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A CV is a first impression, a knock on the door. But research suggests that recruiters spend as little as six seconds looking at a CV for an advertised job. This means that you have roughly the time it takes to read this sentence to make a good impression.
With such a high demand for digital marketing roles, how do you catch a recruiter's interest? Here are our top tips for getting noticed on your digital marketing job hunt!
1. Keep It Simple
Keeping it simple is a piece of advice that people are given in many, many walks of life. But it is one that is frequently ignored. When writing your CV, you absolutely cannot afford to ignore this golden rule.
To dispel any doubt of how important that advice is, we can look to the 2012 research by US job site The Ladders.
The research showed through eye mapping technology that six things stood out to people looking to fill a job and it still holds true today. It stands to reason, then, that these should be clearly labelled and easy to read.
- Current job/workplace
- Previous job/workplace
- Current job dates
- Previous job dates
As a marketer, the temptation will be there to create a flashy design or use an infographic to sell yourself, even if it's not necessary. Make sure to keep your design and layout functional, avoid busy designs that distract from the key information: a recruiter will only want to skim your credentials to see if you make the shortlist.
Avoid information overload, keep your CV easy to read and simple in its design and layout.
2. Know Your Audience
If you are applying for a lot of jobs, rewriting your CV over and over again can be a chore, but it is worth it. After all, you’re trying to get a marketing job – why not treat it as a marketing exercise?
As Oran Carolan of recruitment firm Next Generation says:
You need to do your research and tailor your CV to the company and position you’re applying for. Highlight keywords from the job specification on your CV. For instance, if you’re applying for an e-commerce role, you would look to include keywords such as: conversion rate, bounce rate and Google Analytics.
Keep a set of templates for different roles, tailor the content to fit a specific role in order to highlight the most relevant aspects of your skill set.
A recruiters attention will be piqued by language that matches the role that they want to fill.
Know your audience: tailor your CV to a job spec to highlight your most relevant skills.
3. Know Your Value And Sell Yourself
You have to know your worth to market yourself effectively. The introduction to your CV is a snapshot of who you are as an employee – so you want to ensure that the impression you give recruiters is one that you are proud of.
Do you want to be a “hard-working, punctual individual” or can you use your words to convey yourself as a talented, dynamic marketer? If it's the latter, you need to stay away from the clichés and use this space to really sell yourself.
What will you bring to an office? Can you drive sales? Have you delivered on KPIs again and again? Have you worked with big brands? This is more interesting to a prospective employer than an attendance record!
Once you have decided what you are going to say; decide how you are going to say it.
Avoid placing a dense block of text at the start of your CV because, quite simply, it won’t be read. Over at Blue Sky Resumes, Louise Fletcher turned this:
Decide why you should get the job and communicate that clearly to recruiters.
4. List Your Qualifications
While education is a key part of any CV, recruiters aren’t just interested in what you did in college.
It may seem basic, but for digital marketers, professional qualifications can be the difference between getting an interview and being rejected.
Clare Damery of recruiters CPL says that if you have been upskilling and staying updated on industry trends, you should be telling employers:
Put it all down. I am always surprised at how many marketing candidates are always upskilling but neglect to include it on their CV. Your Google Adwords and Analytics certificates should go on there with your college degree or diploma. All are skills that you can bring to a role. As are all of the programmes you have learned to use. Can you use Adobe CS, Salesforce or Wordpress? Make sure they’re listed with your qualifications – they are part of what you can bring to a company.
Your qualifications are a summary of your abilities – make the most of them.
5. Proofread, Then Proofread Again
This is another piece of advice that sounds basic but it's of vital importance.
You are asking companies to allow you to control their web and social copy. You wouldn’t dream of posting to a website or turning over an article without having at least one colleague run an eye over it, right? Then why wouldn’t you take the same steps with your CV?
Find a friend who is a stickler for grammar and ask them to read your CV. They will quickly tell you if there are any jarring spelling or grammar errors.
Beyond that, reach out to a recruiter or someone you know who works in the digital marketing industry – they will give you honest feedback that many job advertisers will not.
Once that is done, make sure that your CV is consistently formatted, taking care to check fonts, font-sizes and spacing. When you’re done with that, proofread it again and run one more spellcheck, just to be sure!
Your CV is a reflection of your work, make sure to put the effort in to get the role you deserve.