If you find resume writing a painful chore, you’re not alone. Despite knowing how to sell products and services, a lot of marketers have a hard time selling themselves. It can be hard to turn the spotlight inward, but it's one of those skills marketers must know if they want to grow their career. If you're one of those marketers, don't worry. With a just a few resources and some actionable tips, you'll be able to get your resume noticed in the giant stack on a recruiter's desk.
Below are five important tips that'll ensure your resume gets the attention it deserves.And if you want some inspiration and examples of completed resumes that follow these five tips,check out these free resume templates for the 10 most popular inbound marketing positions.
5 Tips for Writing a Standout Resume
1) Know Your Target You never start a marketing campaign without knowing who you want to reach. That’s because once you know your target audience, it's easier for the other decisions to fall into place.The same logic applies to your resume. If you know who will read it and what’s important to them, you can shape your message accordingly. To do this, you need to think about the type of job and company you're trying to work for. Ask yourself questions like: Is the job purely in digital marketing, or will it require both traditional and digital work? Will you be a specialist or a generalist? Who is the employer? An agency with a buzzing digital marketing team in place already? A small company looking to leverage the power of social media to grow their sales? Or a marketing department within a large and established corporation?
Once you've outlined what's most important to the company and job you're applying for, you can carefully target your resume to them. You’ll know what skills or traits to highlight, what words to use, and which parts of your background will be most interesting to the hiring manager.
You should weave this knowledge throughout your entire resume, but one of the most prominent places you can feature it is in your summary. Here's an example of a targeted resume summary from an email marketer applying to a company that values digital and traditional marketing:
2) Define Your Unique Value You have a unique blend of skills, characteristics, and experiences that make you different from every marketer. To write a truly effective resume, you need to define exactly what this unique blend is -- we’ll call this your value proposition.To develop your own value proposition, think about what separates you from other digital marketers.
Is it your in-depth knowledge of analytics? Your ability to write headlines that take content viral? Perhaps it’s your talent for creating compelling videos? Or maybe you have an impressive record of using social media to drive sales growth. Whatever it is, you can use it to set your resume apart from the crowd.
To a large extent, your value proposition depends on the type of positions and companies you're targeting. Large and small companies often look for completely different skill sets, as do companies in different industries.
So as you think about what makes you uniquely valuable, and how that aligns with the jobs to which you're applying.
3) Determine Your Messaging Strategy It’s crucial to determine your messaging strategy before you write a word on your resume, just as you would when running a marketing campaign. Here are some of the things to think about:What is the best structure for your resume in order to highlight your value proposition?What keywords will your ideal employer be looking for?How can you give real-world examples of your value proposition in action? (Think about campaigns you've run, social media successes, ideas you developed, etc.)What is the best layout and design to reinforce your message?
All these decisions should be made before you start writing and all should be made with your target audience in mind. That way you can be sure that when they read your resume, it will immediately strike a chord.If you want an example of great messaging in a resume, check out the digital marketing executive resume template.
Look at the progression of roles and key accomplishments in those roles -- it tells his career story while also making him look exceptionally qualified.
4) Always Quantify Your Results in Action-Packed Bullet Points You work in a profession where everything can be measured and analyzed, which means it’s relatively easy to tell an impressive story of success.
Think about all the ways your work can be quantified through hard data and then fill your resume with action-packed bullet points that convey the value you’ve added. Examples might be increasing social media engagement, improving SEO ROI, driving increased web traffic, reducing bounce rates, boosting landing page conversions, etc. Once you have a list of your results, choose the best four or five and turn these into bullet points like these:Drove 37% improvement in newsletter clickthrough rates by rewriting sales copy.Grew ecommerce sales 23% in just 6 months by redesigning and A/B testing all landing pages.(If you want more examples of actionable data points, download these free resume templates.)
5) Use Your Marketing Expertise to Beat the Computer Systems (When Needed) If you don't already have a connection at the company to which you're applying, you'll most likely need to apply through a computer system. Here's how that works: You upload your resume, it is then scanned for relevant keywords (which are programmed in advance by the recruiter), and then the system either “passes” or “fails” you. If you fail, no one ever sees your resume.That means it’s very important to include the right keywords so your resume has the opportunity to be seen by a real person. To do this, make a note of all of the skills you have that would be relevant to the job description. Words to include would be the names of the social media sites you use, analytics or CRM systems you know, and software programs or SAAS systems you’re familiar with.
Make sure you've included these terms as seamlessly as possible throughout your resume (when it's relevant), and add any outliers at the very bottom under a "Technical Skills" or "Digital Marketing Skills" section.
It’s Just Like Marketing As a marketer, you have a talent for communication and a solid understanding of what makes people buy. The good news is that by applying this knowledge to your own resume, you can easily stand out from the crowd.