Marketers joined the AMA Boston Chapter in Boston’s Seaport District to hear from the industry’s employers and recruiters about job hunting tactics in today’s digital age. Marketers are in a powerful position today with companies in search of an array of marketing talent – from copywriting for mobile to analytics in advertising. During AMA Boston Chapter’s Career in Focus event on April 23, 2015 at General Assembly, thought leaders – Jon Swanson, Katie Burke, and Shirin Shahin – discussed experiences and strategies for positioning yourself in the current job market.

The evening began with a career networking session.  Attendees were then ushered into a lecture room where Rachel Hoagland, President of the AMA Boston Chapter, welcomed the attendees and introduced the speakers. The speakers had 10 minutes each to present and offered valuable advice and strategies for powering a job search and landing a great marketing job in 2015. The presentations were followed by a Q&A session and opportunities for attendees to meet the speakers.

Before transitioning into the presentations, Rachel Hoagland reminded the crowd how the job market is very exciting and that “companies are looking for organic growth, which is a great opportunity for marketers today.”

Jon Swanson

On that positive note, the first speaker, Jon Swanson of The Swanson Group, began his presentation. Mr. Swanson is an Executive Recruiter and is responsible for the successful placement of hundreds of marketing professionals in robust companies.  Mr. Swanson focused his talk on how to work with an executive recruiter and the advantages of a strong personal brand when interviewing (photo courtesy of HSMAI Boston).


Katie Burke

The second speaker was Katie Burke, the Director of Talent and Culture at Hubspot. Ms. Burke  oversees Hubspot’s global employment brand and interviews multiple candidates at Hubspot every day.  Ms. Burke explained that the candidates who make an impression are the ones who show their skills, do their homework, and are able to turn the interview into a warm conversation (photo courtesy of HSMAI Boston).



Shirin Sharin

The final speaker of the Career in Focus event was Shirin Shahin, Senior Product Marketing Manager of Aquent. Ms. Shahin is responsible for sales enablement and developing marketing programs and initiatives that drive demand for Aquent’s national sales team. Ms. Shahin discussed her career trajectory and how to best train yourself for your new position (photo courtesy of HSMAI Boston).


Immediately afterward, the Q&A session began with Rachel Hoagland as the moderator.  Ms. Hoagland asked the room who was actively seeking a new job and the majority of the room raised their hands. Questions from the audience ranged from creating your personal brand to types of questions to ask during an interview. All the presenters offered excellent advice and insight into the current and future job search landscape.

Here are eight key takeaways from the Career in Focus event that will assist you as you embark on your career search journey:

  1. Identify your skills and strengths, then build a focused career path to achieve your career goals. Maintain consistency in your career for a strong and understandable professional trajectory.
  2. Develop your personal brand and your marketing skills. Receive certifications. Always be learning and challenging yourself.
  3. Volunteer or do freelance work to try new skills and to meet marketing professionals.
  4. Promote and protect your personal brand during a job search. Analyze how your online presence fits with a company’s culture.
  5. Most job interviews begin with an initial phone screen conversation. Practice and learn how to communicate verbally in order to sell your full breadth of experiences over the phone
  6. Do your homework. Ask questions that cannot be answered through the company’s website. Research the interviewer, culture, position, and company prior to an interview so you can turn it into a warm conversation.
  7. Market and sell yourself before and during an interview. It’s your responsibility to convince interviewers that you will add value to their team. Show the interviewer your skills and passions.
  8. Be curious during your job search and decision-making process. Don’t be afraid to push yourself past your comfort zone. You may be surprised by what you may find.

AMA Boston was grateful for the excellent contributions of the panelists and excited that the attendees gained valuable tips to enhance their careers. If you have never attended an AMA event, it’s a great opportunity to meet like-minded marketing professionals.  You never know who you will meet and how they can connect you to your future job!

AMA Boston would like to credit and thank HSMAI Boston for the photos used above.

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  • Janet Mesh

    Janet Mesh is a marketer, blogger, and social media strategist. She is an active member and volunteer of AMA Boston on the organization’s social media team. Janet is also the creator and blogger of Far and Familiar, a travel website. Connect with Janet on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter at @meshymind.