Trying to get a job in marketing? Great choice!
To land yourself a job in this industry, it’s important to practice what you preach and specifically tailor a CV for marketing jobs. In other words, if you’re an expert in your field, you should be able to successfully market yourself.
So if you’re a graphic designer, the look of your CV needs to be spot on. Or if you’re a copywriter, grammatical errors and spelling mistakes are absolutely out of the question.
The marketing and communications director for Thomsons Online Benefits, Janet Davis, says: “Response marketing needs a high degree of numeracy; campaign management requires exceptional organisational skills. Communications disciplines require you to be articulate and have empathy with customers.”
While Roger Foster, from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, says: “Do it with style and enthusiasm and it will show through”
The question is, how on earth do you translate all of this on just one or two pages of a CV? Here are some top tips to help you customise it to give yourself the greatest possible chance of landing your next job in marketing.
Get the layout right
A lot of marketing is all about being able to simplify a message in a powerful and concise way so that the message or product resonates.
Well, surprise surprise, the same principle applies with your CV too.
Use your cover letter to demonstrate how much research you’ve done and follow it up with your personal facts and figures in your CV.
I suggest using a format of:
- Name, contact details, any blog, social media URLs/handles.
- A CV title with the title of the role you’re applying for to make it appear personal.
- An accompanying statement/introduction of your relevant experience, skills and standout achievements.
- Experience – including employer details, work experience, dates of employment, job description (in bullet points to keep it concise) and any applicable stats.
- Training and certifications attained, plus your academic background – including relevant courses, university/college name, dates and grades.
- Hobbies/personal interests (if there’s enough room) – this should be used as an opportunity to inject a bit of personality (see my next point) into your CV.
Make it personal
This point means a lot of things. For instance, a CV should always be personalised (or tailored) towards the individual business or agencies that you’re applying for.
However, in this particular instance, I’m talking about making the content personal to you.
Think of it this way, recruiters and hiring managers often have to spend hours sifting through piles of CVs, so why stick to the status quo and blend in with others?
Let’s face it, if you don’t inject a bit of personality into it, the chances are your CV will end up being made into a paper plane!
While it’s still essential to keep it professional, being a bit more direct in your opening line, hobbies and job description will certainly intrigue people working in the marketing industry.
Pro recruiter top tip
Marketing is an industry which gives you an opportunity to be super creative. With recruiters taking just six seconds on average to make a decision on your CV, don’t be afraid to shake the format up a little bit.
An infographic CV is certainly an eye-catching way to highlight achievements, while a video one works particularly well if you want to showcase your video marketing skills. For more cool examples, check out our previous blog: ‘6 Creative CV Ideas That Will WOW Recruiters’.
If you know marketing, you’ll know all about search engine optimisation (SEO). When you submit your CV, recruiters and hiring managers will use a similar process to conduct a keyword search during the initial stages.
So, if you’re a copywriter, don’t make the error of writing “Creative Wordsmith” instead. While being different is great, making yourself invisible to the decision maker isn’t the smartest decision you’ll ever make!
In fact, a lot of job boards, recruiters and employers are starting to use Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to identify the right candidates for a role. It works just like a search engine, scanning documents for keywords.
Check, check and check again
Grammatical errors and spelling mistakes might be a cause to discard a CV in most industries, however, in marketing, it’s particularly important to be accurate.
After all, if you’re running an expensive Facebook Ad or PPC campaign and you fail to spot a content error, this could not only cost the company a lot of money, but may damage the reputation of the brand too.
Before you submit your marketing CV, print it off and read it out loud again and again. Then to double or even triple check, use Grammarly.com.
It’s better to be safe than sorry!
While these top tips will certainly help maximise your chance of success, marketing is a very competitive field as candidates don’t necessarily have to have a degree to break into it.
So, as well as brushing up your CV, you should also consider writing a compelling cover letter or sales letter and creating an eye-catching portfolio.
Together, all of these elements will elevate your application and show the kind of attention to detail marketing agencies and businesses want to see.
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