Updated in 2023
With so many rapidly growing startups and big companies that are looking to stand out, marketing positions are in high demand. There is a lot of competition for these roles, especially for new grad and early career positions at big companies like Google & Facebook.
You should think about your marketing resume in the same way you would think about a 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 resume to the specifics listed on the job description. What kind of positions are you applying for – growth marketing, inbound, content creation? Highlight those elements in your statements, skills section, and in the keywords throughout your resume.
As an experienced marketing manager and mentor at Pathrise, I have looked over thousands of resumes. Here are my tips and 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
Grunt is the word we use when referring to resume points that are focused only on what you worked on and not why you did it. This is essentially describing the grunt work and it is 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 like ‘Accomplished X by implementing Y which led to Z’ or ‘Produced X to achieve Y, resulting in Z’. They might 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
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?
- Did I do any user testing/research? If so, how much?
- How many scenarios/tests did I consider/handle?
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?
- What did the campaigns achieve?
- How many new users/leads did the campaign generate?
Another frequent mistake that we see on resumes frequently is a lack of context. When talking about the work you have done, make sure to include the important keywords, but also tell the story and purpose of the product, app, or system you worked on.
Here’s an example of a 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”
- The description of the work is specific and includes quantification of blog posts written
- It shows impact of leads generated
- The results are quantified as well (properties sold and their worth in dollars)
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. That is why we always recommend them for marketing resumes, especially if you are looking for roles in tech. When you use these fonts, you let the recruiter know you are tech savvy right from the get-go.
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. Avoid warm colors like red because they can feel too aggressive. 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. 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 skills, knowledge of tools, or programs, ensure that they are easy to pick out. If you can, tailor your resume for each specific job.
5. Always add context
When talking about the work you’ve done, make sure to include the important keywords, but also tell the story and purpose of the product, app, or system you worked on.
Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in 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 our mentors 1-on-1 to optimize your resume, marketing portfolio, or with any other aspect of the job search, become a Pathrise fellow.