I recently noticed some chatter on getting into technical marketing and I thought I’d share my thoughts. As someone who is now in technical marketing, but also wondered the same exact thing almost two years ago the topic is something I am familiar with. At that time I was mentally checked out from what I was doing and knew I needed a change. I came to the conclusion that I wanted a job in technical marketing.
So you’ve decided you want in on tech marketing, or at least you think you do. I think the first thing that is important to understand is what you are really after. Don’t make tech marketing the end game per se, but if you want to be more social and do more blogging, events, etc then go ahead and do that. It will serve you well in your career regardless. In fact this is probably the most common advise you’ll see and I believe it was discussed on an episode of the Geek Whisperers podcast, which has a lot of talk about careers and tech marketing so its super relevant to the topic at hand.
I think as with interviewing for any position, persistence and effectively selling yourself is important. Nobody was in tech marketing before they got in to tech marketing, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t certain skills that are being looked for. At a minimum you should have a solid writing sample you can point someone to. As always referrals are the best way in the door, utilize relationships you have to get a call back or find out more about a position. This is very important. I went from not being able to get a call back to having a couple offers and some other prospects in the works.
When it comes to technical skills you should have them of course. It is my belief that the tech cred is what is going to get you the interview, but it is the soft skills that are going land you the job. This is the area that most tech people will need to focus their attention on. If you are fortunate enough to get yourself on the phone with someone I don’t feel you should need to justify your tech cred, unless the person interviewing you is asking. Instead take the time to show how you can bring the technology together with your abilities to communicate and produce content, whether it be blogs, presentations, or serving as resource to the marketing organization.
Now with all that said not all tech marketing roles are the same. Some may require you to go to conferences regularly and be constantly on the road, others may require very little travel(that’s me). Not all tech marketing roles are going to require you, or sometimes even want you to tweet or blog.
I certainly don’t have all the answers, but If you want to know more feel free to reach out, I’d love to help.