Updated in 2023
With so many rapidly growing startups and big companies that are looking to stand out, marketing jobs are in high demand. But it’s also increasing competition to become a digital marketer, especially entry-level jobs and jobs for marketing majors in tech. Job postings for remote digital marketing jobs can get thousands of resume submissions only a few hours after being posted.
You should think about your marketing resume in the same way you would think about a marketing campaign: you would not jump in without establishing your target audience and understanding what they want. It will take extra time, but it is certainly worth it to tailor your marketing resume to the specifics on the job description. What kind of marketing positions are you applying for – growth marketing, paid search marketing, inbound, content marketing? Highlight those elements in your statements, skills section, and in the keywords throughout your marketing resume.
Our advisors have looked over thousands of marketing resumes, as both interviewers and advisors, and here are resume writing secrets to make sure your marketing resume stands out.
The two major mistakes on marketing resumes and how to avoid them:
Mistake 1 – Grunt vs. impact
One of the most common resume mistakes is using dull grunt statements that don’t showcase the impact of your work. Grunt is the word we use when referring to resume points that are focused only on what you worked on and what you were assigned to do. This is essentially describing the grunt work that you did, and it’s usually not a helpful or educational description of how you spent your time in any past experience or project. Grunt statements are sometimes a necessary evil, but should always try to be avoided. They usually look something like ‘Wrote X for Y’ or ‘Worked on X using Y’.
Instead, optimize your resume by making use of…
Impact statements. These focus on what you have accomplished and the results you achieved. They normally follow a structure that’s more like ‘Accomplished X by implementing Y which led to Z’ or ‘Produced X to achieve Y, resulting in Z’. They might sometimes be a little bit longer, but being able to show the recruiter that your work mattered is definitely worth it.
Mistake 2 – Lack of quantification
Another one of the most common resume mistakes candidates make is not quantifying their work with metrics like revenue, time saved, or total sales. We know it might feel hard to find numbers to quantify projects that haven’t been launched, or might not have gotten the results you desired, but if you ask the right questions, you can quantify your work so that interviewers understand the impact. Here are some questions that should help you quantify your work.
What was the scale?
- How many people did I manage or how many teams did I act as a liaison for?
- How many campaigns did I create?
- How many scenarios/tests did I consider/handle?
- Did I do any user testing/research? If so, how much?
What did I achieve as a result?
- How many users did I launch to or will I launch to?
- How much money did I produce in value?
- How many new users/leads did the campaign generate?
- What did the campaigns achieve?
Top 5 tips to make your marketing resume stand out
1. Send the right message with your font
Sans serif fonts (fonts without the feet) are more modern-looking so we always include them on our resume formatting checklist, especially if you are looking for roles in tech. When you use these fonts, you let the recruiter know you are tech savvy, sending the right first impression.
2. Let colors work for you
Colors help draw the eye to important parts of your resume. But, make sure you use cool colors like blues, greens, purples, and teal and avoid warm colors like red because they can feel too aggressive. Red sets off a fear alarm in humans, so steer clear. It’s also important to stick with one color so your resume looks professional.
3. Don’t lose sight of readability
Your resume needs to be readable and that is the most important aspect of formatting. When formatting your resume, don’t use more than 2 columns and never use white or light-colored text. If you include links to your portfolio and additional websites/apps you’ve worked on (and you should!), ensure that they are clickable, so that your work can be seen.
4. Highlight important keywords
Recruiters and hiring managers are spending only seconds looking at your resume. Make their jobs easier by emphasizing the keywords that matter most to them. If you are applying for a position that requires certain in-demand marketing skills, knowledge of tools, or programs, ensure that they are easy to pick out. If you can, tailor your marketing resume for specific marketing jobs.
Your resume might not even be read by a real person–many companies use “Application Tracking System” to parse resumes for the most relevant keywords. You can format your resume to bypass this ATS by including keywords from the job posting in your marketing resume.
5. Always add context
A frequent mistake that we see on applicants’ marketing resume is that they don’t provide enough context to their work. When talking about the work you’ve done, especially previous marketing job experience, it’s important to include keywords–but it’s equally important to tell the story and purpose of the work and keywords. What was the purpose and impact of the product, app, or system you worked on? How did the marketing skill you developed at university or from digital marketing courses contribute to your company’s success?
Here’s an example marketing resume statement that we made more effective using the above suggestions.
Bad: Blogged on the company website and wrote ads that promoted housing options to create a larger social media presence.
Good: Spearheaded social media and advertising efforts, including writing 40 new blog posts in 2 months, generating leads that contributed to selling 30+ properties worth $20M+ in total.
Reasons why the second sentence is better:
- “Spearheaded” is a stronger intro word than “blogged”
- Specific description of the work done, including quantification of blog posts written
- Shows impact of leads generated
- Quantifies properties sold and their worth in dollars
Download this sample marketing resume that takes all of the above tips into account so you can use it to optimize on your own.
Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and young professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in marketing and tech. With these tips and guidance, our fellows have seen triple the number of responses to their job applications.
If you want to work with any of our advisors 1-on-1 to optimize your marketing resume or with any other aspect of the marketing job search, become a Pathrise fellow.