Marketing Career Coach & Fractional CMO

Not all Marketing Job Posts are Created Equally

When you scroll through an online job board, you’re likely to encounter a variety of marketing job posts. Each one appears promising, with detailed descriptions and a list of responsibilities that you could certainly fulfill.

But have you ever wondered what truly lies beneath these job posts? If you’re like most marketing job seekers, you probably haven’t given it much thought. However, understanding the lesser-known truths behind marketing job posts can empower you to navigate your career search with more effectiveness and precision.

What many marketing job seekers don’t realize is that not every marketing job post you come across is as straightforward as it seems. In fact, there are three main types of marketing job posts, each with their unique motives and implications.

Reviewing each marketing job post with these three types in mind can help you be more strategic in your job application efforts.

Type 1: The Genuine Marketing Job Post

First, we have the marketing job post that the company genuinely wants to fill. This is a straightforward job posting where a company is looking to hire a professional with the right skill set, attitude, and cultural fit.

These posts are often meticulous and transparent about the expectations of the role. For instance, if a company is seeking a Social Media Manager, the marketing job post might clearly state the need for experience with social media management tools, content creation, and audience engagement strategies.

In most cases, these are the positions we optimistically assume we’re applying for. They represent an actual vacancy that needs to be filled, a chance for your skills and experience to align with a company’s needs. While it’s a challenge to ascertain the authenticity of a job post, indicators like a defined application process and clear-cut responsibilities can give credence to its legitimacy. 🙋‍♂️

Type 2: The ‘Talent Trap’ Marketing Job Post

The second category is the marketing job post that the company has no intention of filling – the ‘talent trap’.

This might sound strange and counter-intuitive. Why would a company advertise a job they don’t intend to fill?

These marketing job posts actually serve a unique purpose.

One common scenario is when a company is testing the waters to understand the talent landscape for a potential new role.

For instance, a company considering venturing into influencer marketing might put up a job post for an Influencer Marketing Specialist, even when there’s no current budget for such a role. The aim is to gauge interest and identify available/interested talent, potentially supporting a future budget proposal to hire such talent or engage an agency.

Another instance is when a company plans to promote an internal candidate but must adhere to company protocols that necessitate an open job posting.

In such a scenario, external candidates might be interviewed as a formality or to provide a benchmark against the internal candidate. This is frequently seen in highly structured organizations that enforce stringent hiring procedures, or communicate that they ‘promote from within’ on the About Us or Culture page.

As an applicant, you might land the interview, but the chances of securing the role are usually slim.  And you will most likely be told in the rejection email that they went with ‘someone with more experience with our brand/industry.’  🤦‍♂️

Type 3: The Unicorn Hunt Marketing Job Post

Finally, there’s the elusive unicorn hunt. This is the marketing job post that makes you pause and wonder, “Didn’t I see this exact same job post a few months ago?” The answer is, most likely, yes. These job posts emerge when a company has stringent requirements and high expectations, often unrealistically so, from their prospective employees.

These companies are hunting for the proverbial ‘unicorn’  🦄 – a candidate who fits EVERY requirement, and more, from the job post.

And more often than not, they come up empty-handed, leading to the job post to resurface after a few months. While it’s not entirely impossible to fulfill these expectations, most companies will either settle for a ‘good enough’ candidate in their eyes, or outsource the work until the unicorn is able to be found.

Facing the Reality of Marketing Job Posts

The unfortunate reality is that it’s tough to discern the type of marketing job post you’re dealing with when applying. Job descriptions can be a riddle, and company motives aren’t always clear cut.

However, there is a solution.

Instead of submitting applications blindly, and hoping that the marketing job post is genuine..try to establish a connection within the company. Increase your visibility with those you want to connect with.

Reach out to the hiring manager, HR/talent acquisition lead, or current employees. Engage with company or team member content that is being shared on social networks. Participate in company-hosted events.

Having conversations with people already working within the organizations can give you a more substantial insight into the nature of the role and the sincerity of the marketing job post. They might provide clues about internal promotions, upcoming expansions, or even the company’s obsession for seeking ‘unicorn’ candidates.

While it may not always be possible to gather in-depth insights, even a broad understanding can help you strategize your application or networking approach.

So next time you come across a marketing job post, remember these hidden truths.

Look for the signs, connect with people, and strategize your approach. In the challenging process of a marketing job search, the ability to discern and navigate is your most powerful tool.

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