HACK YOUR WAY TO A FORTUNE 500 JOB
Every year thousands of marketing graduates compete to get into one of the top marketing companies. Yes, opportunities are scarce but that doesn’t mean there’s no hope. By the end of this post you will learn the secret to landing an interview at a top marketing company. You will need to follow these three steps:
1. PREPARE YOUR TOOLS
You need to make sure you have the basics right but you also want to stand out. Here’s a few tips to get you started:
Prepare your resume. I won’t explain that since there over 1 billion search results for writing a resume
Build your Linkedin profile:
linkedin.com This is very important.
Know your companies: You will need to do a heck of a lot of reading and research on your company, the category and industry. You need to show depth to even be considered.
What you need to Stand Out
Think marketing but YOU’RE the product.
- How can I make my resume get to the top?
- How can my name become “Top of Mind?”
- How can I stand out?
- How can I show initiative? Do you have a blog? Any projects you worked on? You might want to give more information about it here.
Here are some ideas to get you thinking:
- Extend your resume beyond print. Create a video resume, digital trailer of your achievements, share any extra-curricular activity in the digital space.
- How about some a/b testing? Have two versions of your resume with different angles to it. Use them when applying for the same job and find out which has more success.
2. AIM FOR A-LIST COMPANIES
The following is a list of companies that are considered to be on the A-list when it comes to marketing. Some of them wrote the marketing book like P&G, others are known for innovation and new approaches. Starting your career at any of these companies will prepare you for a successful marketing career. However, let’s get it straight now. If you aren’t successful in finding a job at any of these companies, start at a smaller sized company, maybe even a startup, but make sure you start in marketing. That way you will use your time well by learning as much as you can in marketing by actually doing marketing.
Don’t settle for a non-marketing job, that’s a waste of time.
To make sure you checked all the boxes, fill out the applications on each of these companies websites. I copied in the link to career section of their site. Don’t expect much to happen but once in a blue moon one of these companies will be looking for interns or new recruits and you may get lucky. The objective here is to cast your net as wide as possible.
But, before you get started, let’s get a few acronyms out of the way:
- FMCG: Fast moving consumer goods; anything that is stocked in sold at a quick rate. Think things you purchase at a supermarket that can’t sit on a shelf for too long without hitting its expiration date.
- IT: Information technology
THE A-LIST OF MARKETING COMPANIES
The following list hosts some of the world’s best companies to work at for marketers. It is not a complete list by any means but it is an excellent starting point. If you have any suggestions to the list, please leave them in the comment section below. Each link here will take you directly to their recruitment page. I also provided a general thought on each of the companies reflecting my own opinion based on my experience with people from these companies.
Proctor and Gamble: They practically wrote the book on brand marketing. Great place to join to learn a lot about marketing but don’t stay too long or you just become cocky!
Unilever: The Euro-version of P&G. Honestly, I would prefer lever over P&G any day because of the subtle Euro politeness evident in the corporate culture and their commitment to social responsibility. However, it doesn’t have the same glamour that comes with P&G.
Johnson & Johnson: Another often overlooked company. These guys own some of the biggest brands in the personal care category. If you’re into slippery substances you might want to consider them.
Mondelez: Acquired by the Kraft Heinz company, if you have a sweet tooth, this is the place to be. With brands like Toblerone and Cadbury you will need a gym membership!
Kraft: Kraft Heinz is growing to become a beast in the industry of snacks and foods overall. If you like your munchies, how about joining the Kraft Heinz group.
S.C. Johnson: Who doesn’t love Raid. Join the forces that keep our kitchens safe and work for one of the largest consumer chemical companies on the planet.
Microsoft: No need to introduce Microsoft. If you don’t know who they are you might as well join the uncontacted tribes of the Amazon, the river, not the website.
IBM: Proclaimed to be the new Google, these guys have reinvented themselves and are worth joining their ranks to help lead world takeover with Watson. If you don’t know Watson look up IBM Watson and find out how we will all become irrelevant in ten years!
Uber: These guys are renowned for their great work environment and uber awesome marketing. Check them out if you are looking for some fun at work.
Amazon: Amazon doesn’t have the best working conditions but they are out to take over the world and you might want to be on their side. Many marketers run the behind the scenes business and the way they are configured internally into many small business units allows for creativity and ownership making all your effort worth the while.
Shell: Not known to most but Shell is one of the largest, if not the largest retailer in the world. With over 41,000 gas stations worldwide, these guys employ some of the best marketers in the world.
ExxonMobil: Not as good as Shell but again a great marketing organization with globally renowned brands like Mobil
Vodafone: I’m sure you love your phone. Well if it wasn’t for Vodafone, you may have not been on this page reading through this site. They are a well branded technology company. You might want to consider them if you have a passion for technology.
Etisalat: A regional player with a strong marketing engine enabling them to compete successfully with global powerhouses. Great place to build marketing muscle.
3. HACK YOUR WAY IN
Let’s be honest, 25% of all jobs are through referrals (based on my own statistics J). Those 25% represent the good jobs. So, if you want to get into any of the companies above you will need an insider. So, how do you get an insider? Well, there is always the obvious route of friends and family but I reckon if you have read this far than you probably don’t have anyone that can help you out. If you do, then shut this now and send them your resume on whatever Social Media platform you prefer. Otherwise, if you are out of luck like 90% of us, I will explain how you can hack the referral system.
Steps for getting the marketing job of your dreams
By now, you have loaded your resume to Linkedin but you have no connections. Find your older acquaintances on Linkedin and connect to them first. You should be on the lookout for people with hundreds of connections. This widens your network.
Search for local marketers at the companies you’re interested in. Note their names. Make sure you have the spelling correct. I suggest capturing a screenshot of the profile since you’re going to need their picture as well.
Check if they know any of your contacts. They don’t? No worries. I reckon you have an established Facebook and Instagram network don’t you.
Look up the company pages and follow those as well. That way you will learn about any openings.
Now is the time to make use of Facebook beyond self-gloating.
I want you to look up each and every marketer whose names you have collected and find out who your Mutual Friends are. If you believe in the ‘six degrees of contact’ theory, you’re wrong. It’s actually only three degrees.
At first, if you can’t find the marketer at the company of your dreams on Facebook then you probably are doing something wrong because I’m sure they have a profile. No worries, start your search on Google by entering their Linkedin name accompanied with Facebook in the search box. Now, you should have more results from Facebook with people with similar names.
Go through the images, compare with the Linkedin profile until you land on your target.
Once you have your target in sight check their mutual friends. See anyone there you recognize? Chances out of all the marketers you captured you will land a few with mutual acquaintances.
- Now that you have landed two marketers at the company of your dreams, reach out to your mutual contact and ask them about their bud. Let them know that you are interested in approaching them for an opportunity to interview at their company.
Getting a marketing job is easy
Easy as that. The more target marketers you have, the more chances you have to land the job you are looking for. Notice how we completely bypassed the human resource department. Generally, the hiring department is more important than the human resource department. Human resources wants to satisfy the hiring manager. If the hiring manager offers up a candidate, that candidate will have more weight throughout the process. Anyhow, try it out and let me know if it works for you.