The Definitive Guide to Writing a Digital Marketing Resume
If you’re thinking “What do hiring managers seek in a digital marketing resume?”, then you’ve come to the right place.
A creative and business-oriented mind is necessary for anyone who wants to be a digital marketing professional. But to make a job-winning digital marketing resume, these skills are not enough. You need to know the resume format for the domain of your choice, the right language, a recruiter-friendly resume template, and that’s just for starters.
How do you start?
Most people start with the job description to fill up their resume. A good place to start, maybe, but a job description (JD) is based on responsibilities. A resume is based on achievements. When you’re picking up points from the JD, you’re listing out things you’re responsible for, but not your contributions or achievements. Merely shifting the alignment of your resume from a document focusing on responsibilities to a document focusing on achievements will make a huge difference. The way you phrase your achievements on your resume will determine if you are a part of the crowd or if you’re apart from the crowd.
Imagine a recruiter in a mid-level company is looking for a digital marketer. The company has been working on strengthening its foundation for a while and now needs someone who can spearhead their entire digital marketing initiative. This recruiter has two similar applicants. One writes the following:
Led the digital marketing team to manage organic growth and digital marketing and social media for the company
Not only is the point poorly framed, it showcases nothing concrete for the recruiter. The second applicant writes this:
Spearheaded the Digital Marketing team comprising 15 professionals to boost organic growth by 25% and increase conversion by 42%
There. In a single point, you established your expertise and showcased the quantifiable impact you managed to deliver.
Start with the Basics
To demonstrate your experience of being a digital marketing professional, or any field, it’s of critical importance that you customize your resume as per the preferred job listing. Digital marketing is a vast domain in itself, and it’s quite rare for a single professional to be proficient in all aspects of the field. Consequently, it’s important to tailor your resume in accordance with the exact requirements of your target profile.
Step 1: Designing your Master Resume
You need a master resume.
While a resume cannot exceed 2 pages, there’s no limit to the length of a master resume. It contains EVERYTHING you’ve ever done till date. You came 2nd in a relay race in 9th grade? It goes in the master resume. You’ve a blog on the latest trends in dog footwear? Master resume. You helped a friend improve their online presence in your spare time? Master resume.
At this stage, you don’t decide whether the information will go in the final resume or not. The objective of the master resume is to document everything you’ve ever done. It can extend to 5 pages, 10 pages…the length is immaterial as long as you have a single authoritative source on your responsibilities and your achievements. Making a master resume will not only make it easier to customize your digital marketing resume, but also make it easier for you to make your LinkedIn profile and apply for jobs at major job portals. It also helps with background checks. It’s quite a useful tool.
Step 2: The Hierarchy of Importance
Your resume is scanned by an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) after one posts a resume on a job portal. It scans for relevant keywords in the resume against the requirements listed in the job description. These applicant tracking systems then rank all the resumes on the basis of how closely they respond to the target profile.
Resumes are scanned vertically (top to bottom) by the Applicant Tracking System. Thus, a sure shot way to get shortlisted for an interview is to write the most valuable information and relevant keywords at the top and middle of your digital marketing resume.
Step 3: Expand on the Basics
The first thing that should come at the top of your digital marketing resume should be your name, in a font size of 14-16 points. Pro-tip: Don’t write ‘Resume’ (or even worse, ‘CV’) at the top of your resume. It’s just redundant. Let your name be the topmost thing on the document.
This is followed by your contact information as part of the profile header. A few things to keep in mind when you’re mentioning your contact information:
- Don’t list your complete address. Just the city and country will do.
- Opt for a professional email handle. Don’t go for email@example.com when you can go with firstname.lastname@example.org
- Include your links for LinkedIn, Behance, etc. only if you think it’ll add more value to your profile. Otherwise skip it.
The contact information is followed by the next most important thing in your digital marketing resume—your job title. It is important to add a title to your digital marketing resume so that the recruiter gets a clear idea about which profile you’re applying for.
The title should essentially convey:
- Field of proficiency
- Level of proficiency
Don’t mention ‘Digital Marketing Expert’ if you’ve only done a 2-month course. Don’t short yourself either. What is important is that the job recruiter get a sense of who you are and what your experience is, so they know if you fit what they are looking for.
Step 4: Professional Experience & Education
The Professional Experience section is the heart of the digital marketing resume. The recruiter gets in-depth information about the skills you possess by seeing your educational qualifications and achievements. To showcase your profile more clearly, you can use the following format:
Company | Designation | Location | Time period (mm/yy-mm/yy)
Frame crisp one-liner bullet points for all your projects and professional profiles. We like the APRA format from Princeton—basically that all the points should boil down to:
- Action Verb
Bucket your bullet points. Bucketing basically means grouping similar points together under broad subheadings. Identify points under the same functional domain and group them together. To take it a step further, bold important achievements and figures. This will make the recruiter’s job even easier.
A final set of points might look like:
- Team Leadership & Promotion Strategies
- Led a team of 5 to conceptualize and coordinate online promotion strategies in collaboration with teams spanning Sales, Marketing and Support
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Brainstormed with the Marketing Manager to streamline SEM channels, implement PPC campaigns and boost traffic by 1000%
- Published CPC and CPI display ads on Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Bing, etc.
- Achieved the lowest CPC across the industry valued at USD 0.06 per click
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Utilized the existing network and reached out to high-profile websites and blogs to secure backlinks and boost the domain authority from 6 to 24
- Successfully revamped the Google page ranking from 9th page to the 1st page
- Increased customer outreach by 30% in 100 days by optimizing 300+ articles
- Single-handedly boosted revenue from organic search channels by 14%
- Email Marketing & Social Media
- Successfully executed the email marketing campaign to on-board 1500+ new users within 3 months and reduce the drop-off rate by 23%
- Identified and prioritized Reddit & Quora as high-worth platforms to generate traffic from scratch from 10+ countries like US, Canada, UK, Australia, etc.
- Deployed Buffer to target leading social media channels & drive brand visibility
Digital Marketing KPIs for Resume
Digital marketing KPIs for a digital marketing resume can be measured by the following:
- Volume of digital sales
- Number of online advertising campaigns
- Quantifiable impact of SEO initiative
- Number of new articles and blog with original content
- Quantifiable increase in social media engagement
- Number of e-mail campaigns
- Growth in organic traffic
Digital marketing KPIs for your resume is how you write a resume focused on achievement. Turn this:
Led the digital marketing team to manage SEO and organic traffic
Led the Digital Marketing team of 10+ to boost organic traffic by 32% and maintain an up-to-date blog comprising 100+ articles
Quantify all the information in your digital marketing resume. Focusing more on KPIs and performance figures will allow you to break free from the competition and clearly articulate your contributions to the recruiter.
Step 5 – Highlighting Achievements
Highlight your achievements across your professional experience section by quantifying them. All your accomplishments, big or small, are of equal importance as they will make your digital marketing resume stand out from other digital marketing resumes and highlight your capability of being a digital marketing professional. As mentioned before, make sure to quantify them. Don’t forget to highlight/bold them.
Many people commit the mistake of just mentioning their achievements. But in order to paint a complete picture, you also need to explain how you achieved that. To do so, make sure there’s a coherent cause-effect relationship in each point. The steps you took to boost organic traffic by 32% is as important as the actual achievement.
The above mentioned APRA format (or the Princeton formula) for structuring all your points will allow you to establish that cause-effect relationship.
Step 6 – Showcasing Skills in your Digital Marketing Resume
Include the most important (if not all) the skills that one possesses as a digital marketing professional. Remember not to include soft skills like ‘excellent communication’ or ‘hardworking’ in your skills section. Write your hard skills which you can substantiate like ‘Data Analysis’, ‘Social Media Advertising’, ‘E-mail Marketing’, etc.
Additionally, if you utilize a certain set of technical tools or software as a part of your digital marketing initiatives, you can list this in a Technical Skills section.
Step 7 – Summarizing your Profile
While you are preparing your resume, make sure to write the digital marketing resume summary in the end so that you are able to extract information from the rest of your resume and accordingly optimize the digital marketing resume summary in the best possible way. Describe your key skills and how you used them to benefit the company. It should have all the essential information that a recruiter might want to know.
It’s not enough to showcase just the skills you possess in this section – also clarify how you can utilize the same to deliver a quantifiable impact. You can refrain from mentioning specific achievements in this section, unless they are extremely noteworthy. Even in that scenario, you can interpret your achievements differently.
For example, instead of mentioning that General Motors was your client in the summary section (which the recruiter will anyway notice in your Professional Experience section), you can mention that you are adept at serving Fortune 500 clients.
Do note that not everyone should have a summary. Go for a Resume Summary if your total experience exceeds 2 years. If you’re an entry-level professional, go for a Resume Objective section instead.
Step 8 – Job-winning Format for Digital Marketing Resume
Use whatever works for you. To make it easy, do a search for “functional resume template” or “reverse chronological resume template” and tailor it to your needs. Unless you hire (or are) a designer, you’ll likely end up with a format approximating these anyways, so why make it hard on yourself?
Reverse chronological resume format is the most popular resume format, so most digital marketing resumes will follow this format.
Step 9 – Digital Marketing Resume Sections: The Correct Order
The correct order of all the sections in a digital marketing resume will be as follows:
- Personal Information
- Job Title
- Professional Summary
- Key Skills (and Technical Skills, if applicable)
- Professional Experience
If applicable, you can further add these sections:
- Awards and Recognition
Step 10 – Proofreading & Final Checklist
Follow the steps given below to proofread your digital marketing resume:
- A digital marketing resume shouldn’t exceed 1 page if you have less than 10 years of experience, and 2 pages if you have 10+ years of experience. Whatever the case may be, a resume should not exceed 2 pages.
- Make sure you’re covering all the standard sections – Professional Summary, Key Skills, Professional Experience, Education, etc. The ATS is programmed to parse standard section headings, so writing something like ‘Work Story’ instead of ‘Professional Experience’ can actually backfire.
- Ensure that basic formatting is in place – margins, spacing, font size, etc. Go for sans-serif fonts like Calibri or Open Sans over serif fonts like Times New Roman (unless the job listing specifies otherwise).
- Refrain from using paragraphs and reduce the same to one-liner bullet points. Make sure that all points begin with a power verb. Think creatively here: champion or spearhead instead of manage. Slash instead of reduce.
A few more points to keep in mind while proofreading your digital marketing resume:
- Keep your tenses consistent while writing your digital marketing resume. Use present continuous tense in present profiles and past tense in past profiles.
- If you are using acronyms in your resume, expand the same when it’s mentioned in the first instance, and then proceed with using acronyms.
- The jury is still out on whether you should write a resume in first person or third person. We recommend first person implied, where you will drop most pronouns. It’s your resume, you’re clearly talking about yourself.
- Don’t write ‘Resume’ on the top, and don’t save the file name as just ‘Resume’. Write your name in both instances.
- Make sure you write your summary in a paragraph form (and not bullet points) not exceeding 3-4 lines.
- Refer to the keywords in the job description, but make sure to not stuff your resume with it. Include only those keywords which you can substantiate in your work experience.
- Bold relevant keywords and significant achievements. Provide performance figures wherever possible.
- If you are an entry-level professional, then write a digital marketing professional objective instead of a digital marketing professional summary.
- If you are just entering the job market, optimize your digital marketing objective section in such a way that it clearly puts forth your goals and aims in a strong way.
- Focus on digital marketing KPIs, while providing as many figures around the same as possible.
One final point: more eyes are always better. Spending so much time on your own resume makes you biased. It’s a good practice to refer your resume to someone in your network, preferably someone who’s in the same domain.
There are many great tips here, and you can see the expanded version below. Whether you are just starting out or continuing a storied career, we wish you luck in applying your new digital marketing resume skills!
This article is a summary of an article sourced and updated from here: https://www.hiration.com/blog/digital-marketing-resume/