No matter how good you are at marketing an employer or client’s products, you’ll rarely be able to grow your career if you can’t effectively market yourself. Your skills and experience will only get you so far if you’re unable to express them to potential employers and marketing recruitment companies. Yet many marketers shoot themselves in the foot when it comes to one of the most effective tools for self-marketing: their resume.
Resumes don’t have to be fancy or flashy to be effective. But if yours is full of irrelevant information or arranged in an antiquated fashion, then the people responsible for deciding the future of your career are going to assume you’re out of touch with yourself. After all, if you can’t efficiently market yourself then why should they assume you’ll be able to effectively market for their company or agency?
We frequently see a variety of embarrassing resume mistakes that can kill an application, even among our marketing executive search candidates. But there are a few that are especially common in making professionals look outdated:
Explaining the Least Important Parts of Your Job Experience
Perhaps the most egregious of all resume sins a marketer can commit is simply creating a list of job responsibilities without explaining their personal impact on the business. Too much focus is put on what the applicant did, and not enough on how those actions paid off.
In today’s marketing world, everyone is ultimately interested primarily in ROI. You must be able to explain how your actions improved productivity and ultimately led to demonstrably positive results that affected the bottom line.
For instance, instead of listing that you “managed a team,” share how you implemented strategies to reduce mistakes or improve productivity. Instead of naming the ad campaigns you worked on, show how your input increased engagement and conversions or sales. Cold, hard numbers are ideal, but if you’re not comfortable sharing an employer’s precise information you can show growth in terms of a percent increase. Regularly update your resume with your most remarkable and impressive accomplishments while they’re top of mind and you have access to the relevant results data.
Listing an Irrelevant Address
If you’re still providing a home address on your marketing resume, it’s time to catch up to the 21st century. The actual physical location that you live at doesn’t matter to hiring managers or anyone at a marketing recruitment firm. No one in 2016 is going to be sending you interview follow ups or requests for references through the USPS (and you probably wouldn’t want to work for anyone that did).
In a worst-case scenario, adding your address could even put you at potential risk for hiring discrimination based on where you live by an unscrupulous hiring manager. And it’s an identity theft risk, too; you don’t want to be putting your home address on a document that you have little control over once you start including it in applications.
In most cases, a simple listing of your city and state is sufficient. Instead of a street number you should be providing the web addresses to your important digital properties and presences instead. If you have a website, blog, social media accounts or online portfolio (and you should probably have at least some of those), include the relevant links. Marketers in particular can get great mileage out of their online brand to supplement their resume and stand out from the crowd.
Providing a Non-Personal Number
We occasionally get applications from marketers who provide their home (or even more strangely, their work) phone number as contact information. Not only can this make things very awkward for the hiring manager or marketing recruiter trying to contact you, it also makes you appear less professional and disrupts the responsiveness of discussions that could lead to a job opportunity.
If you don’t list your personal cell phone number, you’re much more likely to miss a call from an interested party about a job. Imagine missing out on a dream job because you were commuting, or out for a walk, or away from landlines for any other reason.
Consistent responsiveness is appreciated by potential employers and reflects positively on your image. But trying to reach a candidate through a non-personal phone provides the opposite experience. If we call your home phone and a family member answers instead of you, it can create confusing situations for both parties.
Calling a candidate only to have a secretary or corporate voice message system is even more awkward. And if we learn you’re willing to use your current employer’s resources and time to look for a new gig, we’ll assume you’ll just do the same at your next job and lose interest.
Save yourself, and your potential employer, a lot of trouble by just including your personal cell number.