To write a successful marketing resume, you really need to step back, think about the skills you use every day at work, and then apply them to yourself.
Marketing is what you do best, so marketing yourself should not be too difficult once you get over a few mental hurdles. Here are 7 resume writing secrets that should help you get into the right frame of mind.
Marketing Resume Secret #1: Accept that You are the Product
First you must view yourself as the product being sold. I know that sounds a little crass – you’re not a product, you’re a multi-dimensional person.
But still, lots of marketing techniques and approaches are very valid and helpful when conducting a job search.
As a marketer, you’ve developed marketing plans. You’ve positioned products. You’ve developed brand messages, created tag lines, conducted market research – all of this experience will be helpful as you think about marketing yourself.
So the first secret is to own the fact that you are now the product.
Marketing Resume Secret #2: Know Your Audience
You would never recommend going to market with a product until you had defined your target audience and the same applies to your resume.
Figure out who will be reading your resume and understand their concerns.
Are you interested in smaller companies? Then you may want to show you can market successfully within small budgets, and handle lots of responsibilities. If you’re an executive, you’ll want to show that you’re not just someone who directs events from 30,000 feet but that you can also roll up your sleeves and do the work.
In larger companies, the opposite will apply. Have you managed large budgets? Massive campaigns? Led big teams? Worked on international marketing?
Perhaps you’re targeting companies in a certain industry. In this case, you’ll want to show knowledge of that field or at least transferable skills.
So before you start writing, write some notes on your target companies and what they’re looking for. (Not sure? Check out job postings online for clues).
Marketing Resume Secret #3: Know Your Value Proposition
What is it that makes you uniquely valuable to your target audience?
We each have a unique blend of skills, characteristics and experiences that make us different from every other person looking for a job. In order to write a truly effective resume, you need to know your unique blend, which we’ll call your value proposition.
(You can see why knowing your audience is so important. Your value proposition may be completely different depending on the types of companies you’re targeting).
Marketing Resume Secret #4: Develop the Messaging Strategy
You wouldn’t create an advertisement or a website without a clear strategy in mind and the same applies to your resume.
Once you have identified your audience, defined their needs, and developed your value proposition, you have some strategic decisions to make.
- How will you best structure your resume to communicate your value?
- What keywords need to be in there?
- How can you give real-world examples of your value proposition in action?
- What is the best layout and design to reinforce your message?
All these decisions should be made before you start writing.
Marketing Resume Secret #5: Present Benefits not Features
Many amateur marketers make the mistake of focusing on features instead of benefits when selling a product.
The resume equivalent is to focus on job responsibilities and skills, but not on the value you have added.
In order to hire you, companies need to know that you will help their business by selling more products. This means you have to show that you’ve done it before. It’s not enough to tell them that you were responsible for developing integrated campaigns, or that you have designed websites before. You have to tell them how those things impacted your former employers. Show them the money!
Marketing Resume Secret #6: Design Matters
Your resume layout must support your core message and your strategy. If you decided that your value proposition is the fact you have always increased sales on a small budget, then you need to structure your resume to make sure that point is front and center.
Check out our resume samples for some ideas on how to do this.
Marketing Resume Secret #7: This is the Brochure not the Catalog
Don’t try to say too much!
You can’t possible tell the whole story of your career in this one document and you shouldn’t try.
Be concise and focused. You know your audience, you know what’s important to them and you know what you have to offer. Say just enough to convey that and not a word more.
As a marketer, you have a distinct advantage over most people who try to write a resume. You already know how to persuade other people to take action. Now you just have to do it for yourself.