How Marketing Professionals Can Get Hired In Today's Challenging Market

By Tony Restell

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Kristen Forti InterviewI recently had the opportunity to interview Kirsten Forti of Epitome Executive Search and get advice for Marketing candidates wanting to get hired in today's tougher hiring climate. Kristen's team are ex-Marketers themselves, so the advice they share is backed by deep insight of the sector. Very much hope this helps you in your own marketing job search.

Watch the full interview

Here's the full video, a transcript of which follows underneath

Interview Transcript


Really pleased today to be joined by Kristen Forti.

Kristen has a terrific background in Marketing, and she's the Founder of Epitome Executive Search.

Kristen thanks ever so much for joining us today, really appreciated.

Thanks so much for having me, Tony.

I'm glad to be here.

Would you just like to tell people a little bit about your background, and your company? Just so they understand where you're coming from...

Absolutely. Yeah sure, so I spent the bulk of my career 15 years in corporate marketing, also got my MBA and really enjoyed that time.

But all of that time, sort of in the back of my head, I had an interest in career, and I was always the go-to person in my network for helping people on their path.

So more recently, I pivoted to a startup that helped women get back to the workforce after a career break, and got a chance to do recruiting for the first time and a year ago founded my own search firm.

As you said, Epitome Executive Search.

And so we're a boutique firm and we come out of a background of operators.

So all the people who have joined have also been in these corporate roles, which we feel like gives us that differentiation.

So our background is primarily marketing.

But we also focus on marketing strategy and finance executive search.


And you give pep talks, as I understand, to help candidates with making successful career moves.

I mean at the moment. What would be your top advice to candidates that are wanting to make a career move, whether that's marketing or anything else?

Yeah, absolutely.

So I give these pep talks because they're themes that have sort of followed me throughout that time whether I was just talking to a friend about what they should do career wise.

Or now that I'm advising candidates.

You know, while we do our searches or otherwise. Some of them are really kind of basic, but need to be said. So on the networking side, when you're looking for a job, you cannot just hit, you know, apply on LinkedIn to 100 positions and just sit there and sit back.

You really need to be looking at every single person in your network, who might have a connection to that opportunity and what you really want is for someone to walk your resume into the hiring manager's office or call them.

Or you know, give them a quick note about you and really look for a chorus of voices about you as a candidate.

Now I know that's not always possible, but that's the best-case scenario. So you're looking to really amplify your opportunity there to get in front of the right people.

And still, people think that AI Systems are just putting their resume into the no pile.

Well, I don't necessarily agree with that.

I think you still need to make all those efforts and so lay the groundwork for getting in that room.

The other pep talk I always give is around that same topic, which is - do not hesitate to reach out.

So when I was an intern in College, way back when. One of my colleagues told me that I should never hesitate to reach out again.

Maybe it's been 10 years since you talked to a former colleague, and what's really compelling about that, is that if you have been away from a certain colleague for 10 years even.

In their mind, you are the same as that moment that you two used to work together.

You are frozen in time.

You're that excellent marketer that they used to work with.

So do not hesitate to reach out.

And if you don't hear back from them, also don't take it personally.

And I would say the third part about that is, when you're doing all this outreach to different people, reach out to recruiters like me.

Reach out to the people in your network who you used to work with and kind of have all these allies to get you the opportunity.

But when you do that, you need to be really specific about who you are, what you're bringing to the table, and why they should kind of be your advocate.

And so that's the work that's on you.

I would say every touchpoint like that is someone who could market you, who can help you.

But the more crystal clear you are about that with them, the better off you are in terms of them helping you.

So those are my core pep talks that I feel like I give candidates a lot, and those are things that they can actively be working on.

That is terrific advice.

And I'm just going to amplify that because I'm invited to speak at business schools across Europe and I go around helping MBAs figure out how to get noticed and get hired.

And it's exactly the kinds of tactics you're talking about Kristen that make a huge, huge difference.

So thank you for sharing those and in your own market...

... Marketing there in the U.S.

How are things looking? Where are you seeing pockets of hiring? And how easy is it for people to transition, if their own industry isn't recruiting, but others are?

Yeah absolutely. So what we're finding, so again we focus on directors and above in marketing, finance and strategy, nationwide in the U.S. and we've done some work in Canada.

What we're finding is we have kept our industry focus open because we're also very new, so we're entrepreneurial, and though we've come from large consumer companies and other experiences as well, but that's the bulk of maybe our background.

Those positions in healthcare and healthcare tech that are again those like GNA marketing type positions.

Those are the ones we're getting a chance to work on right now, which is really exciting because obviously, those spaces are growing.

And so, I would say this goes back to positioning yourself as a candidate, I still think it's a fine time.

Any time is a great time to put yourself in the direction you want to be in, in your career.

But you really need to lean into something that you have a strength in.

So you don't want to change geography, industry, and role all at the same time.

That's kind of true in any job market, but right now you really need to lean into, potentially either your expertise so that you could let's say you were in consumer marketing and you want to make a change into health care, that is still possible.

You just need to position yourself right and have the skill set.

Or, if you want to maybe take a new type of role within the industry you've been in, you need to lean into a strength right now.

And again so leaning into a strength, positioning yourself and selling yourself the way you want to be sold, as well as leveraging your network.

All of those things need to come together to get you on the radar.

Fantastic. Really, really helpful. Thank you.

Good, If candidates, or recruiters, employers would like to find out more, is there a website we can point them to or contact details?

Yes, it's And again, my name's Kristen Forti. So please find me on LinkedIn.

My email is [email protected]

So I would love to hear from any of you and again I can be another one of those touchpoints where you're providing your resume and a list of target companies and tell me exactly what you're looking for because I'm out there and our team is out there every day on LinkedIn. So use the recruiters in your network, but you need to be specific about what you're looking for.

Excellent advice.

Kristen thanks a lot for your time today and have a great week everyone.

Thank you so much. Bye for now.

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