Leveraging IMC to Land the Job

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post_banner_blog_rachael32

A few months ago, I made the career transition I had been dreaming about for years, and I can say with all sincerity that I could not have done it without the WVU IMC program.

I’ll give you a short situation overview. After undergrad, I found myself working at a greeting card company, and while at first it seemed like the ultimate 500 Days of Summer gig, I quickly realized that this paper-and-ink industry didn’t quite pack the punch my millennial mind was hungry for. In October 2015, a digital marketing opportunity in the fashion retail industry presented itself in a way that seemed to shout “Rachael! This one! This is it!” in flashing neon lights, and I applied just as quickly as I could update my resume and cover letter, proudly boasting my in-progress Master’s degree front and center. The same day, I got a call from a recruiter. After a brief chat, I was scheduled for a series of interviews, for which I began preparation immediately. Spoiler alert: I got the job (yay!). Here are the steps that helped me do it:

Draw Comparisons

It can be easy to get (over)excited about all the new competencies in your marketing repertoire, but it’s important to stay organized and succinct in your message (IMC students/alumni – sound familiar?). To accomplish this task, I listed next to each bulleted item in the job description:

  • A specific work situation showcasing my experience in the area
  • A learning outcome achieved from an applicable IMC course

This exercise guided me in condensing my background into a few key points, allowing me to thoughtfully articulate my ability to fulfill each element of the job in the interview.

Gather Sources

As we learn in IMC, your argument is only as strong as your source. So in discussion board fashion (professors, be proud!), I came to the interview armored with research: quotes and figures to cite from reliable industry sources. When the time was right, I used these to add spice to the conversation or as the basis for an insightful question. Something like:

“I came across a quote from the VP of Digital Marketing in a recent Harvard Business Review article regarding the mobile app’s newly introduced native commerce. What has been the impact to mobile conversion rate since this addition?”

Communicate a Love of Learning

Was I a cookie-cutter match for the job? Probably not. But good hiring managers understand that candidates rarely fit the description in its entirety. I can say that what I lacked in experience, I made up for with a willingness – nay, a passion – to learn. Discussing my IMC coursework opened up the broader conversation of being self-motivated and eager to develop new competencies. Sure, just about anyone can say that in an interview if they wanted, but I had a big, bold line in the education section of my resume that spoke for itself. I’m speculating, but I think this factor was imperative in the manager’s ultimate decision to extend the offer.

 

Oh, and the hiring manager had a degree in IMC too..did I forget to mention that?

2 Responses to “Leveraging IMC to Land the Job”

  1. Whitney Drake Says:

    Rachel as someone who does quite a few interviews, your steps are spot on. Those comparisons, sources and a commitment to life long learning are exactly what I look for in candidates. Great post!

  2. jrclorley Says:

    Congrats Rachel. I wanted a job at an agency since I finished my undergrad more than 10 years ago and I actually got one about 7 months ago. I think the IMC degree was massively influential in getting an interview at the company even though I wasn’t finished yet. That enough has made it worth the time.

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