What sort of info would be useful for future job interviews?
August 28, 2006 10:36 AM   Subscribe

I just left my marketing job. What sort of information/recommendations would be useful for future job / MBA applications?

I'm leaving my job as marketing manager for a big company in my country (which is Iceland, so the company isn't too big on an international scale). I've been very succesful during my time at the company. I've been in charge of a number of campaigns and overall my division has seen increased sales in nearly every brand (they're well known brands like Kit Kat, Haribo, Nescafé).

I’m going to spend some time working on my own company. However, I’m 29 and I’m sure I’ll need to apply for jobs in the future, and at some point I’d like to get an MBA.

What I’m interested in knowing is what sort of information / recommendations / campaigns / numbers I should get together now for these future applications? I’ve worked with people in well-known international companies (Nestlé, etc) and could probably get their help/recommendations. The actual sales figures from the department I managed (annual turnover around 10-12 million USD) are really great, with many brands showing an increase of around 15-30% over my 3 year period there.

So, what should I take from my job for these future applications?
posted by einarorn to Work & Money (7 answers total)
It sounds like you're pretty much right on track. One thing I remember reading somewhere (it might actually have been here) was a guy who kept a "master resume" with bullet points for pretty much all of his accomplishments at all of his positions. When applying for a new job, he would use the bullet points that fit. I find this brilliant, and it would definitely be beneficial in writing essays, and possibly also as help for the people writing your recommendations.
posted by echo0720 at 12:19 PM on August 28, 2006

You should make sure your personal contact list is up to date and backed up, in hard copy as well.

Grab a phone (or otherwise) directory for the company.

Most MBA applications require references, so think about who you would use (if any). They also require a academic reference, so give some thought to that also (say, if you're leaving Iceland).
posted by Brando_T. at 1:23 PM on August 28, 2006

It depends a lot on what you want to do or focus on, if anything. I tend to take everything I can (within legal/ethical bounds of course) so that I'd have information to support whatever could possibly come up in the future.

For example, I always make sure I have multiple samples of my work (particularly the creative campaigns I've developed) because people are going to ask what you've led or created. Any information that reinforces the success of your work (i.e. those numbers) is good too. I've seen people present old marketing plans during interviews or market research reports that they've compiled in past positions. So really, it varies and is up to you as to what you want to focus on. Just be careful you aren't taking or sharing anything confidential, use common sense, etc.

I'd also make sure you capture any accolades and/or awards that you received. One colleague of mine nominated me for a company award and sent me the nomination letter. I included that along with my resume and work samples when I was interviewing for my current job.

As for the MBA: Depending on the school, you probably won't need all or too much of the information for your MBA application, though I would include it on the resume portion of your application. You will need the references, so make sure you keep in touch with your contacts. Actually, make sure you keep in touch with them regardless.

Good luck!
posted by ml98tu at 2:40 PM on August 28, 2006

They also require a academic reference

I actually don't recall needing an academic reference, of course all the schools I applied to were in the U.S., so maybe it's different at European schools.
posted by echo0720 at 6:08 PM on August 28, 2006

For the record, I went to college in the U.S. (Northwestern) and I also plan to get my MBA in the U.S.

So, for academic reference would I need to contact my old professor at NU?

ml98tu, I have info about all the campaigns on my computer (TV ads, posters, general overview of campaigns) so that should be ok. I can pair that with the sales results / Nielsen figures from those campaigns.

Good idea about the awards. I've received awards from the international companies whose brands I've been taking care of.

When you talk about references for MBA/job interviews, are we always talking about references from within my own company or should I get some sort of references from the people I've worked with outside the company (such as the people at Nestlé)? I'm wondering about this since the company I've been working for is unknown, but the brands are famous around the world.
posted by einarorn at 3:28 AM on August 29, 2006

I've also never heard anything about an academic reference for an MBA, perhaps that might be more geared towards research degrees or degrees where the school generally assumes you are a pretty recent grad.

The references for job interviews/MBA can be from your company or outsiders that have worked with you. I tend to go for both. (You can see I am a better safe than sorry type of person.) For example, you'd probably want to include a former supervisor (talks about the kind of employee you are), a coworker (talks about your team interaction, etc), and a client (talks about your service, project management, etc). These of course are just examples. I'd say that the brand names aren't terribly important at the reference point, particularly for a job. Sure, it might be an extra edge over someone else, but if they're calling your references, they are pretty sure it's either you or one other person. I also think that a reference that can really speak to your expertise is better than a brand name any day. This is just my two cents on the matter.

For the MBA side of things, my program required letters from references, so again, it was more about someone who could talk knowledgeably about you and your abilities, rather than someone with a recognizable company. But then again, that is just my experience.

You don't need anything from your references at this point, you just need to remember to keep in touch with them. Meet up for coffee, lunch or dinner if you can. Otherwise shoot a quick email over every so often, or send an article or information that you read that they may find of interest. When the time comes that you need them to speak to someone for a job or write a letter for school, then you can feel comfortable asking for that assistance since you've kept in touch.
posted by ml98tu at 8:47 AM on August 29, 2006

hmmm at least the schools I applied to in Canada required academic references. They weren't easy for me to get, actually.
posted by Brando_T. at 5:29 PM on August 29, 2006

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