Sue Keith: Tactical Tips for Every Marketer on the Job Hunt

March 11, 2024
Content Marketing | Direct | Marketing Strategy

Episode Summary

Corrina and Taylor are joined by Sue Keith, Corporate Vice President of Ceres Talent, for a special episode. Given the challenges marketers face in today’s competitive job landscape, Corrina and Taylor sought to spotlight an expert to share her perspective on how to stand out in a crowded field. Sue provides practical tips that any job seeker can implement immediately to separate yourself from the pack and secure the position.

If you’re seeking a concise guide on how to emerge as a leading candidate in the current job market, this episode is tailored for you.

Follow Sue on LinkedIn

Check out Ceres Talent

Connect with Direct’s hosts, Corrina & Taylor

Featured Guest

Name: Sue Keith
What she does: Corporate Vice President
Company: Ceres Talent

Noteworthy: Expert in navigating the crowded job market for marketers, with insights on common application mistakes.

Key Insights

Understanding the Crowded Job Market

Sue highlights the importance of understanding the current job market’s dynamics, especially for marketers. With an increasing number of professionals facing job losses and the challenge of finding new positions in a market where every job posting attracts hundreds of applications, Sue emphasizes the need for candidates to be realistic about their job search. This insight is crucial for marketers who haven’t been in the job hunt for a while, as it adjusts expectations and prepares them for the competitive landscape they’re entering.

Career Evolution and Continuous Learning

Sue shares her personal journey of career transformation and her pursuit of learning French, illustrating the importance of continuous personal and professional development. Despite facing challenges during COVID, her determination to achieve fluency in French underscores the value of setting long-term goals and actively working towards them. This narrative encourages listeners to consider their own career paths and the importance of embracing change and continuous learning as tools for career advancement.

Common Mistakes in Job Applications

In the crowded job market, Sue points out common mistakes candidates make in their applications and interviews. By bringing attention to these errors, she provides listeners with valuable advice on how to improve their chances of standing out in a sea of applicants. This insight is especially beneficial for marketing professionals looking to navigate the job application process more effectively, highlighting the importance of a strategic approach to job hunting.

Episode Highlights

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Marketing Job Market  

During the early days of COVID-19, the hiring market, especially for marketing positions, came to an abrupt halt as companies worldwide braced for the unknown. This period saw a significant shift towards contracting and fractional work due to frozen headcounts, while full-time hiring was largely on pause. Sue Keith elaborates on the rollercoaster the job market has undergone since then, from a complete freeze to a hiring frenzy in 2021, followed by a slowdown and increased layoffs in recent times. Despite these challenges, she notes emerging signs of recovery and optimism for the future.  

“What happened at that point is the hiring market, specifically for marketing positions, came to a screeching halt […] But then, 2021 exploded in terms of hiring, especially in B2B marketing.”

Evaluating Company Health in Uncertain Times  

Sue Keith discusses the importance of conducting thorough research on potential employers’ financial and operational health. She suggests looking beyond public financial data to understand a company’s stability and future prospects. This approach includes networking and engaging in conversations with current employees to gather insights that are not publicly available.  

“One thing you can certainly do is find people who work there and see if you can find a way in to have a conversation with them […] but what you can do is do your best to talk to people who are already there.”

Customizing Job Applications in a Competitive Market 

Sue emphasizes the need for job seekers to tailor their applications to stand out in a crowded market. She advises against relying on the ‘easy apply’ option and recommends customizing resumes for each application, highlighting the importance of aligning one’s resume with the job description using specific keywords and competencies.  

“For every position you’re interested in, you should be customizing your resume for that position […] make sure you have an ‘areas of expertise’ or a ‘core competency’ section on your resume.”

The Evolution and Importance of Customer Marketing  

Sue Keith identifies customer marketing as a crucial and evolving field within marketing, driven by the need for enhanced customer retention and expansion post-COVID. She outlines the dual aspects of customer marketing—engagement and demand generation—highlighting its significance in maximizing value from existing customer bases and contributing to sustainable growth.  

“Customer marketing […] has become increasingly important as companies recognize the value of retaining customers and expanding business within their existing customer base.”

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