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  • Job Search Like an Olympian: One Tip “Marketers” Need to Know to Land Their Golden Position. Part 1.

    July 29, 2012

    How to Hire Job search like an Olympian

    Why should I interview you?

    By Maureen McCabe

    The 2012 Olympics have started, and we have won our first medal. While watching and cheering for our Canadian team, I checked my Blackberry (yes, I am a Canadian, loyal to the end!) and saw that I had received yet another email from someone who is searching – and is going about it the wrong way!

    I remember what it’s like to look for the right position. Learn how to “Job search for a marketing position – like an Olympian.” I want to help you earn your gold medal – the position of your dreams!

    Marketing Consultant: One Brilliant Job Search Tip

    Whether you are a student, grad, intern, unemployed, underemployed, or “in transition” looking to land a marketing position this tip will help you catch the eye of a prospective employer. Before I share the “how to” do it – the powerful Olympian tip, let’s look at a few emails that I have received.

    Warning – this is a long but extremely educational blog. If you invest the time now, it will shave-off hours, weeks, and yes, even months in your search for an amazing position.

    Example 1 – Intern


    I am a Post Grad student at xxxx College in the Marketing Program. I have keen interest in working in marketing sector as I operated my own PR firm in xxxx and found your company profile quite appealing. Please check the attached resume for more details and let me know if you need an intern. Thank You
    first & last name

    My comment: “Hey” is completely unprofessional. No resume was attached. No contact information in the closing signature was provided such as a phone number to request her resume.

    Example 2 – Student

    To Whom This May Concern,

    I would love to speak with someone concerning any possible positions available at McCabe. (My business name is McCabe Marketing) I have spent the last year doing sponsorships/product placements at a very fast pace this past year (related with national and international film). My experience in this surpasses what is displayed on my resume.

    Best Regards,
    first name only

    My comment: Never, ever address an email or letter “To Whom This May Concern” – there are NO exceptions to this rule.

    Example 3 – In transition or unemployed

    To Whom It May Concern,

    I come to you with a background that you will find unique and distinctive among your current roster of employees. I have made the most of my work opportunities to expand upon my knowledge and experience in office administration and business management including customer service and customer retention. I also have a wide breadth of experience of the type that gives you the versatility to place me in a number of contexts with confidence that the level of excellence you expect will be met.

    Then 5 more paragraphs “about him”

    My comment: lf he looked at my website or anywhere on the web, he’d see I don’t have a roster of employees posted. I was shocked by the number of times he used the word “I” that I went back and counted them out of interest. Guess how many – 11!

    He should read my blog, “Needs-based” selling and writing skills – it’s not all about you! Although the tips are focused on effective homepage copy writing, the same rules apply – people hire based on needs.

    Example 4 – School Requesting Placements for their Co-ops

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am writing to apply for an internship position on behalf of some of our co-op students. My name is Joe Canadian (I changed this of course) and I am an internship coordinator at ABC college. Our company arranges… co-op and internship placements for students at colleges and universities across Canada.

    My comment: In grade 9 typing class (yes, it was on a typewriter in the 1970’s!) we were told that it was okay to use “Dear Sir/Madam”. Because it sounded “dumb” to a 15-year old, I asked my mom and she put it simply –

    “Maureen, if you don’t know the name of the person, then pick up the phone and find out their name.” Obviously that was before the advent of voicemail and the requirement to know your party’s extension… but I think you get the idea. Do some research before reaching out to touch someone for a job. Do you believe someone will make the time to respond to you if you don’t make an effort!

    Example 5 – Retiree

    Subject: none

    Attracted to your website, I thought I would attach my resume. I am currently on pension and I am looking to work part-time. Most of my later experience was in doing trade shows, sales and marketing. If you are ever needing additional staff, I believe I could be a good asset to have within your employ.

    My comment: He seemed like a nice man and I opened it – although it was sent as a MS word document. I could have caught a virus and luckily I didn’t. I’ll share a few thoughts about the value of saving files as a PDF. Refer to Tip 7 in Part 2 – Nine Olympic job search tips to help you get the “marketing” job of your dreams.

    Stay tuned the quintessential tip will be revealed shortly!

    Example 6 – In transition (21st century lingo for “unemployed”)


    My name is Josephine Canadian (she’s Joe’s sister!) I am actively searching for a job in the marketing/advertising industry. I have an educational background in all aspects of marketing/advertising and more which will provide a great asset to your company. My skills in this industry relate to about 1 – 2 years of real world experience. In addition I have work experience with a couple different companies that provide even more experience that can translate to the industry. Attached is my resume where you will find education, work and volunteer experience to help grow your company at various heights. I thank you for your time.


    My comment: Yes it was indented 2 characters. I love the phrase “real world experience” but not in writing. Please use my company name vs. the phrase “your company” because you make me feel that I’m receiving a form letter.

    How to search like an Olympian for a marketing position

    Is any tip quintessential? (It’s my favourite word – the most essential of the essentials and I use it often.). Yes. This is the single most important tip! You are seeking a marketing position. What does a marketing company want to know?

    Tip 1: How did you find them!

    Let the prospective employer know how you found them. It provides value – was it organically, then advise the keyword phrase, or if it was through social media, which site, if it was LinkedIn what group do we both belong to… or

    Did you click on my Google AdWord (also referred to as Pay-per-Click, PPC advertisement) – and – cost me money?

    If you’re smart you didn’t. If you saw my ad, tell me that you didn’t click on the ad but copied the URL to your browser. You’ll impress any prospective employer if you tell them that you know that they want to spend their limited marketing dollars attracting new clients – not prospective employees.

    I am continually shocked by how many marketing applicants aren’t aware of how Google Ads work. Sorry, but ignorance is no excuse for a marketer in the 21st century!!!

    The bottom line

    You can’t sit back and watch the TV cheering on your favourite Olympic hopeful – hoping your “same old ways” of finding a job will work. You need to engage and entice the receiver of your phone calls, email, or hard copy letter. I’ve written nine phenomenal marketing-oriented tips, please read Part 2 – Nine Olympic job search tips to help you get the “marketing” job of your dreams.

    You don’t want to just search like an Olympian but land an amazing marketing position – your gold medal. Good luck!

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  1. Greg Hones01:19pm,

    Really enjoyed your article, very instructive. Wonderful email examples, Loved the gentle, pointed, humorous instruction. Thanks for rooting for, and encouraging us jobseekers.


  2. Taylor Igel09:51pm,

    Thank you for blogging your insight on job searching. I have seen myself in a few of the examples you have posted and I now understand how it can come off in a negative way. I will be changing my approach since reading this article.

  3. Una Mazalica10:55am,

    Very informative blog post with humorous and shockingly accurate email examples! As an undergrad and aspiring marketer myself, I definitely learned a thing or two about job prospecting the right way.

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