Applying to a marketing position is different than applying to other jobs. For one, because the hiring managers are marketing savvy, they’ll notice and reward candidates who use solid design principles, create an easy-to-read resume, and know how to sell themselves.
Lucky for you, marketing is what you do best, so this is a perfect opportunity to use your skills to help you get the job you want.
Think of your resume as your own personal advertisement. Write it like you’d write an ad. Keep it short but enticing, lead with the benefits you’ll deliver to the firm, and include a strong call to action. To really take your resume to the level that’s needed to captivate your employer’s interests, here are 6 tips to consider:
1. Customize Your Resume
Personalization is a marketing philosophy that leverages data analysis to create custom-made offerings to prospective customers. It’s a smart strategy that is becoming more and more commonly used in the digital age. You can, and should, use it to help you in your job hunt.
What exactly does it mean to customize a resume? Your resume is meant to sell you as the right candidate for the job you’re applying to. If you use the same resume for each job you apply to, you’re missing out on the ability to more precisely market yourself to each job. Instead, what you should do is craft your resume so it’s tailor-fit for every single job you apply to.
Here is how you do it. Look at the job posting and notice the skills and abilities it lists as requirements. Then pay attention to the key words and phrases the ad uses. Finally, mirror those words in your own resume.
When you include keywords from the job description in your resume, your resume will pass the Applicant Tracking Systems software that your potential employer uses to weed out applicants. In addition, you’ll have positioned yourself as the candidate who’s best fit for the job, making it more likely that you’re short-listed into the group of candidates they’ll call for an interview.
Yes, it takes extra work to write your resumes this way, but it’s worth it.
2. Get Creative with Your Design
In marketing, presentation counts. And how you design your resume will make an impact on the way you’re perceived. Take this opportunity to show off your creativity. Marketing is one of the few fields where having a boldly creative resume can pay off big time.
Forget about using boring online templates. Instead, create your own, unique resume. Try using bright colors or an unusual font style. Just bear in mind that in the interest of readability, you should keep the creative font choices to just your name and heading. For the body, choose an easily readable font like Arial, Calibri, Verdana, or Helvetica.
Here’s something else you can try: use visuals, such as including logos of the companies you’ve created work for. This is especially impressive if they’re big-name companies. If you’re applying for a position that’s data-analysis heavy, design your resume to look like a data analysis sheet. If you know you’ll be doing a lot of brand design, make your resume look like a brand audit sheet or a package design.
The most important thing to remember is to keep it relevant. Don’t just be creative for the sake of creativity. Make sure it has a purpose. If you’re applying to a corporate position like at a hotel chain, use a crisp, clean layout. If you’re applying to a fun tech firm, use numbers and geek-ify your resume.
3. Show Off Your Results
The marketing field is heavily results-oriented. Every company you work for wants to make sure the work they do creates tangible results – for clients and for customers. So, make sure your resume highlights the results you’ve created in past jobs.
When you describe your past experiences, don’t just talk about what you did on the day-to-day. Instead, hone in on what exactly you achieved in the grand scheme of things. Did the marketing plan you created lead to exponential sales? Did it meet or exceed expectations? What were those expectations? Be specific and demonstrate the value your efforts created.
Using results-based language is also a great way to show off your soft skills. The old adage “show, don’t tell” rings true here. What this means is, instead of saying that you’re a team player, describe a time you worked in a team to create profitable results. Instead of saying that you’re a skilled negotiator, tell a story of a time you negotiated a contract that saved your company money.
4. Be Data-Driven
Marketers are obsessed with data and analytics. The more data they can gather and use, the better. Every smart company that’s hiring wants to see how your marketing efforts correlate with common business metrics.
Whenever you can, focus on how you’ve used data to drive business results. For example, maybe you lead a team of five on a two-month rebranding campaign that increased annual revenue from $120,000 to $360,000.
Alternatively, perhaps you spearheaded a content marketing campaign for a website that attracted 245,000 daily visitors with an average participation rate of 65%, leading to 2,200% revenue growth in a 3-month time period. Those numbers enhance your credibility.
It isn’t always easy to find data to back up your accomplishments, and that’s why so few people do it. It’s always best to gather this valuable information as you work at your jobs. If you haven’t been keeping track, it may be worth your time to call someone you know at your previous job who has that information.
5. Polish Your Resume
The little details in your resume really do matter. No matter how good the rest of it is, a couple spelling or grammar mistakes can land your resume in the trash can. That’s why it’s important to make sure that your resume is concise, formatted well, and filled with only relevant information.
Be selective when you choose what to include on your resume. Make sure your resume is concise but also tells the whole story of why you’re the best candidate. Limit your experience history to just your last 3-4 jobs. For each job, include 3-5 bullet points to highlight your best accomplishments.
Be sure to showcase your unique specialties, show the variety of work you’ve done, and match what the job is looking for.
It can be easy to forget about the small details. Make sure that you don’t. In your bullet points, use power verbs like “spearheaded”, “tracked”, “executed” and “initiated.”
Be sure they’re all in the same tense. When you use acronyms, use both the acronym and the long spelled-out version, to make sure your keyword matches the ATS software. And when you send your resume, send it in PDF format (to preserve formatting) unless it’s requested in a different format.
When you pay attention to the details, read your resume over several times, and make all necessary edits, your resume is sure to shine.
6. Enhance Your Online Presence
Smart hiring managers look up the online presence of each candidate they’re interested in. When they Google your name, they can find your Facebook account, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, personal blog, and more. If you have an impressive online presence, be sure to include links to your accounts on your resume.
Your online identity alone can help put you on the top of the pile of candidates for the marketing position you want. Anybody with an online side business, YouTube channel, or online brand immediately stands out as somebody who doesn’t just study marketing and business, but makes it a part of their lifestyle and identity.
Here’s what you can do to start enhancing your own online presence. For one, get your LinkedIn profile to 100 percent completion. A recent study by my company, ResumeGo, found that job applicants who included a link in their resume to their comprehensive LinkedIn profile received a 13.5% callback rate. That’s 71% higher than the callback rate received by job applicants with no LinkedIn profile at all.
On your LinkedIn profile, create an attention-grabbing headline and concise summary. Then focus on getting as many recommendations as you can. On other social media sites, you can link to marketing articles you’ve read and comment what you think of them. If you really want to go above and beyond, create a personal website that acts as a portfolio of your work.
To avoid being penalized, audit your online presence. Either remove things that you think can hurt your hiring chances or make your social media accounts private.
An effective resume is an important part of a full job-hunting campaign. When you submit a well-written, benefits-focused, tailored resume, you help yourself stand out from the competition. A good resume gives you options.
Since you know that you are a desirable candidate, you can go into your interviews with confidence, knowing that you don’t just have to take the first job that’s offered to you. Instead, you’re able to qualify your interviewer and have them sell you on why you should join their company!
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