that’s why I have researched the exact soft skills the biggest marketing companies are looking for in an employee. After analyzing 10 of the most successful marketing companies and what they state they are looking for in the job ads that the companies publish, I feel confident in telling you what kind of soft skills you should focus on to develop. Soft skills, unlike hard skills, is not based on what you can do (like mastering Photoshop), but is based on what kind of personality you have.
The Top 3 Soft Skills for a Successful Marketer
Combining sought after personality traits with matching requirements of experience, degrees, and skills makes you a candidate a marketing company can’t refuse.
Here are the top 3 soft skills:
To be analytical, you have to look at the whole picture and see the sum of its parts. In terms of marketing, you have to consider cultures, trends, economic environments, and human behavior when making smart decisions. Knowledge and a sharp thought process is key.
2. Team player
There are lots of sub-skills that you have to have in order to be a good team player, communication, accountability, unselfishness, and the ability to build and maintain relationships are the most important parts of being a team player. Self-centered persons could have all the above traits, but without the ability to be a true team player you will always fall short.
The most important soft skill to have as a marketer is to be self-driven. This does not only apply for marketing, or even business, but for life in general. The keys to be self-driven comes from self-leadership, discipline, and an attitude that exudes great willpower even when things are getting tough. A true self-leader is in control by being proactive, and follows a well designed plan for himself, which makes him successful both in business, and in life.
Add the requirements and experience of having:
- A BA degree in marketing
- At least two years of experience
- Excellent written- and communication skills
- Very skilled in MS Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel etc.)
And you will be an unrefusable candidate for the job.
Continuing the interview, I asked Guy Smith about the top 3 skills he would like to see in a marketing colleague, he answered:
“Self-driven is number one, pro active, and self-learner.”
Although his answer differed from my research, being self-driven seems to be the major interpersonal skill to master.
In conclusion, knowledge alone is no longer enough to be hired at your dream company. In fact, this could be your advantage depending on the person you are. If you feel that you are lacking in any of the qualities, make sure to learn what you are lacking, and you might end up being the most valuable person in your company. You could become so valuable, that you are the last person they would fire and the first person they want to hire. Who wouldn’t want that?