How to Highlight Digital Marketing Skills on Your Resume
Digital marketers are in demand worldwide. Almost every company, irrespective of its size, has someone who helps manage its digital marketing. If you want to build a strong career in this profession, you have made a smart decision as the field offers many opportunities.
However, nobody hires a digital marketer just because their resume says “digital marketer”. Recruiters look for candidates who specialize in certain aspects of the digital marketing industry with relevant experience. If you’re not getting any interview invites even after sending your applications to different companies, there must be something missing from your resume.
Your resume, or CV, is the first thing a recruiter looks at when reviewing your application. Recruiters rely heavily on first impressions, and if your resume doesn’t stand out, they won’t bother to review the rest of your application.
Using a resume template will help you highlight different skills and training relevant to the job. However, you need to fill your resume with the right data and write it properly so recruiters can make an accurate assessment of your qualifications. A marketer’s skills are quite unique, so the approach will be much different than a data analyst resume template. Here is a guide to building a resume that highlights your digital marketing skills:
1. FORMAT THE RESUME TO HIGHLIGHT RELEVANT SKILLS
Using the right resume format will help you make a positive impression on recruiters. Most HR managers and recruitment specialists are familiar with the reverse-chronological format, where you list your most recent job first. This format allows the person reviewing your resume to see if your experience is relevant and up-to-date:
Recruiters look for the following sections when they review digital marketing resumes:
- A headline and introductory paragraph
- Work experience, including the tasks assigned to you
- Any projects that you’ve worked on (could be included in the work experience section)
- Skills associated with digital marketing
- Education and training, including certifications
For example, your work experience can list what you’re doing at your current job, whether it’s SEO, graphic design, social media, media planning, or affiliate marketing with Google Ads. Your skills, on the other hand, can include specific software, such as Adobe Creative Cloud.
Certifications, such as the American Marketing Association’s Digital Marketing Certificate, can go below your formal education. If you have very little relevant work experience, list whatever you’ve got anyway as long as you’ve taken the right training to prepare you for the job.
Aside from organizing your experience and training into sections, using the right layout and formatting will help make your resume more readable. Using a simple font, such as Arial or Calibri, will help make the text easier on the eyes, and adding white space will allow the recruiter’s eyes to rest a bit and process the information.
Most applicant tracking systems (ATS), such as Taleo, Brassring, and SmartRecruiters, crawl through resumes, look for relevant information, and copy it to appropriate fields in the candidate’s record. Certain formats work better with an ATS than others, and using these formats and templates will help reduce the amount of time and effort you need to spend on filling up the application.
In the next few sections, we will discuss what goes into each of the sections listed above.
2. WRITE A CRISP SUMMARY
A short headline like “Digital Marketer” grabs the recruiter’s attention. However, keeping them engaged is another story. A short, concise summary of your career will come in handy in keeping them engaged.
A summary gives the recruiter or hiring manager an initial idea of what they can expect from the rest of your resume. It should distill the breadth of your experience and training into just a few sentences by focusing on specific skills or accomplishments. Here’s a good example:
If you’re just starting in your digital marketing career or are looking for your first job, it doesn’t mean that your resume summary should be empty. Instead, you can use it to state your career objectives – and traits that could help you succeed in a digital marketing career. For example, many recruiters look for candidates who are willing to go through training.
3. FOCUS ON SPECIFICS IN THE SKILLS SECTION
The title “digital manager” no longer refers to a role with a specific set of desired skills. In fact, digital managers nowadays tend to specialize in one or more facets of digital marketing. To determine whether your skills are a good fit for the job, look at the job ad first and see if the duties you’re expected to do match your current skills.
If you’ve decided that your skillset will help you thrive in the position, it’s time to list them down on your resume. You can divide those skills into “hard” skills, technical and job-specific, and “soft” skills, things like communication and negotiation.
Listing your skills in one section will make it easier for the ATS to read your resume. The applicant tracking system will browse through your resume using certain keywords and rate your resume according to quality.
If you list more relevant skills to the job, your resume has a better chance of passing the initial screening and getting forwarded to the recruiter. The recruiter will then check your resume again and see if your skills and experience are good enough for an interview.
To create an ATS-friendly resume, you can get some clues from the job ad. If the ad is looking for an individual that has experience in SEO (and you have that experience), you can list SEO among your skills.
4. QUANTIFY YOUR PROJECT RESULTS
Digital marketing is a heavily results-oriented business. You need to measure, evaluate, and justify everything using numbers. It’s no longer enough to claim that a project you led was successful. Recruiters and hiring managers want to see if your efforts bring in actual results.
For example, if you led a digital marketing campaign for a client, you need to resist the urge to use industry-centric metrics and jargon:
While the job experience narrative above will seem impressive to a seasoned digital marketing manager, it doesn’t get a recruiter or executive very excited. In fact, unless the recruiter has worked in digital marketing before, they won’t care if you improved the CTR on your Facebook and Google ads by 0.06% or if you grew your brand’s social media impressions by 160,000 impressions.
What gets them all fired up? Dollar signs.
Let’s look at what the candidate got right in the example above:
- They listed what they did to achieve their results. For example, they grew the company’s market share to 25% by boosting app quality, encouraging customers to post reviews, and using paid promotions.
- They added dollar values to their results. $2.3 million dollars in increased revenue is already a feat in itself, but saving an additional $700 thousand through restructuring the marketing team is even more impressive.
- They showed that they were not afraid of using new technologies to solve old problems. Implementing an AI-powered live chat system allowed the customer service team to focus on more challenging queries.
Everyone loves a good story. In fact, marketing is a form of storytelling. When your experience shows that you can boost revenue and save on costs, it will convince whoever is looking at your CV that you can duplicate those results as part of their team.
5. ADD CERTIFICATIONS
Some professions, such as law or medicine, require a license to practice. In contrast, anyone can call themselves a digital marketer. However, different digital marketers have different skill levels and skillsets.
There are certifications available that you can get that show your knowledge and expertise in a sector. To obtain a digital marketing certification, you need to finish a training course and pass either a written, online, or a practical exam.
You can take a certification course regardless of your previous education. For instance, a sociology degree won’t help you get a digital marketing job right out of college. However, a Google Analytics Individual Qualification is sought after by many employers.
While you must pay a certain fee to get certified, certifications give your resume the boost it needs to put it on top of the recruiter’s pile, even if you don’t have any relevant experience. A relevant certification also proves that you are willing to learn new skills and stay updated with the latest industry trends.
6. INCLUDE A COVER LETTER
If you think you can only add a call-to-action (CTA) to online content, think again! A well-written cover letter can serve as a CTA for the recruiter to go ahead and read your resume. In fact, 83% of employers say that a great cover letter is enough for them to give candidates an interview, even if their resumes weren’t exactly up to standard.
Why do employers look for cover letters?
Many resumes fail to capture the candidate’s desire to join the company. A cover letter gives them the chance to explain why the company should hire them and how they intend to contribute to the company. It’s also an opportunity to show off your communications skills.
Here are some of the elements that make a great cover letter:
- Targeting: Many candidates write generic cover letters. However, this could backfire if the recruiter detects that the candidate has copied the letter from another source. A good cover letter is written specifically for the job and highlights the candidate’s key strengths and skills that make them an ideal candidate.
- Brevity: While a cover letter is an opportunity to impress the recruiter or hiring manager, they don’t have a lot of time on their hands. Keeping your cover letter to just one page or below five paragraphs will make it more readable.
- Something not in the resume: If you’re just going to repeat what’s written in your CV, you’re better off not writing a cover letter at all. A cover letter is a good opportunity to explain employment or education gaps or to sell a personal narrative that you think will give you a better chance of landing the job.
- Editing: A cover letter is a professional document, and each error it contains could make you look lousy and unprofessional. Before you submit a cover letter, get a colleague or friend to read it. A fresh pair of eyes helps a lot when it comes to spotting grammatical errors and typos.
You only have one chance to make a good first impression on recruiters, especially in a competitive industry like digital marketing. A great cover letter will help you convince whoever is reading it to give you that one big break that could change your life.
Digital marketing is one of the fastest-growing industries across the world. It offers a lot of job opportunities to both freshers and experienced candidates. Whether you’re looking to transition to this industry or take the next step in your digital marketing career, you need a resume that highlights your skills and experience.
Recruiters look for specific elements in each resume, such as the summary, skills, experience, and certifications. The summary will allow the reader to know about your experience and goals in condensed form, while the skills, experience, and certification show them what you have achieved so far.
Your digital marketing resume is the first (and probably the only) chance you’ll get to stand out in a pool of candidates. When you invest time and effort into building a great resume, potential employers will notice it right away. Good luck with your job search!
Domingo Karsten has over 10 years experience in online marketing. He is involved with We Can Track. His writing has been featured in FastCompany and others, follow him on Twitter at @domingokarsten.
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