Wondering how you can stand out as a young marketer in a sea of applicants? For today’s (slightly different) B2B Marketing Agency Insights, our CEO Austin LaRoche talks about the three biggest job application mistakes young marketers make and how they can fix them.
Video transcription below:
Welcome back to B2B Marketing Agency Insights. I’m your host Austin LaRoche CEO at ATAK Interactive. Today, we’re going to go in a little different direction. Most of this time, we’re doing tips for companies looking to market themselves better. Today, I want to focus on a different demographic. I want to focus on young marketers. I want to help them get the job of their dreams because I’ve been doing a lot of recruiting throughout the pandemic. I’ve looked at many resumes, a lot of cover letters, have had a lot of conversations, and I’m seeing three big job application mistakes. I want to make sure you guys know what they are, so hopefully, you can avoid them in the future.
Job application mistake #1 is underrating the importance of the cover letter. The cover letter is your opportunity to show a couple of things. One, that you actually want this job, not a job – this specific job, which all you have to do here is to do a little research on the company. Look at what they are doing; look at what they are putting out on social. Acknowledge it in just one sentence. I know we all have that base cover letter that we think is like the go-to, but you gotta be able to customize that specifically for the job you want because the people on the other end want to see that. They want to see that you care and that you are actually interested, specifically in them. Second, make sure your grammar is up to par. Don’t skip out on the grammar. I’m going to talk about that more in a second.
Job application mistake #2 is unfocused resumes. Do you know how many people still put that they are proficient in Microsoft Office on their resumes? My son is seven years old, and he is proficient in Microsoft Office. You’ve got to go beyond that. And I get it – especially when you’re young, you don’t have as much experience. You only have a couple of internships, but that doesn’t matter. There are opportunities to put other things on there. Show me some certifications. HubSpot, Google, Facebook – they all have opportunities for you to get certifications. Some do cost money, but most, like HubSpot, are mostly free for young marketers. So you can go in and at least show that you are trying to learn, that you are trying to build out that skillset, and that you have that hunger because that matters a lot more than the job you had at Nordstrom in college.
I’m not knocking the job you had at Nordstrom in college. We all had those jobs. It’s just doesn’t matter to me. I’m the one hiring, and I need to know where you are as a marketer, not as a hard worker. We’ll find that out later on the road.
The last thing is not understanding how this application process – from application through the interview – is an audition. Everything you do along the way, you are showcasing how you will do it with colleagues and how you would do it with clients. So it is not good if you don’t have some basic follow-up skills. Follow up every single time you talk to somebody. Always follow up. If you haven’t heard from anybody in a little while, follow up there too because it doesn’t mean you didn’t get the job. It just means that the company is really busy and they may have forgotten. But they don’t forget the person who keeps persistently following up and seeing what needs to be done.
Another thing I know we touched on it before: grammar. Anything that you are writing, whether it’s an email or a cover letter, make it nice and polished. You might text your friends with a lowercase “I” but you sure as hell cannot email a prospective employer with a lowercase “I.” Even the most like cool hip companies, they are going to look at you and go, “Dude, I don’t need you to talk to me like you’re my buddy.” You need to be polished, and you need to communicate like an adult. I see it much more than I thought I was going to. That is a big-time turn-off, not because you are doing anything wrong necessarily in your communication with me, but because that makes me think that’s how you will communicate with a client. It’s going to look incredibly unprofessional.
Those are the top three job application mistakes and how to fix them. Firstly, really get a nice cover letter that you spend a lot of time on. I know it might be more time-consuming than you want, but it’ll be worth it in the end. Secondly, get that resume to really show your skills and capabilities – essentially the right things. Lastly, treat everything like an audition – over-communicate, be incredibly prepared. Just show that’s the kind of person you will be if you go on that team in the long run.
That was a little bit different. I hope that was helpful for you guys. Good luck to anybody out there who is trying to get a job. I know it’s really hard in a pandemic. I am rooting for you. I’m Austin LaRoche, for everybody else at ATAK saying, good luck growing. Take care.