As someone in the marketing field, you’re probably used to selling a product. Understandably, it can feel quite strange to take those skills and apply them to selling yourself! After all, you’re obviously more than a product; you’re a multi-dimensional, complex human being. That said, the skills you use to entice your target audience into buying a product will be the same skills you use to write your resume.
So let’s begin! With a few tips and tricks, you will have a solid resume that will land you a job in your field!
The Set Up:
When it comes to writing any resume, the first thing you want to consider is the kind of resume format you want to use. For most resumes, a chronological order is the standard. This is a format that lists your experience in order of date completed. This is the most likely format you will want to use, with a few possible exceptions.
If you are a brand new marketing professional without a lot of experience, or you have a lot of work gaps, you may want to consider a functional resume. A functional resume will highlight your relevant or important experiences while also away from any gaps or shortcomings you may have in your work history.
Remember, while gaps are not an immediate red flag for employers, they aren’t something you necessarily want to make glaringly obvious. According to a study by resume help service, ResumeGo, employment gaps can lower the chance of getting an interview by 45%. So it’s in your best interest to take the focus away from your gaps, and put it on your experiences and skills.
For a marketing resume, you’ll want to forgo an objective statement. Recruiters are looking at resumes for about six seconds, so rather than talking about what you want, you’ll want to give them a quick preview of your skills with a resume summary. This is what it sounds like; a quick 4-6 line list that shows your most pertinent skills. This should be a mix of your hard and soft skills, such as:
- Digital Marketing
Obviously, you know your own strengths best, and your resume summary will be unique to you. If you’re a newcomer to the field, here are some of the skills that may serve you well to list on your resume:
Data Analysis: While marketing requires many skills, data analysis is a soft skill that is critical to a good marketing campaign. After all, how can you tell if a campaign was successful if you can’t crunch the numbers? This is also a skill you can showcase within your own resume. When listing experience on the job, remember to list specific numbers. An “increase an sales” is less impressive than being able say you created a “54% increase in sales.”
Content Creation: Lots of marketing campaigns involve creating content to draw their target audience in. If you have this skill, it’s worth putting it on your resume; being able to write content well is something that cannot be automated, so it gives you an edge when developing any marketing campaign!
Flexibility: Here we’re talking about the mental kind, though if you can also do a split, good for you! This is an important skill in any field, but in marketing being able to adapt and think quickly on your feet is crucial. It is also worth noting experiences you have had where you have been flexible.
Problem Solving: Showing that you know how to take a dilemma and fix it, rather than getting stuck at every bump in the road is a huge plus. This shows that you are able to work independently and make good decisions.
Communication: Obviously communication is an important skill; in marketing a product, you are trying to communicate to a wide audience! But this is also a skill that can be highly interpersonal. Establishing that you are good at communicating on both levels is a huge plus.
This is not an exhaustive list, of course, just a starting point to give you an idea of what you might want to list on your resume summary. Be ready to back that up in your work history!
Targeting Your Audience
Before you put all of this information onto paper, think about who you are trying to get hired by. The approach you take will depend on the needs of your potential future employer. For instance, are you looking at being part of a marketing team, or are you looking somewhere smaller where you will be the marketing professional for that entity?
It is worth doing some research as well on previous marketing. While you do want to fit with their brand, you also want to look at what they have already done. You don’t want to be pitching the same ad campaign they just did last month in an interview, after all!
It is also worth tailoring your approach to the type of business you are applying to. Is the company quite small? You’ll want to highlight your experience working with smaller budget projects, functioning fairly independently, and being highly creative. A larger company? Time to talk about how you have handled huge projects successfully.
Remember both professional and volunteer work counts here! While you want to have a solid background in the technical side of marketing, a company may also be interested in your personal draw to their company. For instance, a dog food company may want to know that you volunteered at a shelter, or feminist leaning company may want to know if you did a lot of activism work in college.
This is also the point where a cover letter becomes crucial! Don’t force a company to make those connections – spell it out for them. Chat up the details on your resume, and let them know why you are a great fit for their company’s vision.
Writing a marketing resume can be daunting, but it is doable! As long as you are able to take stock of your own skills, and translate that into a tailored resume, you are most of the way there to landing the job.