So you’ve written a solid resume, applied to some marketing jobs, and you’re still not as many job interviews as you would’ve hoped. Now you’re back to the drawing board wondering what you can do better. While you might not have any blatant mistakes on your resume like a misspelt word or poor grammar, I daresay there’s a good chance there are a few adjustments you can change to really take it the next level.
#1. Know the job you are applying for
You know from promoting any product that it’s important to know your target audience. What are they looking for? What turns them away? And how can you differentiate your product to them?
It’s probably not shocking that the same questions apply here. First, you need to know what you bring to the table; what’s your value proposition here? Think about your skills, experience, and traits, and how they make you uniquely different from other potential candidates.
Second, you need to know what your potential employer is looking for, what would be a deal breaker, and how you might have an edge on your competitors. So, do a little research! While most employers will list their jobs and responsibilities, you can also go a step further and research the company, look at their reviews by past employees, and compare them to others in their field.
Consider the type of company itself; large and small companies are looking for different skill sets. The same applies for companies in different industries. Taking the time to consider this in relation to your own unique strong points will help you set up the best possible self-pitch.
#2. Include Your LinkedIn profile
Of course you already know that LinkedIn is a great way to network and be seen by potential employers; if you have an up-to-date profile, you should include it on your resume. One of the top online resume services even conducted a study that found employers were 71% more likely to schedule an interview with an applicant who included a detailed LinkedIn profile versus a candidate who did not.
There are a few key points here. You’ll want to be sure that your profile is updated, and includes more than just a regurgitation of what’s on your profile. Your Linkedin is an opportunity for an interested employer to get a fuller picture of you as a professional.
#3. Brand Yourself
What are some of the things that make big corporations successful? Branding. You fondly remember brands like Disney, because you remember their brand being magical and fun. Brand names like Quaker Oats project a down to earth, no nonsense image. And Apple is known for being innovative and sleek. Just like these big names, you can also craft an image for yourself!
Consider your strengths and personality; what makes you stand out? Are you a natural leader with a penchant for motivating your team? Are you a savvy analytics expert who can crunch numbers like no one’s business? Do you have a gift for attention grabbing titles or taglines? Any of these niches can be used to establish who you are.
Once you have an idea of your personal brand, style your resume and cover letter after it! Consider the information you’re including, and the areas of expertise you’re highlighting. As an example, if you’re branding yourself as a high energy go-getter, you might consider including high energy activities in your hobbies and interests section.
#4. Include your social media accounts and/or website
Most marketing includes a mix of traditional and digital marketing. As the internet reaches more people, social media marketing is becoming pretty standard for most major brands. For that reason, if you’re applying to a position that may include social media marketing, you should consider adding your social media accounts or website.
If you have a website, this is not only a digital business card, but also an additional chance to showcase your work. A well-designed, professional site is a testament to your skill, and can help cement your personal brand in the mind of your potential employer.
Social media accounts should be included with caution. Not every social media account is suitable for a resume, so unless you are asked, don’t include social media accounts like Tik Tok or Snapchat. These are both primarily video based storytelling apps and won’t add to your professional image. If you want to demonstrate your video making skills, YouTube is a better choice.
You should include Facebook if you have a public profile, Twitter, or Instagram. The criteria here is that they either demonstrate your skills, or they help establish your personal brand. These platforms can act as a portfolio of your work. Don’t include a social media profile if it only shows you doing questionable things.
#5. Make it super skimmable
Most of the points in your resume won’t need too much explanation. Make sure you’re only including something on your resume if it helps establish your value proposition! If you’re explaining what you did at a job, break it down into bullet points.
Consider using a resume summary over a resume objective; a resume objective explains who you are and what you’re seeking. A well written objective can make a great impact, but may be bulky. If you want to make your resume quick and scannable, start with a resume summary.
A good resume summary is five or six items, in a bullet point list. Identify your best assets and broadcast them to your employer; if they’re hooked, they’ll read the rest of your resume to see why you’re a leader or skilled at SEO.
#6. Consider a two-page resume
Do you feel like you’re trimming important content trying to fit all your experience and skills onto one sheet of paper? Don’t be afraid to stretch it to two pages if you really have enough content for it! Many resumes are delivered in an online format, so it’s not as obvious or troublesome as it was back in the days of paper applications.
This is backed by research, covered by Fast Company, that found that recruiters are 2.3 times more likely to prefer a 2 page resume over a 1 page resume. This was true even at entry level positions, so go ahead, fill up some pages and talk yourself up!
#7. Use a professional resume template
If resume design isn’t your forte, it’s time to call in the experts! There are many professional templates out there, and most are super easy to download and fill in. A well-structured resume that’s pleasing to look at can give your resume a leg up.
In addition, getting a professional template will save you time, which lets you focus on what you’re putting into your resume rather than the structure and design. If you’re applying to multiple job postings and tailoring to each one, this is invaluable.
Just make sure to double-check that everything formats correctly!
#8. Pay attention to keywords
You want to grab your potential employer’s attention, and one good way to do that is to pay attention to keywords. These can be a mix of industry specific and soft skills, but an employer will often spell out exactly what they’re looking for in the job listing.
For instance, if an employer says they are looking for someone with experience in social media marketing, you should use that phrase in your resume, rather than saying “Twitter marketing” or “marketing on social media.”
In addition, you’ll want to look for the soft skill keywords the company is looking for; again, this is often listed in a job description. Words like creative, communication skills, and teamwork are all examples. Mirror what the employer is asking for, make it easy for them to see that you fit their qualifications.
#9. Explain Your Work Gaps
Everyone has rough patches in their life, and your employer isn’t trying to judge you. That said, a gap without any explanation is a red flag! When you leave a blank space, you’re leaving it up to the person reading your resume to fill in the blank, and they’re not always assuming the best.
So if you have a gap, give your potential employer some context! If you were gone volunteering, write about that! Or if you just needed time off to recover from a burnout, talk about how you had the opportunity to take a sabbatical and work on yourself. Do your best to turn a gap into a positive, but most importantly, don’t leave a gap without any commentary.
#10. Use Your Hobbies and Interests!
A lot of people might leave their hobbies and interests off of a resume, and if they really don’t pertain, then don’t include them. After all, you don’t want any fluff in your resume! But a hobby can say a lot about you, and you may want to include them if they help establish your brand or expertise.
For instance, someone whose hobby is an intramural basketball league sounds like a person who is excellent at teamwork. Someone who volunteers at a soup kitchen? Community minded. Your hobbies can give you the opportunity to include keywords your employer is looking for, so keep that in mind!
In addition, if your hobby or interest pertains to the company you’re applying to, it could be worth including! For instance, an organic restaurant may want to know about your background protesting GMOs. Or a cat toy company may think you’re a great cultural fit if they know that you volunteer at cat rescues on the weekend.
Any combination of these tips can help build a better resume, even if you don’t end up utilizing all of them. Whether you end up lengthening your resume to two pages, incorporating your social media accounts, or using a professional resume template to spruce up your resume, any of these steps will help give your resume a boost, and that puts you that much closer to landing an interview.