What skills should I have and highlight in an interview when moving from a related field into direct marketing?

As you assess your skill set from past work experience, ask yourself: “What are the competencies that I’ve demonstrated in the past that will bring value to this direct marketing opportunity?”

Go back to a time when you managed a project effectively and specifically outline and highlight the circumstance, the action you took and the end result. I call this “collecting CARs” to demonstrate that you have a track record of effectiveness. When questions come up in your interview about tracking results, you are now prepared with some specifics from a related field that can go a long way in showing your interviewer that you can do the job.

If you’re applying for a management position, think about the commonalities between what you might have done in management in the past that relate to this opportunity. Things like inspiring a team to reach beyond agreed-upon results or seting up a new department including hiring employees are experiences that usually translate across related fields. Once you find out what is expected of you as a leader, use the CAR approach to prepare so you can bring to mind relevant past experience immediately in the interview.

Customer focus and innovation are two competency areas that span across fields to attract prospective employers. When you show that you know how to customize for customers to promote loyalty, or how to innovate online to create buzz, you demonstrate that you have transferable assets that can be applied to this new situation. Furthermore, if you have advanced technical skills and can show you understand how to address upcoming trends, you are positioning yourself to show strengths that are highly sought after in direct marketing.

Mary Key is leadership pillar director is i4cp.

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