When it comes to turning heads and keeping your resume out of the trash, there’s one thing all marketers can and should be doing if they want to grow their career and put themselves in the best possible consideration for the job of their dreams. By simply taking the extra time to methodically and thoroughly detail your past successes and strengths, you not only stand out among other job applicants but make a strong case for your qualifications before ever even speaking a word.
Getting an Advantage over the Competition
With more tracking, analytics, reporting and automation tools available to marketers now, there’s really no excuse not to be able to describe in detail your success. Yet many marketers will simply list their responsibilities and job title and expect that to give an interviewer, hiring manager or marketing recruiter enough information.
Here’s the problem with that approach; it tells potential employers nothing about how good you were at your job or how much you contributed to the business. It’s almost meaningless to say that you were “responsible for email campaign deployment” or that you “wrote advertising copy.” What we really want to know is what really matters; how much engagement those emails received, or how many additional clicks your optimized ads earned.
- Managed social network accounts
- Redesigned company home page
- Created direct mailing list
- Doubled social following and tripled social engagement in one year, growing proportion of site traffic from social from 4% to 14%
- Home page redesign trimmed desktop and mobile loading times by 2 seconds and increased click through rate to landing pages from 70 per month to 100 per month
- Optimized and segmented mailing list to decrease cost per lead from $12 to $9 and grew calls to call center by 15% over six months
In an industry where results are everything and successful marketers meticulously measure, optimize and improve their every move, it raises red flags to any experienced marketing headhunter when a candidate shies away from detailing their success in their resume.
It happens more often than you think; even among marketing executive searches. But that’s good news for you; if you’re one of the relative few that goes the extra mile to explain your success, you have a huge leg up against other candidates competing for the role.
Fleshing Out Your Marketing Resume
The best way to describe how successful you’ve been is to list significant, meaningful improvements that you contributed to that directly impact the business. What campaigns and initiatives can you point to that indicate that you’re especially good at your job, that you’re a hard worker, that you’re ambitious?
The gold standard for all marketing achievements is, of course, Return on Investment; what impact has your work, specifically, had on the bottom line?
In an ideal case, you would describe this in cold, hard numbers: money invested vs revenue driven. However, providing the complete financial details isn’t always a plausible solution. Sometimes the data is very sensitive and proprietary to your employer, making sharing it in poor taste. Maybe you didn’t have access to the entire results of a marketing initiative, or weren’t senior enough to be included in the big-picture reporting and budgeting discussions. That’s fine; it just means you have to get a little more creative with how you show your success, often with the use of percentage increases or comparisons.
Additionally, it’s important to focus on KPIs that can closely be linked to financial value. It’s easy to fall into the trap of sharing growth in “vanity metrics” like Twitter followers, video impressions or brand awareness. All these things can be useful in their own right, but on their own don’t directly translate into ROI. Instead, share how those metrics contributed into more tangible results: engagement, leads, conversions, direct sales, etc. A good place to start is with the KPIs you were assigned by your manager; how well did you do your part in a larger marketing strategy?
Examples of Showing ROI Contribution
- Converted a $10,000 social advertising budget into $80,000 of direct ecommerce sales
- Tested and optimized email subject lines, growing open rates by 80% and conversion rates by 50%
- Developed an SEO strategy that ranked our site on 40 out of 50 “high value” keywords (up from 7 at the beginning of the campaign), growing organic traffic from 5,000 visitors a month to 20,000 and leading to a 300% increase in organic leads generated
Giving Context to Marketing Headhunters
Running an ad campaign that drives $1 million in sales is great…or is it? With no other context, it’s impossible for someone reading that statement to tell. For instance, if that campaign cost $2 million to plan and execute, then that’s actually a significant loss. It’s important to provide enough information that marketing headhunters and hiring managers can understand the significance of your contributions.
- Produced a DRTV commercial that drove 25,000 sales
- Executed 4 customer experience improvement campaigns
- Wrote copy for content that created 200 new leads
- DRTV commercial drove 25,000 sales over two years, beat goal of 18,000 sales
- Initiated company’s first-ever customer experience improvement campaigns; completed 4 over 2 years that increased customer satisfaction by 25% and increased resale and upsell rates among customers by 20%
- Generated blog and whitepaper content that doubled inbound leads from 100 to 200 over two years