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The world of digital marketing is more competitive than ever - which means to give yourself a fighting chance of success, your resume should stand out from the crowd.
As tough as the industry can be, it's also one of the most rewarding you can work in, and the good news is, digital marketing jobs are on the rise.
In fact, digital marketing is one of the few industries where the demand for skilled employees far outweighs the supply.
If you're a budding digital marketer in pursuit of global domination, these seven simple ways to improve your digital marketing resume will help you to outshine the competition and land your dream digital marketing job.
Tailor your CV to the company and role to which you're applying
This may sound glaringly obvious, but so many people overlook the fact that you should never adopt a one size fits all approach to any job application - especially when it comes to digital marketing.
According to Scott Bacon, a former recruiter for Google, not tailoring your resume or showing a distinct lack of research is one of the best ways to send it straight to the bottom of the digital CV slush pile.
Naturally, you'll have a rough template for your resume, but before you hit the send button, make a few significant tweaks, asking yourself these questions as you go...
- What does the company look culture like?
- How does the company train, develop and evaluate their employees?
- Can I find insights from existing employees to help you learn more about the team you're potentially going to be part of?
- What can I add to my resume that is unique to this role?
- How can I structure my resume, so these skills and selling points will be prioritized most effectively?
Once you've made the initial effort to understand the company and role to which you're applying, and you have included every relevant piece of information, your resume will be well and truly fortified.
Use quantitative data to highlight results
An effective marketer almost always uses figures to tell a compelling story. Your resume is no exception.
In fact, by 2020, our accumulated digital universe of data will grow from 4.4 zettabytes today to around 44 zettabytes, or 44 trillion gigabytes. To put that into perspective, a zettabyte is equivalent to the data condensed into around 250 billion DVDs. The point is, big data is a huge part of the digital world, so use that mindset to your advantage.
Not only does using quantitative data in your resume demonstrate a working knowledge of your field, but it also adds impact and validation to your key skills and selling points.
For example, if you're applying for an inbound marketing role, rather than merely adding a point like this:
I created landing pages to generate leads.
You should add something like this:
I created over 10 landing pages with an average submission rate of 36%, generating over 1300 leads over the course of 12 months.
Quantitative data, measurable results, and validation: a winning combination.
Add links to your work
Following on from the last point, to validate your professional triumphs, you should add hyperlinks to working examples of projects or data you reference in your resume.
Again, not only will this demonstrate your fundamental knowledge of digital marketing practices like anchor text and backlinking, but it will show that you deliver results.
For example, if you state that you created a blog post based around a Valentine's Day campaign that performed 68% better than similar posts the previous three years, make sure you hyperlink to that blog post so the recruiter can see your talents for themselves, but also confirm that your information is legit.
Your resume is digital, and you work within the realms of digital, so make sure you leverage this for self-promotion.
Don't forget to include awards and certifications
Professional certification and awards inspire confidence and demonstrate knowledge. To make sure your resume stands out from the crowd and snags you that interview, make sure you reference any certification you've achieved.
To establish yourself as a digital specialist, professional certifications in digital marketing will strengthen your resume no end and give prospective employers instant trust in your abilities to do your job effectively.
Plus, those who adopt a continuous learning attitude demonstrate a far greater level of potential to a hiring manager as it demonstrates a willingness to grow and evolve with the business.
Showcase your personality
You can’t teach employees to smile. They have to smile before you hire them. — Arte Nathan, Wynn Las Vegas
Beyond experience, potential employers often look to connect with a candidate on a personal level; they want to see potential in the person as well as their expertise.
Now, considering the fact that a recruiter only spends around 6.25 seconds scanning your resume, you should do all you can to let your personality shine through.
By understanding the company culture and taking the time to check your prospective employer’s social media accounts and blog posts, you'll be able to understand what they're looking in terms of tone and style.
Adopt that style. Do they have a conversational tongue and cheek style? Write or edit your personal statement in a way that shows what you're about and connects with them. If the company supports a charity that does adventure treks, do you like hiking? Can you reference your passion for scaling up boulders in a brief yet creative way?
Add your voice to your resume, but make sure you keep your copy concise and professional.
Simplify your education section
If your education section is taking up the vast majority of your resume, it might be time to make a few changes.
Lots of people make the mistake of over-egging the information attached to their educational achievements, adding elements like coursework completed, clubs attended, a breakdown of grades, etc. Unless it's directly relevant to the job you're applying for, you can afford to leave it out.
As we've established, including professional awards and certification is vital, but why not say what you earned, when you earned it, and link to any relevant examples of your work that might support your resume, rather than clogging up the page with meaningless facts?
Most hiring managers aren't wholly concerned about the details of your academic background because getting an A at school doesn’t necessarily mean you're going to successfully tackle a highly-challenging digital marketing project.
Add your academic details as sparingly as possible and make sure you lean on your professional awards more as they will tell present a stronger story about your abilities to the recruiter.
Format your resume wisely
To help your resume become a shining needle in a giant digital haystack, a savvy use of formatting well help - but don't over-do it.
According to Alison Green, author of the AskaManager Blog:
“No employer is going to hire you just because you have a beautifully laid-out resume. Plus, it makes it look like you don’t have a clear idea of what things really matter.”
So, to make sure your resume stands out while remaining credible, it must be easy to read and clearly formatted, with each section broken into small digestible paragraphs split into bolded subsections.
Adding a little colour to your resume is fine, but make sure your main text is black and any colour you do use in the CV is subtle and doesn't distract from the content. The same goes for fonts. Being a little creative is fine, but don't make a mockery of your CV.
Digital marketing is a competitive discipline and by using these tips to your advantage you’ll help increase your chances of success in the digital jobs market.
Want to acquire new digital marketing skills to add to your resume? Check out our selection of digital marketing courses and say hello to your new digital career.