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Marketer? Market Thyself: Career Advice for Marketers

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When there’s a job opening here at Tenato, we get a large number of resumés to read through. I’ve recently done a little bit of preliminary screening of job applicants, and I notice things.

Now, I’m no expert in job hunting, but I can offer some tips based on the boss lady’s hiring expectations. It comes down mainly to the cover letter; for starters, try including one…

Show You Want the Job

This will be hard if you don’t know what the job is! A surprising number of applications are completely generic, not even mentioning the position being applied for. A cover letter is essential in accomplishing this. Don’t send a naked resumé and expect it to get a second look, no matter how on-the-nose your education and work experience may be.

If you really want to work at a particular company, you’d do well to visit their website and social media pages to learn a thing or two about their goals and philosophy. Decide if your goals align with theirs, and if they do, explain how and why in your cover letter. It doesn’t take much, just show you’ve taken an interest. Our preference is for candidates who have clearly visited our website and put some particular thought into what made them feel connected to Tenato.

Show You Know What the Company Does

This will be hard if you have no idea who they are! Use your cover letter to demonstrate that you do. Some individuals even accidentally mention the wrong company, presumably another firm to which they are applying.

It ought to go without saying that you should know what industry you’re applying to… I can only assume somewhere out there is a shipping company looking for a logistics management expert; if you know who they are, maybe let them know I’ve got their mail!

Prove You are Qualified

This is where the CV comes in, but there’s more to it than that. For instance, Tenato is currently looking for Social Media Strategists in Calgary and Vancouver. While the resumé is certainly important, what is of greater interest is actual samples of work in social media. Accordingly, we are interested in seeing active social media profiles that are clean and demonstrate a certain level of social etiquette.

Writing skills are central to this position, so any blogs or articles the applicant has written are of interest in order to adjudicate creativity and organization of thoughts. We also diligently screen for grammar and spelling, especially in the cover letter.


Relevant education is important, not just to prove one can do the job, but to show one’s commitment to the field. If your education is really in another direction, you have some explaining to do; it may appear as though the job is not something you’d be pursuing in a committed way, unless you provide a good reason. As an employer, we’re definitely less interested in applicants we expect would leave as soon as a job came along in their actual field of study.

That said, many people find their goals and passions evolving after their university studies are complete; I like to call those people “interesting.” The most important part of any study program is demonstrating you can finish what you begin. So, if your education appears to stray from what’s expected, take some time in your cover letter to explain why it makes you an asset.

Slim Pickings

When Tenato advertises a job opening, we specifically request all of the above. What struck me was just how few applicants bothered to do any of it. Who knew that simply following directions would be such a great way to stand out!

As of this writing, we’re still looking for Digital and Social Media Strategists in Calgary and Vancouver. If you think you’re up for the task, or have a comment, get in touch with us.

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About the Author - Richard Erickson
A master of nit-picking and an artful user of words, Richard’s love of language began as a kid. He enjoyed reading (including reading the dictionary!), winning spelling competitions, and analyzing word usage. As senior editor and copywriter at Tenato, his 20+ years in information technology and the performing arts have enhanced both the technical and creative elements of his writing style.