How to Land a Great Marketing Job in 2016

Zach Brooke
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Key Takeaways
​What? Now is the best time in years to seek out better professional opportunities..

So what? Marketers looking for work in 2016 can choose from around 100,000 unfilled openings identified by

Now what? If you're serious about advancing your career, pursue strategies like specialization and technical development to become recognized as a top candidate.

​January 27, 2016

Marketers that decide to make 2016 the year they switch up their career scenery are in luck: Now is the best time in years to seek out better professional opportunities.

The latest job report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 292,000 jobs were added to the labor force in December 2015, and the unemployment rate is holding steady at 5%. These numbers indicate the best labor market for job seekers since the start of Great Recession. 

In addition to the economy-wide numbers, there are currently around 100,000 unfilled marketing jobs in the United States, according Paul D’Arcy, senior vice president of marketing at But, he cautions, the rise of specialization within the field of marketing has created barriers to many positions.

Marketing Fields Are Changing

“One of the things that’s tricky is that marketing as a field is changing very quickly,” D’Arcy says. “When you look at marketing, we’re seeing the increased specialization in types of jobs. There is a proliferation of jobs titles and types of work, and a lot of this is actually tied to specific types of software that might be used in jobs and the technology skills. The result of that is very specific experiences are being required to fill different positions.”

This trend is echoed by Melinda Holm, president and owner of Chicago-based marketing recruiting firm Melinda Holm & Associates.

“We are seeing the need for market intelligence research candidates, folks with CRM experience … and more analytical positions within the marketing umbrella,” Holm says.

And it’s not just familiarity with new industry concepts. Some positions can come down to whether a candidate was trained in certain software versus a competing program.

“If you’re a marketer that does lead generation, there are some [employers] that work with Marketo and there are some that work with Eloqua,” D’Arcy says. “Typically a company is going to hire a person that has experience with the platforms they use.” 

Climbing the Career Ladder 

D’Arcy says that, for most marketers, particularly those looking to ascend the career ladder, finding the right opportunity is a combination of skills, experience, relationships and luck. He recommends thinking hard about your career goals as the first concrete step in a new job search, followed by determining what you’re looking for in an employer. He also recommends delaying a job search until you have a lot of time to devote to perfecting your candidacy.

“What we find is that the best time to look for a job is when you really have the time to commit to do it right. In the meantime … we recommend that people start by setting up job alerts, doing research, thinking about companies they might be interested in and understanding the sorts of positions and skills that they require,” he says. 

After identifying a preferred opportunity, D’Arcy says that demonstrated technical capabilities, creativity or project management skills can be the determining factor that lands a job seeker his or her preferred opportunity.   

Finding New Opportunities

One thing marketers shouldn’t worry about when seeking a new job: timing. D’Arcy says that aside from slight dip in December followed by a jump in January, the overall pattern of marketing job postings is even throughout the year.

Finally, be mindful that taking advantage of exciting new professional opportunities means applying a marketer’s skill set in strange but relevant ways.  Or, as Holm says, “In general, it’s more difficult to market yourself than a can of Coke.”

Author Bio:

Zach Brooke
Zach Brooke is a staff writer at the American Marketing Association. He can be reached at
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