Marketing can be a very competitive field, making a unique resume extremely valuable. Whether you are just starting out or have experience under your belt, these three tips will get you closer to landing that next job opportunity and developing your marketing career.
Tailor Your Resume
When seeking job opportunities, it can be tempting to submit multiple applications with the same generic resume attached to each. It takes time, effort and research to create a resume that excites recruiters. But if you take the extra time to make modifications unique to job descriptions before applying, it could make the difference in landing an interview.
You do not need to overhaul your resume each time you discover a role that interests you. If you carefully consider a job description and the information it can provide, minor tweaks may be all that are required to boost your resume from just another generic template to the foundation of a new career.
Take for example the following phrase, variations of which can be found on many resumes: “Familiarity with Content Management Systems”. This is a desirable attribute in any marketing candidate. However, if the job description specifically states a preference for WordPress, the bit of extra effort it takes to substitute ‘WordPress’ for ‘Content Management Systems’ provides a more relevant scope of your experience.
Human Resources representatives can spend entire days sifting through resumes, looking for one that jumps out. Hitting on keywords from the job description will naturally draw attention to you. Your resume also becomes more than overview. When you utilize the very skills necessary for the job in developing your resume, you display an ability to collect data about your target audience and use it to establish a relationship. These are key skills of any good marketer and something managers will take note of.
Do Not Leave Gaps in Work History
Altering your resume so that it is highly specific to a job description provides major benefits, but one area to be careful of is the timeline of your work history. You certainly want to display relevant experience, but you do not want to do so at the cost of appearing to have had a significant gap in employment.
Marketing can often be about staying ahead of the curve. Some campaigns are planned months in advance while industry trends can shift in the blink of an eye. Considering the rapid evolution of technology, managers can be scared off by someone who has stagnated professionally. Recent experience, even outside of a marketing role, suggests that you have relevant skills for the current job market.
A bias against gaps in employment is not limited to marketing recruiters. Recently, my resume company, ResumeGo, conducted research into how gaps in employment on resumes can affect a candidate’s ability to secure a job interview. Our field experiment, which studied the results of over 36,000 job applications in 2019, found that applicants with work gaps are 45% less likely to receive job interviews.
You want to paint a picture of a candidate who is never complacent but rather constantly striving to develop as a professional. In addition, it may be that the marketing agency you recently applied to is currently hoping to land a client who offers a product or service in a field you have experience in.
If you were not out of marketing but out of the workforce altogether, be sure to list a reason for a gap in employment when possible. Doing so, shows recruiters that your gap in employment is not a negative reflection of your performance but rather the result of a life event or unfortunate circumstances. The research found that job seekers who provide an explanation for a gap in employment book 60% more interviews than those who do not provide an explanation.
Whether you are a recent college graduate or a veteran marketer, there’s certifications available to you. Some you can even obtain without costing you a dime. Companies like HubSpot and Google offer completely free courses with certifications to verify your understanding of their tools and software.
“Familiarity with Adobe Photoshop” is a much more powerful statement when it is backed by a seal of approval from the company who built the software. A certification in Inbound Marketing could tip the scale in your favor when stacked up against another resume that lists HubSpot CMS among proficiencies.
Certifications are not merely for show. Even entry level jobs may require an intermediate level understanding of a platform like Google Analytics, which is widely deployed throughout the marketing industry. Obtaining certifications requires proficiency, which can only be achieved by engaging with the coursework and learning how to apply the product into a workflow. This gives recruiters the guarantee they need that you will be able to hit the ground running if they add you to their team.
If you are looking for somewhere to start, some of the most desired certifications among marketing recruiters are Google Analytics Individual Qualification, HubSpot Inbound Marketing, and Hootsuite Social Media Marketing. These certifications will not only increase your likelihood of securing a job, they may also boost your earning potential.
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