What does the title "program analyst" sound like to you? Computer programmer? A person who studies programs and determines their strengths and weaknesses? It's neither.
In fact, one of this column's authors worked as a program analyst with various programs in human resources and education; the job entailed working with contractors to develop courses, videos, and internal marketing programs.
So you can't judge a job by its title. But rest assured that job titles and experiences can easily transfer to other jobs. No matter what your background is, if you're trying to move into a new area, you can get potential employers' attention. It's all in how you present yourself in the cover letter, resume, and interviews. Customize that information for each job you apply for.
Current Marketing Challenge
How can we get along better with our marketing team?
How Do I Pump Up the Management Volume?
I have six years of advertising/marketing experience and am looking to advance into a management position within my field. The roadblock I seem to face is that I do not have any direct management experience. Both the graphic designer and temp we have report to me on a daily basis, but not on paper. I also lead various projects/initiatives.
I don't want to embellish and get in over my head, but is there a better way to address my management experience on my resume or when interviewing? Or can I do something to gain the experience I need to advance into management?
Based on the information Sharon provided, she definitely has project management experience. Every reader who wrote in agrees. Sandra Covert, director of government marketing at InsightMAS, confirms how titles can mislead. "Many people with professional sounding titles really hold glorified positions such as 'chief cook and bottle washer.' Managers manage work, not people."
Since two people already report to Sharon, most readers advise reviewing how she manages them. "The words 'Can you handle that?' are often used by the titled manager but that REALLY means 'Can you manage that?'" Covert adds.
Management means setting expectations, overseeing the budget, ensuring the team meets those expectations and motivating the team to get the work done well. Michael, a consultant, says, "Those are the same things that a manager does, but these management skills might not be tied to a specific project or deliverable. However, you can clearly showcase the skills you've developed. Demonstrating your management experience by showing how you get work 'done through others,' which is a key management imperative."
Michael also suggests mapping your experience to what a typical manager does in an organization or as outlined in a job description. "Focus on the management skills you've executed...the behaviors. Those are the facts that are somewhat unassailable," says Michael.
Everyone agrees. Sharon is already a manager! Match the experience with job requirements and she's in like Flynn. Or ask for a raise!
Next Marketing Challenge: Can You Help?
Despite having a strong professional services group to support our product software, marketing has a difficult time creating the right messages to support our division's efforts. The team keeps using messages that miss the boat as to features and benefits related to the services we offer. On several occasions, I have tried to meet with the product marketing group to build some awareness as to what we do and the types of services we offer, but to no avail.
We really need to all be on the same page—sales, services and marketing—with one face to the marketplace, but I'm pretty frustrated as to what else to do to make this happen. What should I do to change this culture?
—Hilda H., VP of Professional Services
If you have a general situation or question needing a few hundred brains for ideas, 180,000 MarketingProfs readers are ready to deliver their thoughts to resolve your challenge. Share your question, and you'll get a chance to win a complimentary copy of our book, A Marketer's Guide to e-Newsletter Publishing. To improve your chances of your question appearing in this column, try to keep it generic rather than specific to an industry, so your suggestions are applicable to everyone.
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