Job hunting can be an isolating experience, particularly when your LinkedIn feed is filled with news of product launches, customer testimonials and invites to marketing events.
You are not alone! Take comfort in the fact that every Product Marketing success story started with a vacancy and an opportunity. The seasoned professionals and industry stalwarts have been through the highs and lows of job hunting, even in the strange and challenging times of Covid-19.
Getting through the hiring process to your next position is no mean feat, but positioning job hunting as an opportunity to lay the foundations for your future career growth is a positive first step and one which will set you in the right frame of mind.
Look how far you’ve come
Have you got an “awesome folder” where you store manager feedback, project recaps or shout outs from your team and stakeholders for a job well done? Or perhaps an online portfolio where you save the best examples of your work and frameworks you have built?
Now is the time to take stock of the experience you’ve gained in your most recent role, the skills you’ve honed and the results you’ve achieved to showcase on your CV and LInkedIn profile. If you need inspiration to put your hard work into context, check out PMA’s intro to Product Marketing OKRs to gain a clear picture of how to show the connection between your projects and business results.
Getting a handle on the jobs market
It is widely acknowledged that our industry is multi-discipline, a blend of strategic and executional excellence and that it requires a broad skill set. That’s great if you thrive on the idea that no two days will ever be the same, but becomes slightly more daunting when it comes to comparing open roles.
I’ve seen job descriptions listing key responsibilities that perfectly match my last major project down to a tee, but also dismissed LinkedIn suggested jobs where the requirements contain a laundry list of software I’ve never heard of, let alone mastered.
PMA perfectly captured this particular industry challenge in the State of Product Marketing 2019 report. The bulk of our peers’ time is spent on messaging and positioning, managing product launches, creating sales collateral and conducting buyer and market research.
An important consideration when reviewing the job to be done for a potential employer is whether you are defining these for a smaller or evolving company, adapting for international expansion or targeting a new market segment. If the company has scaled or is at a later stage in their growth trajectory, they may hone in on specialist skills such as pricing, lifecycle management or acquisition strategy.
When reviewing job descriptions, scan for keywords and map these against the Core Framework to get a clear picture of the fit with your prior experience, but also to take note of any skills you aren’t using today that you want to be part of your next role.
No better people to learn from
During your job search you’ll no doubt need a healthy boost of optimism. Where better to seek inspiration than from PMA? The slack community has tailored groups sharing fresh content, events, local news, crowdsourced questions and helpful resources that will give you a finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the world outside your job search.
What’s more, you don’t have to go ask industry leaders with dream job titles at well respected companies about their best projects and day-to-day because there’s already a podcast for that, as well as regular AMA sessions for on-demand access to insightful answers to the burning questions from the community.
In-person events may not be an option right now, but there’s never been a greater choice of lunchtime webinars, zoom meetups and virtual summits out there.
Preparation is key
Not only is the PMA community a smart and generous support for sharing ideas and resources, many of them have also been on the other side of the hiring process and have great advice for preparing for a job interview.
I’ve picked up tips on what to expect for a practical on the job task while other advice covered how to best showcase your 90 day plan to make a splash during the hiring process.
What about that all important salary negotiation? PMMs know how to use data to make an informed decision so check the latest stats on industry salary trends to know how any offer stacks up.
Getting started in a new role
Contracts signed, new hire onboarding complete, now where to start on that 90 day plan? Once again the PMA community members have come through with helpful steps for new hires.
The last thing to do is pay it forward - share links with newer PMA members, answer questions as they come up and share your insights, content and best practice as you thrive in your next exciting Product Marketing role.