Your CV is essentially your personal marketing document to sell yourself to a prospective employer. Therefore, if you’re in the marketing industry, your CV could be considered a direct representation of your marketing ability – no pressure.
Here are some tips to ensure your marketing CV captures the attention of your dream employer.
Tailoring and tweaking your CV to the job for which you’re applying is the key to crafting a strong application.
You never start a marketing campaign without knowing who you want to reach. That’s because once you know your target audience, it's easier for the other decisions to fall into place. You should use the same logic when writing your CV. If you know who will read it and what’s important to them, you can shape your CV accordingly. To do this, you need to think about the job you’re applying to and the company you're hoping to work for.
Marketing encompasses a huge range of roles and skills, and you’ll need to demonstrate the specific skills the job is requiring in order to make your CV stand out to the potential employer. For example, Is the job traditional or digital marketing, or both? Will you be a specialist or a generalist? Who is the employer – an agency with a digital marketing team already or a small company looking to increase their sales by the use of social media?
Once you’ve defined what’s important to the company and the role you’re applying for, you can tailor and market yourself with a concise, targeted and achievement- driven CV.
Craft a punchy personal profile:
Research suggests that recruiters spend an average of 7 seconds reading a CV before it ends up in the ‘meh’ pile. The good thing is, you can make employers and recruiters eager to read yours in full. The trick? Making sure your personal profile packs a punch!
It should work like an elevator pitch. Briefly describe who you are, your expertise/ skills and career goals to encourage the hiring manager to read the rest of your CV. Be sure to mention key marketing skills, taking inspiration from industry keywords which can be found in the job specification.
Keep it on brand:
Since you’re in the marketing game, you will know the importance of branding and consistency. Therefore, make sure that your CV showcases your personal brand in a consistent and professional manner.
That’s not to say you need to design a fancy header or include your best headshot. Sure, using an creative and innovative approach to make your CV look “pretty” can work, particularly for creative roles which include elements of design. However, this all depends on the culture of the company and the type of role you’re applying for. A quirky agency or brand may appreciate a quirky- looking CV, whereas it may not work with a different organisation who have a more corporate and rigid structure to hiring.
If you’re not a photoshop professional, don’t try to go overboard with your CV formatting with colours, fonts and a creative layout. Instead, make sure the styling of your CV is consistent and uses appropriate font styles, margins, columns and header sizes that will make your CV still look eye- catching, but also professional and easy to read. Remember, the more ‘creative’ your CV becomes, the more of a high risk strategy it can be, so make sure it reflects the style of the organisation you are applying to and genuinely represents your character.
CV keywords are important terms and skills that an employer will look for when trying to fill a position. By including a strong assortment of the top marketing keywords, your CV can make a strong first impression. As marketing encompasses such a wide range of roles, you'll need to demonstrate the required skills for that specific position you’re applying to, ensuring you include common industry words, acronyms, and jargon mentioned in the job spec to show you fit the bill. Once you’ve identified the key words and phrases from the job description, you can fit them into your CV story. These could include:
- Digital campaign management
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- CRM skills
- Communications strategy development
- HTML and coding
- PR Strategy
- Blog & Article writing
- Email campaigns
- Brand management
Get the format right:
Although some marketing CV’s may look slightly different, the same rules apply as for traditional CVs. When it comes to the length of your CV, try to stick to one to two pages for a Word/ PDF document. If your CV tips over into three pages, you can adjust the font sizes and margins, or re-evaluate the information you’ve included. Just remember to keep the formatting consistent throughout.
Your CV should still include these components:
- Your name and contact details
- A personal profile
- Educational history
- Employment history (starting with your most recent position)
Additional, optional sections include:
- Hobbies and interests
- Key skills
- Awards, honours and notable achievements
Each section should be marked with clear headings. Short, punchy bullet points are often better than paragraphs to help make your CV easily digestible and ensures recruiters can identify the information they’re looking for without difficulty. You may also like to include links to your portfolio/ examples of work (if appropriate) and LinkedIn profile to show employers that little bit extra should they need it.
Good luck in your next application!