Where and how to find content marketing jobs
By Tracey Wallace
I have a personal, professional mantra around “maintaining a healthy sense of paranoia.” You can read more about that here.
As part of that paranoia, I often look up content marketing roles. My two current favorite places to do so are LinkedIn and Superpath.
Of course, there’s a lot that goes into decoding roles posted on the internet or in Slack groups. And, there’s a lot that goes into deciding if now is the right time for you to move.
For me, it isn’t. First: maternity leave, of course. But even without that, I like to stay in content marketing roles at least 2 years, ideally 4 or more. This is so that I can move an organization through several phases of a content marketing journey. If I were to leave after year one, or even year two, well, I would have really only begun to scratch the surface of possibilities.
After all, in content marketing leadership, you need to train the team, educate the executives, prove that you can hit the numbers consistently, and iteratively improve the company’s larger understanding of content marketing, and increase the results it begets.
All of that takes much longer than a year or two––especially at larger organizations which are typically slower to move in general.
In that regard, I advise content marketers to stay for as long as they can unless:
- You or your team aren’t progressing through the content marketing stages: You should be able to assess this after at least 1 year, but definitely by 1.5.
- The environment is toxic and/or draining: By toxic, I mean any “ism” that exists––sexism, racism, homophobia, etc. Get out of places like that ASAP, for your own mental health if nothing else. By draining, I mean any organization that refuses to respect work/life balance and/or disrespects clear role and responsibility boundaries.
For instance, I once had a boss tell me that our customer service team wasn’t marketing us properly in their scripts, and asked if I had reviewed such scripts. I had not, but offered to, and did so, and we edited those scripts.
A month or so later, that boss came back to me to say that the team wasn’t following those scripts properly, and asked what mechanisms I had in place for measuring that. Now, I was the head of marketing at this place. We had a VP of customer service, who was not bringing similar issues to my attention.
So, I told my boss (the founder and CEO) that while I’m happy to review the scripts, and offer that team suggestions, that I didn’t view it as part of my role to manage that team, their behavior, or their goals. I viewed it as their VP’s job to do that. His response was something along the lines of this: “Well, marketing is responsible for everything at this company, so technically this also falls under you.” I didn’t stay there long. I’m not interested in roles in which I am set up to fail.
I understand, as you likey do too, that at startups, employees wear all sorts of hats. And I’m a team player in that regard. Even at larger organizations, I usually wear lots of hats. Hell, I’ve been the interim CTO at a startup before. The various hats don’t scare me. The sudden changes in the definition of my role, clear scope creep, and no end in sight for the kingdom of my responsibilities is what scares me. Because I can’t possibly live up to endless ownership, esp. when it isn’t a company I own, nor am necessarily being paid to manage as such.
So, if I’m not ready to move on to a new role, why look at what jobs are available? Simple:
- To know what is out there
- Who is hiring
- What the expectations and roles & responsibilities are
All of this helps me understand how the industry is changing, and how I might change my own career expectations or trajectory as a result.
Remember: you need to be the capitalist of your own household––which is to say, that you are the one who manages how much money comes in and how much money (which can be measured in effort and hours) goes out. And you want to manage it as efficiently as possible. Keeping a finger of your role’s job market is an important part of that process.
So, where do I look for roles and to understand the industry? Three main places:
LinkedIn’s job section is a great and easy way to keep a finger on the pulse of the job market. Save roles you think are interesting, which I’ve found to help curate my job feed overtime. You can also search by level and salary, but in general, I find that their recommended roles is pretty dang good.
If and when you see roles you like, again save them, and then also look into related roles to understand how LinkedIn’s algorithm (and potentially hiring managers!) view these types of roles in comparison to what else in on the market.
For anything I find particularly interesting, I like to try and find the person on LinkedIn who would be this person’s boss / manager. You have to guess at this a good bit, but it’s a good exercise to see if you can begin to understand the organization’s structure. I then look at that person’s background.
- Where have they worked?
- For how long were they at each place?
- How long have they been at this place?
- Is this a place I’d want to get to overtime?
- If so, what steps am I missing?
Then, I’ll often go and see if I can find more junior folks in this organization that would report into this new role being hired. I want to understand similar things as I did for the senior-level person, but this is more of a recruiting tactic than anything else.
I’ve been burned by hiring the “LinkedIn influencer” before (They were far more talented at explaining what to do in content marketing than actually being able to do it, sadly), and so I like to look for folks I don’t know, but who are building solid careers out there early on.
If I’m ever hiring, they might be folks I’d reach out to.
Now, if you are actually looking for a role, I’d use LinkedIn slightly differently:
- Use the jobs tool to look and find jobs you are interested in.
- For the job you are interested in, see if you are connected to anyone who knows anyone at that company. If so, reach out to them to see if there are any internal programs for recommending people for roles. Almost all tech companies have these, and they all but assure you at least one interview. In other words, this gets your name to the top of the stack.
- Prioritize companies where you know someone or know someone who knows someone.
- For those interviews, be sure to look at the profiles of the hiring managers or bosses for this role (if you can determine who that is). If they post on LinkedIn, start to engage with them. This can be as simple as liking a post or two of theirs from recently. Humans have a weird way of relying on intuition for decisions (including hiring), and your name might nestle itself in their subconscious, which gives you more of a proverbial foot in the door.
- Don’t apply on LinkedIn. Apply on the company’s website. If you are applying for a content position, include a cover letter. The last content marketer I hired had a cover letter that was ridiculously good––and made her resume standout among all the other resumes. Sure, not all organizations will read them…but some will, and it could matter.
Superpath is a Slack group for content marketers started by Jimmy Daly, and it is one of the most enjoyable Slack groups out there.
Tons of content marketers and editors and freelancers and SEO people all asking questions of one another, engaging, sharing salaries, and so much more. I’ve even been invited to a small group within Superpath of specific industry content marketers of all levels, where we share insights, advice, etc.
I haven’t had a place like this ever in my career, and I am ridiculously grateful for it, and so happy for the up-and-coming content folks to have this.
There is a channel within this Slack group for work listings, and they range from freelance roles to full-time roles. Better yet, you could probably even DM the hiring manager or at least the existing content person at that company to intro yourself, too.
Seriously, this Slack group highlights content roles that have an insight into this group, which means they likely have an insight into the importance of content marketing in general.
If you’re searching for content roles, this is a fantastic, more curated, place to look.
The on-site career pages of “Best places to work” companies:
OK, look, I know: The companies that land on the “best places to work” aren’t always so. But, at the very least, these companies care about being on these lists, and I’ve found that the care alone is often enough to make these at least decent places to work.
So, whenever I am actually on the job hunt, or if I’m just looking around to see how other folks might be building teams or what options might be available for me in a few years if I were to take a next step, I’ll start by going to these lists online.
You can find them in your area, but there are a ton of “best remote workplace” lists, too.
Then, I head on over to the company’s careers page and look around.
- What roles are they hiring for?
- What does this blog look like?
- What do their marketing pages in general look like?
- What’s the product?
- What are the benefits they offer?
If you are actually in the market for a job, then once you find something you like, go and look them up on LinkedIn. See if you know anyone or know someone who knows someone who works there. And again, reach out and see if they have a referral program available.
No lie, I did this for my brother when he was looking for a new job. He got a great role in tech because of it––and the person who referred him got an extra cash bonus for referring someone who got hired. Don’t underestimate how powerful this can be!
Something to do on the regular:
Don’t have a ton of connections on LinkedIn or in the industry you want to be in? Then you’ve got some work to do. Connections are one of the primary ways folks land jobs, as annoying as that can be. Trust me––I’m from the boondocks of Southeast Texas, where few people get out and I had absolutely no connections leading me into the job market. I also found against the idea that it was “who you know,” and not “hard work” that got you jobs.
To be fair––it isn’t only “who you know.” “Hard work” matters a lot, too. But the best option is a combination of both. Because “hard work” is the expectation––not a nice-to-have.
So, if you don’t have great connections––that’s ok! Here’s what you should do:
Once a week or once a month, set aside time for a 30 minute “coffee chat” with someone. Reach out to folks over LinkedIn and ask if they’d meet with you. About what? Well, you want to know how they got where they are. You’re trying to enter this field and simply want to know about their role, how they got it, what they do, where they want to go next, their opinions on the industry, etc.
A lot of people won’t respond to you, but you’d be surprised how many will, too. If you can, try to make these in-person coffee meet ups. Pay for their coffee.
This was something a boss of mine had me and one of my co-workers start doing years ago. And it paid off incredibly. My co-worker now runs an SEO agency that you have to be “in the know” to know (because of how well-connected he is now). And I, well, I haven’t applied for any of the last three jobs I’ve had. Seriously––never even sent in a resume. Folks reached out on the good word of someone, and my name came up.
Do not discount the importance of building a network!