#1 mistake to avoid in your career change to product marketing

Zach Roberts
Break Into Product Marketing
3 min readSep 5, 2022


No, this is not the mistake. All cats want to look dapper.

#1 career pivot mistake to avoid is to ignore what experiences and transferable skills you already bring to the product marketing table.

Instead figure out how you’ve done the work of product marketing in your past roles.

In the next three minutes, you will learn two tips on how to bring product marketing into your orbit. Meaning “How can I define it within my past and current experiences?”

If you can do this, it will help strengthen your interviewing story with future hiring managers on why not to pass you up as their next product marketing hire.

Goal is to position yourself as a value-add to any product marketing team you wish to join.

Let’s get started!

Find your unique competitive advantage

I learned early on sales is not about pushing product — it’s giving solutions. People buy to solve problems.

Hiring is no different.

Uncover problems PMMs care about and how your skills can be that solution. I used LinkedIn to search product marketers in my network.

Known as informational interviews. This practice delivers insider knowledge you would not find elsewhere.

It’s gold in plain sight.

My goal then was to identify what unique skill would sway hiring managers to give me a shot. It took 7 conversations for that aha moment.

That skill was under my nose — sales!

“The goal of the product marketer is to simplify selling for organizations.”

(Shorter sales cycle = potential to increase revenue)

Product marketers do a lot. Jack of all trades within the company: competitive intel, market research, customer marketing, and messaging to name a few.

So your aha moment may differ from mine. The goal is to connect your unique skill to an opportunity hiring managers will jump at.

Make it obvious what you bring to the table.

Every manager wants that competitive advantage.

Let it be you.

Reflect on past experiences to speak to your unique skill

You need a professional highlight reel. It’s tough to remember all of your greatest hits.

That’s why you need a career win list. Here’s what I shared earlier this week about why.

If you like what you see, follow me on LinkedIn!

This helped me identify proof points to support my unique skill (or key message in product marketing). This exercise builds your confidence and help speak to transferable skills.

Show hiring managers your skills transcend beyond past roles. That you’ve done the work as a product marketer.

Fight against your initial instinct — don’t throw your resumes into the job portal abyss without putting these two tips in action.

To know what hiring managers want, you gotta ask those already in the role you want. Be their rose among the thorns.

Give them no reason to turn you down.

I am a product marketing manager on a mission to demystify the product marketing field. If you too want to make the leap, check out breakintoproductmarketing.com.



Zach Roberts
Break Into Product Marketing

Demystify product marketing. 2022 Product Marketing Alliance Newcomer of the Year. Living in San Francisco.