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Ways to change your career within marketing

Ways to change your career within marketing

You are disillusioned by your current role or simply have a burning desire to try your hand at something new. Marketing remains your calling so marketing yourself to potential employers in new industries should be a breeze. But where do you start? Charlotte Wright, Marketing Manager at Hays Marketing, shares some advice and tips.

Moving between industries, private and public sector, or client and agency side is possible. Just check out the movers and shakers pages of trade marketing press and you can see how many marketers move across industries.

Of course, experience within a particular sector is attractive to employers, but bringing new ideas and working practices from outside, and developing a fast understanding of the new sector, are equally attractive.  

Establish core skills

Analyse your strengths and weaknesses. Pull together examples of core marketing skills and experience demonstrating actual results - these could be as generalist as budget management, campaign planning or partnership marketing.

This could be more specific, such as press activity associated with a particular product launch, segmentation techniques applied to your database, or a CRM initiative to acquire, enhance and retain business. Auditing your skills will help you focus on your most marketable assets and match the appropriate opportunities available.

Select your target  

Time is precious, and if you are considering a career change you want to use your time wisely - unless you are wanting to equip yourself with new skills or to network.

There are thousands of employers in the UK alone, so you need to identify industry sectors, business type (size, client or agency-side) and marketing specialisms that interest you.

If, for example, you want to transfer to agency-side, consider the scope of your target - does it include specialist media agencies or a broader target covering ATL, BTL or full-services agencies?

Know your market

You must know your market - if you are considering a career marketing for a law or accountancy practice, read the sector trade press, research websites, attend trade fairs, talk to friends/family in the sector and get your head around the issues and jargon.

Think about the difference you can bring from outside the industry. Professional services firms, for example, increasingly value the contribution that non fee-earning staff - such as marketers - can bring to their partnerships, so show what you have done in your current or previous role and how this could apply to them.

Home in on your target

There are several ways to improve your success rate. Your CV must be top-notch - do not have just one version, you should tailor your CV and experiences to each and every potential employer.

If responding to a job advert, pick out the key requirements and ensure these are covered off in your CV or cover letter. Quote actual results and metrics in your CV - be innovative and use your initiative.

Coming up with creative ideas to solve problems or challenges is natural to you so apply this to your job search. Find out the names of the heads of marketing at your target firms and speculatively contact them.

If you have seen a great piece of marketing by your target client, tell them as it shows interest in their organisation. One candidate moving from a business services background into the wine trade created their CV with a wine bottle label theme - it got their application noticed!

Start building contacts in your new sector. There are numerous opportunities, from trade exhibitions and awards ceremonies to speaker seminars and conferences.

Get yourself known - this is particularly important if considering life as a freelancer, or getting into PR. Recruitment agencies can also be a useful contacts source - often, if you indicate your preferred clients, they will actively target and market you to them.

Getting results

You have created a winning CV, targeted your top potential employers and now been shortlisted for interview. The hard work has paid off but the job is not in the bag yet.

You must now convince your would-be employer that your skills, experience and enthusiasm make you the perfect choice over and above candidates from within the industry.

Know your CV inside out, and consider every aspect of your previous experiences that are transferable, such as your core marketing skills. By showing that you can bring new ideas, practices, partnerships and potentially clients, you will stand out from a candidate who can just add more of the same.

Click here for the latest marketing jobs

To improve your digital marketing skills, check out The Knowledge Engineers for their full range of online marketing training courses.

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