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While looking at next level roles, how do you overcome hiring bias for the same domain. Your career history is what it is. Very few, if any, hiring managers are willing to look at the broad horizontal PMM skills that a candidate brings to the table.

2 Answers
Alina Fu
Alina Fu
Microsoft Director, Head of Marketing for Viva Insights, Glint, Pulse, and GoalsJanuary 25

I think that depends on the hiring manager. I would even go so far as to suggest maybe you haven’t found the right role or HM who is looking for that broad horizontal PMM or you may be under-leveling yourself. As you become more senior, that is when the broad horizontal PMM skills come into play. It also has to do a lot with the culture of hiring at said company. I’ve worked at a company where they are looking for that ALMOST-EXACT fit and domain expertise; I’ve worked at a company where they didn’t know what they were looking for but knew a PMM was “hot”; and I’ve worked at a company where my colleagues and direct reports all have VERY different backgrounds. If you have a specific skill set and you feel like the companies you’re interviewing for aren’t looking for that, I would recommend changing a dimension of the types of companies you are submitting your application to and see if that gets better results.

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Holly Xiao
Holly Xiao
Drift Director of Product MarketingJanuary 12

I may be misinterpreting your question, so feel free to reach out on Linkedin if this doesn't answer it. But two thoughts come to mind:

1. Specialize in 1 or 2 areas of Product Marketing. I mentioned this in one of my answers above — but I'd recommend building "T-shaped" skills. This means having deep expertise in 1 to 2 areas of product marketing (like GTM strategies) AND a wide range of other core skills at the top of your T (like pricing & packaging, analyst relations, etc). It sounds like you have broad, horizontal skills, which is awesome. I'd recommend taking some time to figure out what your areas of expertise are (or what you want them to be). Then continue honing them.

2. Position and customize your resume/experiences to align with what the hiring manager is looking for. At the end of the day, the hiring manager wants to know that you can deliver value to the business where it matters. So if you feel that you don't have the specific skill(s) they’re looking for, what relevant experiences can you share to prove you can do the job? For example, let’s say the hiring manager prioritizes someone who’s customer-obsessed. I'm making this all up — although you've never worked with external customers in your current role, you work with internal teams. How can you spin those experiences with internal teams to show a hiring manager that you're customer-obsessed"? Maybe you treat internal teams like customers - gathering feedback, informing strategy, and implementing an initiative to help them with X,Y, Z. That's still a valuable experience.

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