Job Search

What Hiring Managers Want to See in New Marketers

Nail these skills if you want to be desirable to employers

We’ve all been there. You walk into an interview feeling on top of the world. You know you have mad skills. But then the questions start and all that confidence disappears faster than that selfie on Snapchat.

While dressing the part, making eye contact and being a team player still count, the increased focus on everything digital has forced new marketers to up their game. Take the guesswork out of your next marketing interview—here are five skills hiring managers want to see.

1. Social Media Prowess

Social media pervades all areas of marketing. It’s not enough to have a personal Instagram account (unless you’ve done something really interesting with it, like getting 100,000 people to follow your dog). No matter your role, you should have in-depth knowledge of all the major platforms—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and, yes, even Snapchat and other emerging apps, like Kik.

“The ones that really know [social media] inside out, it makes them valuable for these companies,” says Hilary O’Keefe, senior communications manager at Core77 Design Awards.

Find entry-level content-marketing jobs

2. Solid Communication Skills

Good communication skills never go out of style, even as people spend more and more time with machines. Hiring managers look for people who can deliver messages to consumers and effectively communicate with their coworkers in new and traditional ways.

“Learn your own communication style and the style of those around you,” says 360i CEO Sarah Hofstetter. “It will foster greater self-awareness and improved collaboration and productivity—inside and outside of the office.”

Being a good communicator doesn’t just mean being comfortable speaking to others. It also means being able to clearly express yourself in writing.

Says Hofstetter: “Crisp writing skills are essential for roles across an agency.”   

3. Above-Average Agility

Marketing is fast-paced, always on and ever-changing. New marketers need to follow suit by being quick on their feet and able to jump from one task to another without missing a beat. These days, marketers are often asked to fail fast, revise quickly and test often.

This can be a hard pill to swallow, especially for the perfectionists out there. But coming up with an example of how you can be flexible on the fly can mean the difference between getting hired and getting left behind.

4. Technical Ability

We’ve moved beyond Microsoft Office being a special skill. Way beyond.

“Especially in media,” says Mark Herschberg, CTO at Flashpoint, “if you stay tied to old technologies, you’ll go the way of the printing press.”

Hiring managers want to know that a candidate can quickly master the tools and software marketers may use for things like social media management, updating website content, keyword research and media monitoring. Bonus points if you stay ahead of the game and can identify new technologies to solve problems.

5. Proven Results

You need to show hiring managers you’re a numbers person, even if you chose a field in communications simply to avoid having to do math.

“Things are becoming more measured and focused on the return on investment,” says Simon Yi, growth marketing lead at Reserve.

Even people in more creative marketing roles like content development have to track results of their efforts in order to regularly revise their approach and prove their value. Wow your interviewer by asking questions about key metrics. Have you ever helped a company get leads at an event or increase their Facebook followers? Be sure to mention that, too.

Like what you’re reading? Sign up to get our best career advice and job search tips.


Get Hired, Job Search