Because a marketing or sales resume can make or break your career, knowing how to write and what to put on a resume for a job is essential. Read on to learn the five biggest mistakes in resume writing to avoid at all costs.
In this article:
- People Still Fail in Writing a Marketing Resume
- Common Mistakes in a Sales and Marketing Resume
- What to Put in a Resume: What’s In a Great Marketing Resume or Sales Resume?
Avoiding These Common Mistakes on a Marketing Resume | How to Write and What to Put on a Resume
People Still Fail in Writing a Marketing Resume
I just finished reviewing another 17 marketing resumes, and many of them still commit the same common mistakes. These errors can prevent them from landing the interviews they need or even getting the attention of the hiring managers.
If you want a marketing job where you just create Photoshop graphics, give out flying monkeys at a trade-show, or get a few hundred Facebook likes – stop reading now.
It doesn’t matter if you’re doing social media marketing, digital marketing, or e-mail marketing. It doesn’t matter if your skills and work experience are only in public relations, content marketing, Google Analytics, or brand awareness.
The world has changed.
Fast companies rely on metrics and marketing automation to drive marketing campaigns. Your marketing resume should reflect your hands-on experience and skillset with results.
To do that, learn to avoid these professional resume mistakes recruiters and potential employers hate.
The Reasons Why a Resume Isn’t Working Isn’t as Complicated as You May Think
Recruiters have to deal with hundreds of applicants’ resumes every week. Thus, it can be a struggle to find ways to stand out in your application.
Knowing what to put on a resume will help you improve it.
Most of the time, what brings down a sales resume isn’t a lack of qualifications or skills. In many cases, it can more superficial than you’d think.
No matter how experienced you are in sales, sometimes, all it takes is a single typo to take away that opportunity from you. Since a hiring manager likely doesn’t have a lot of time going through the entire resume, having grammatical errors can discourage them from reading further.
Common Mistakes in a Sales and Marketing Resume
There are plenty of mistakes people often make when crafting their resume.
Here are the top #FAIL moments that you should avoid.
Fail Number 1: Contact Information
Marketers and sales reps can cite many reasons why they prefer to leave out their contact information. Either way, it is a serious error.
If you are missing an e-mail, phone, or address, you’ve failed. (If you don’t live near the job, you can address that in a cover letter.)
LinkedIn is the key to demonstrating the value of your network, years’ experience, and activity to your target audience. These can include people involved in the hiring process, such as a marketing manager.
If you haven’t posted anything, then get with it.
You shouldn’t be in marketing nor sales if you don’t have a personal marketing strategy. You need to stand out in a job search.
Include your blog on your sales and marketing resume.
If you don’t have one yet, create it. It is the future of SEO.
Fail Number 2: No Metrics or Generic Numbers
Your sales or marketing resume say you increased the number of leads by 20%. Really?
Be specific, so I know you can track your data. If you are tracking your numbers, you will be prepared for any question I have to ask you in an interview.
- So you managed PPC. Did you generate more or fewer leads?
- Did the CPA (cost per acquisition) go up or down? What were the numbers?
If you don’t mention split testing in association with your numbers, then maybe you just got lucky.
Fail Number 3: No Digital Proof
Remember, you are applying for a job in inbound marketing or in sales. Both of these want you to include prior accomplishments.
In your marketing or sales resume or cover letter, include links, links, and more links.
Show exactly what web pages you optimized and what their results were.
Bonus points: If you are applying for marketing, then make your resume look awesome. Include a quote, a column, an infographic, etc.
Knowing some of these common fails in resume writing will help you craft a better one for yourself.
Fail Number 4: Not Making Your Achievements Immediately Visible
When it comes to formatting your resume, there are several do’s and don’ts.
One thing you should always keep in mind is that a recruiter has limited time and probably has a lot of resumes to look at. Thus, if you don’t make the meat of your resume immediately clear, they might lose interest quickly.
Don’t start your work experience by highlighting your high school experience. That’s something that will get your resume ignored immediately.
Instead, you should keep your achievements on top. Then, your most recent work experience working backward (and without the high school experience, unless it relates to your job for some reason).
Give them what they want immediately so they can read through your resume as fast as possible.
Fail Number 5: You Neglect Your Resume Formatting
One surefire way to make your resume as unappealing as possible is to create a big wall of text to create your work summary.
The right, formatting with a resume can make yours stand out from the competition. At the same time, it makes it easier to read, which is something that you’d want potential employers to experience with your resume.
If you don’t have the skill of formatting, then simply consult and imitate some sample resumes online. You shouldn’t need additional skills to know how to use a template format.
What to Put in a Resume: What’s In a Great Marketing Resume or Sales Resume?
If you’re only starting to put together your marketing or sales resume, it can be quite tricky and confusing.
Of course, you need to impress the recruiter without exaggerating about your skills and experience. You should aim for a professional, on-point representation of your competence as a sales associate or sales manager.
Follow the tips below to improve your resume writing skills to continue your journey in this industry without worries.
1. Include Your Numbers
Recruiters only spend a few seconds scanning applicants’ resumes. With this in mind, how do you exactly catch the attention of a recruiter?
As mentioned in Fail Number 2 above, a great way to encourage recruiters to take a second glance at your resume is through one’s numbers and statistics, especially if you have extensive hands-on experience with sales or marketing work.
Your specific achievements in a previous role will make your resume more appealing to hiring managers. Indicate sales increases, mean time to close deals, and other significant numbers in your sales resume.
You can also include how much you helped save in terms of expenses or the percentage of increase in your customer’s revenues. When it comes to convincing recruiters you’re a great fit for the job, wow them with your numbers.
Be sure to include metrics and goals that can set you apart from other candidates. Here’s an example:
“Increased monthly sales — Helped out clients in increasing monthly sales from $6,000 to $19,000 in eight months…”
2. Show Off Your Training
To pursue a marketing or sales career, you need to have training for certain skills. Qualifications make a difference and can set you apart from other candidates.
Also, the initiative to continue improving your knowledge and skillset should definitely be highlighted in your resume. Recruiters will certainly appreciate that you keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date and invest in improving yourself in your field.
If you’ve attended lectures or seminars for sales negotiation, digital presentation, social media selling, and other technical skills, add them to your resume. You should also include other training you’ve had to help you reach your sales goals, like account management, closing techniques, and media advertising.
3. List the Accounts You Managed
If you managed complex accounts for both big and small brands, include it in your sales resume. Include all of your past accomplishments from handling accounts for big brands.
Discuss any challenges or obstacles that threatened your ability to achieve the goal, and what initiatives were put in place to overcome them. Being able to overcome the demands of big accounts proves you’ve already developed the ability needed for bigger responsibilities.
Be specific when it comes to describing your experience in handling these accounts. You have to be able to prove you have a history of delivering results and can continue doing so for the new role.
4. Know Which Skills to Highlight
The skills you need to highlight in your resume will vary based on the position you’re applying for. A great sales resume or marketing resume should highlight both the soft skills and hard skills needed for the position, as well as the job title.
If the last resume you’ve had was from when you were applying for that entry-level position, don’t just add the details of your career progression at the bottom. Consider re-organizing your resume so your most recent job experience is at the top.
Another thing you have to remember — when it comes to scanning resumes, recruiters look for different things based on the position they’re hiring for. For example, they’ll have different expectations when evaluating a sales manager resume versus a sales representative resume.
If you’re applying for a sales manager position, for example, your resume should show that you have a track record with strategy planning and execution, as well as team management.
On the other hand, if you’re applying for a more intermediate or entry-level sales position (i.e. sales representative) your achievements should highlight figures and statistics to show your proven ability to deliver results. List down details about that time when you beat your quota, and don’t forget to include specific figures.
The same applies if you’re applying for a marketing position. If you’ve increased social media engagement, be sure to include by how much exactly and its implications to your company’s big picture.
Did you have a senior management role in a marketing team? Include details of how many people were in your team and talk about your achievements in this role in your career summary.
5. Be Specific In Your Descriptions
It can be hard to properly articulate your skills in a one or two-page resume so your potential employer will be enticed enough to contact you. Thus, it’s important that you make each space count.
When highlighting your skills, make sure that you aren’t describing things too generally. Aside from that, including metrics can help people visualize your capabilities better.
Every part of your resume should be all about what you can offer to the company. That’s what will make your resume a functional resume to your target company.
6. Personalize The Resume Based on the Job Title or Company
Although the use of resume templates is fine in and on its own, you should make sure that they only serve as examples to follow. Don’t copy it entirely.
It’s important that you personalize your resume based on the job title and on the company.
Don’t include everything, unless the skillset and achievements you’re describing are relevant to the position you’re applying for.
Make sure you only emphasize relevant employment history and avoid including every work experience you’ve ever had.
These days, your bachelor’s degree, communication skills, and customer experience are no longer enough. You have to learn how to compete by being specific in your marketing resume and spelling out your accomplishments in numbers.
The same goes for those preparing a marketing or sales resume. As a sales and marketing professional, be ready to prove you have what it takes to do the job well.
Do you have more tips on how to write or design a marketing or sales resume? Share them in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was published on June 25, 2012, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.