Applying to Portent
Elizabeth Marsten Aug 20 2010
As I get deeper and deeper into the roles of director and get more involved with the personnel decisions and training, it occurs to me how very little people actually utilize the resources available to them when scoping out a company like Portent. And how those little things are actually applicable to any job or internship, not just Portent or the industry.
So for those of you looking to “break into the biz” or curious on what we look for, I’ll lay it right out for you and challenge you to make my job hard. Not in the way where I have to sift through spelling errors or corny subjects lines, but hard in the way where I can’t decide who to hire.
The most common position I have open is intern. The full service internet marketing intern- which means you get exposure to all the marketing departments. I guarantee you, this is a rare and valuable training opportunity. And I’m not just saying that because it’s my company. Go ahead and try and find one near you. One that allows you to do and learn copywriting, link building, social media, PPC and SEO. Yeah, you won’t.
That also means that it’s a super entry level position. That means you don’t actually have to have previous marketing experience, internships or course work. The ideal candidate is impressive in the areas of organization, detail oriented, ambition, intuition, well spoken/written, intellectually curious and slightly geeky or nerdy.
But what else do we look for?
- Did you visit the website? It IS an internet company. With websites. You better have checked out our services, portfolio and blog at minimum. Know what we do.
- The subject line should not make me question if it’s spam. Be professional.
- I’d really rather you did the actual requested cover letter than an email. Here’s why- I want you to show me you know how to format, address and write professionally. Which brings me to my next point…
- FOLLOW directions. If the directions say to include a cover letter, you should. If they say to include a one sentence pitch about yourself, you should. If the directions say not to call…you better not.
- Make me want to read your cover letter. Start strong- I’m more likely to read the whole thing rather than skim it. Part of what will make me want to read it- if it’s not 2 pages long. Show me you can be write well concisely.
- It’s OK to be funny or quirky- in fact I like that. But, make sure you’ve got those professional serious elements in there too.
- FORMAT your resume. Seriously. Word makes templates for this. There is no excuse for sending me something that’s half in tables, saying you’re Word proficient and then my having to wash my eyes out with alcohol after viewing your resume.
- Put those skills and programs on your resume. Don’t make me guess if you know how to use Excel or Photoshop. I don’t know you- educate me.
- If I call you, pay attention. Do not be typing or fiddling around with something while you’re talking to me. I assure you, I can hear. Sit up straight while you’re at it.
- Ask questions, it’s OK, I don’t mind. I only mind if the answers are in the ad or you’re asking me how to improve your brother in law’s roofing website.
- Be persistent, but not pushy. Demanding an interview isn’t something that anyone likes dealing with. And if you’re this pushy now, I can just imagine how much fun you’ll be once you’re “comfortable.”
- Mention interesting and unique things. Give me things to ask you that you are passionate about. You’ll talk about them authoritatively and smoothly and you won’t be so nervous afterwards.
- Company culture is VERY important to us. We’re a team. If we can’t see you playing well with our team, don’t take it personal but we’re going to have to say no.
Remember, it’s for a MARKETING company. If you can’t market yourself, how are you going to market anything else?
Vice President of Search Marketing
Elizabeth supervises the overall search division at Portent, which includes PPC, SEO, Social Media and Analytics. If you really want to know more about her check out her bit.ly bundle. Elizabeth has written several ebooks, is a ClickZ columnist, a Lynda.com course author, a Dummies book author and speaks on PPC across the USA at various conferences including the SMX shows, mozCon and Hero Con. Read More