Everyone has a resume, but it remains one of the biggest mysteries in the working world.
What is a resume? What is it really for? How can you make your marketing resume stand out?
Most people will say the point of a marketing resume is to get you a job. It’s more accurate to say the purpose is to get the interview: But even this can be misleading, making you focus on the wrong things.
The easiest way for marketers to think about their resume is this: It is a marketing brochure.
Although its purpose is to get you the interview, it has to work as inbound marketing collateral. That is, it attracts enough attention and interest among your audience – hiring decision-makers – to make them take action and call you.
If you strive to focus your marketing resume on your audience, you can’t go wrong.
No matter who your future employer is, they care about two things:
- How you can MAKE them money!
- How you can SAVE them money!
Hiring is a huge commitment. Payroll is the top business expense, and the cost of the hiring process – in time, money, and opportunity – means it has to be done right the first time to be worthwhile. Money is a key motivator here.
Luckily, you can set your marketing resume up for success with a few quick tips:
1. Get the Length Right
First and foremost, your resume should be two pages – no more, no less. The exception is only for new grads entering the workforce.
Don’t end your document in the middle of a page, either: Focus on the most recent ten years of employment and summarize the rest so you close cleanly with two complete pages. Your recent, relevant jobs are what matter most.
2. Focus on Achievements
Grasping the difference between achievements and duties blasts your resume into the stratosphere.
Duties are what you were responsible for coming in and doing every day. For example, you might have been required to write eight blog posts every month based on the brand’s keyword strategy. Writing the blog post was the duty – thousands of people have done something similar.
Achievements are the specifics on how your contribution made a difference to the organization’s objectives. You still start with the duty – eight blog posts – but you emphasize why it mattered.
For example, you wrote eight monthly blog posts, resulting in a 25% boost in organic traffic. Even if you don’t have the bottom line figure (how many sales the traffic resulted in) you can still show your unique talents and approach to a business problem was worthwhile.
And that brings us to another major point ...
3. Use the Right Metrics – And Use Them a Lot!
As marketers, we have the tremendous benefit of having access to tons of data. Emphasizing key metrics will help you put all of your contributions in context. That makes the whole story of your career success much more compelling, especially if you’re from a smaller firm or brand.
Each entry in your marketing resume should start with a brief paragraph that covers:
- What the company was, its budget, and number of employees.
- The specific reason you were hired or main project worked on.
- What the principal business challenge was during your tenure.
From there, the bullet points beneath each entry should focus exclusively on achievements. Each achievement should start with a strong action verb – these are the “implied calls to action” of your resume and help focus attention – and they should end with a metric.
As before, metrics focused on money saved or earned are the most powerful.
However, there are plenty of other marketing metrics that could be valuable:
- New organic website traffic achieved.
- New sign-ups, sales, or other conversions.
- Social media followers or engagement.
- Pay-per-click advertising traffic and sales.
Use your imagination and marketing savvy, but always try to keep related achievements grouped together so they can be understood more easily. Don’t expect a hiring decision-maker to read a page from top to bottom any more than you would your Web visitors.
4. Make Your Resume Easy to Skim
A good marketing resume is scannable, well-organized, and – yes – even has a splash of design so you can tell that a marketer created it. Small touches of color, such as blue on your name or a soft tan on dividing bars, will give the document a human touch. Don’t be afraid to use tables (such as for lists of skills) and other charts as long as they are easy to understand.
Take action on these four simple tips and your marketing resume will be much more likely to stand out. That can make the difference and save you months on your job search.