Career tips for marketers in the post-covid economy

Career tips for marketers in the post-covid economy

Job hunting can be tough at the best of times. With wholesale shifts in the business environment in 2020, it can seem even tougher.

Just.Marketing spoke to two leading specialists in marketing recruitment to find out who is hiring and how marketers can prepare for and find their next opportunity.

Rosa Rolo, Commercial Director, Major Players and Jimmy Ingram, Marketing and Digital Recruitment Expert, VMAGROUP say there are several ‘silver linings’ amid the gloom in the marketing job market.

Are any sectors hiring marketers at present and if so what types of roles are they looking for?

Rosa: “Digital-first businesses are hiring. This isn’t sector specific – we are seeing businesses pivot and move to a virtual model where possible, now more than ever companies are realising the need to digitize. Sectors such as fitness and health tech, ecommerce and pharma, are incredibly buoyant. We’ve also seen a bigger demand for digital marketing teams to create ecommerce platforms for retailers in order to drive demand online.

“Outside of digital, businesses are reviewing their brand and proposition to make sure they can adapt and flourish in this market. There is a demand for strategic thinking, creative ideas and so on, and candidates that can support and advise business leaders. We’ve seen a slight increase in those types of roles too; particularly at a senior level.”

Jimmy: “All companies are looking to cut costs and reinvent themselves at present. Even companies that are hiring are also letting people go. There is a cautious hiring trend but companies are hiring candidates with the right skills – those who have upskilled from a digital perspective.

“People with ecommerce experience are most sought after now. They are also generally the sector least impacted by job cuts. But there is also a big demand for soft skills: a positive mindset, a collaborative approach and ability to work autonomously and remotely. Recruiting companies want people who can show resilience and a mindset suitable for coming into a new business.”

Jimmy Ingram

What would be your advice to a marketer who loses their job?

Jimmy: “Stay positive; it’s crucial to your well-being and ability to come across well. Stay visible to your network and remain engaged because there is a strong likelihood your next role will come through someone you know, rather than a recruiter. Be selective in what you apply for and be more thorough. Get yourself known to in-house brands and connect with your old bosses – let them know you’re looking for a job and be brave and comfortable looking for a job in this climate.”

Rosa: “Firstly, try not to be too disheartened by the situation – most redundancies caused by covid-19 are not a reflection of one’s ability. That being said, now is a perfect opportunity to either freshen up on your skills or learn new ones altogether, for example. Google and Skillshare offer a variety of digital courses. Increasingly, businesses are after candidates who have a multi-disciplinary skill set that extends beyond just a singular specialism.

“Also, now is a great time to start promoting your personal brand and calling upon your network to support you in whatever way they can.”

Are there any innovative ways for marketing yourself as a candidate?

Rosa: “It sounds clichéd but think outside the box. What is going to make you stand out against your peers? We are also starting to see candidates sending short video clips in addition to their credentials, introducing themselves and highlighting top line experience and skills. This is a great way to be remembered and helps set you apart from the off.”

Jimmy: “Add a 60-second profile video to your LinkedIn page and treat it as a digital CV. Introduce yourself, what you have done, highlight your keys skills and what type of role you are looking for. We talk about things like this in our free VMAGROUP webinars – they are online seminars for job seekers in marketing.”

Rosa Rolo

How important is home working for marketing candidates today?

Jimmy: “Very few people want to go back to a five-day week in the office. Flexible working is now offered by the bulk of companies across all sectors. This creates a major opportunity – companies can recruit a more diverse workforce. If you are a regionally-based business, you could historically only tap into local talent pools. It’s a very modern and brave approach but we recently placed someone living in Scotland in a London-based role and they will work remotely from home. Companies can now recruit from talent pools anywhere in the country.”

Rosa: “One of the silver linings of the pandemic is that it has accelerated flexible working for everyone.”

What do you think will be the scale of job losses in marketing over coming months as the furlough scheme winds down?

Rosa: “Unfortunately, we do predict that there could well be significant movement in the market when furlough ends.”

Jimmy: “There is no such thing as job security at present. A huge number of people don’t feel safe in their role. The sectors that seem most protected are in financial services, consulting, tech and ecommerce – the pure plays.”