Are you struggling to put together an effective resume, even though you regularly create great ads, social media campaigns, and branding messages?
If so, you’re not alone. Most marketers have a hard time selling themselves.
But the truth is that without a killer resume, you’re losing out on great opportunities. Recruiters are passing you over for people who are far less qualified. Even worse, your resume is being screened out before it even reaches a human being.
I’ve been writing resumes for 10 years and hiring people for even longer, so I’ve seen (and written) quite a few resumes – many of them for digital marketers.
Here are my top 5 secrets for creating a digital marketing resume that passes the computer screening systems and wows recruiters.
Digital Marketing Resume Secret #1: Know Your Target Audience
When you start an online marketing campaign, your first decision is who you want to reach. Once you know who you’re targeting, all kinds of other decisions are made easier (you know what words to use, where to run ads, what social media channels to employ etc.)
The same applies when you’re writing a resume. If you know who will be reading it, you can shape the message accordingly.
To do this, you need to think about the type of company you want to work for. Is it 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, established corporation where analytics are king?
Is the culture entrepreneurial and energetic? Or is it traditional and structured?
Once you have built a picture of the ideal company, you can carefully target your resume. You’ll know what skills or traits to highlight, what words to use, and which parts of your background will be most interesting to readers.
Secret #2: Know Your Digital Marketing Value Proposition
What is it that makes you uniquely valuable to your target audience?
You have a unique blend of skills, characteristics and experiences that make you different from every marketer looking for a job. In order to write a truly effective resume, you need to define exactly what this unique blend is – we’ll call this your value proposition.
Ask yourself what separates you from other digital marketers? Is it your in-depth knowledge of Google+? Perhaps it’s the results you’ve achieved creating viral videos? Or maybe it’s that you have extensive experience in content marketing combined with exceptional analytical abilities.
You can see why knowing your ideal company is so important. Your value proposition may be completely different depending on the types of companies you’re targeting.
Once you know your value proposition, you can use it as the basis for a fabulous resume summary so that you start your resume with a real bang.
Digital Marketing Resume Secret #3: What’s Your Resume Strategy?
You wouldn’t create a banner ad or a social media campaign without a clear strategy in mind and the same applies to your resume.
Recruiters won’t respond to your resume if it doesn’t resonate with them, and the way to make this happen is to strategize your message just as you would with an online promotion.
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 have 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.
Secret #4: Always Quantify Your Digital Marketing Results
You are lucky to work in a profession where everything can be measured and analyzed. Make use of this to tell your story effectively.
Here is one digital marketing resume that does this right upfront.
Notice how the first few lines introduce an impressive result, and how bolding has been used to draw attention to that information.
Then as you read through the resume, you see a real focus and emphasis on numbers throughout. (For example grew database 327%, generated revenues of $780,000 etc.)
One note: Avoid lots of rounded numbers, even if they are true. If you say you increased web traffic 30% and grew sales 40%, it sounds impressive. But if you say web traffic went up 31% and sales increased by 43%, it sounds even better because it sounds more realistic.
Resume Secret #5: Use Your Digital Marketing Expertise to Beat the Computer Systems
Most employers now use applicant tracking systems to screen out candidates before the resume is even seen by a human being. This is done by using keyword scans. You upload your resume, it is then scanned for relevant keywords (which are programmed in advance by the recruiter) and then either “passes” or “fails” you.
If you pass, your resume goes to a recruiter for review. If you fail, no one ever sees it.
That makes it incredibly important to ensure that you have included all the right keywords. To do this, make a note of every digital marketing skill you have – every social media site you know how to use, every analytics or CRM system you know, every software program or SAAS system you use … omit nothing.
Now create a section on your resume called ‘technical skills’ or ‘digital marketing skills’ and include them all.
Here’s page 2 of a digital marketing resume sample so that you can see how this might look.
Just like Digital Marketing, It’s All About Persuading People to Buy
As a digital marketer, you have a distinct advantage over most job seekers in that you understand how to communicate, and what makes people buy. Only this time, you want them to buy YOU rather than your product or service.
Follow these 5 tips and you’ll be much more likely to pass the initial computer screen, and wow the recruiters who review your resume.
[Click here to see a digital media executive resume makeover, with ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots.]
You can probably tell that I’m passionate about this subject and I hope I’ve persuaded you to rework your resume because it makes SUCH a difference. If you’d like professional help, just shoot me an email and we’ll send resume feedback and a quote. Plus, as a reader of this blog (and therefore clearly a person of impeccable taste!) you get a 15% discount on our resume rewrite service. What’s not to like?!