I’m in the process of hiring and it has me thinking about how grateful I am for my training in applying for jobs. In marketing there is some extra pressure in this area. If you can’t properly advertise yourself, what makes me trust you can market our company? If you don’t take the time to strategize details in your presentation or don’t catch my attention instantly, why I would take time out of my day to call you in for an interview?
I promise I’m not a bitch. In fact, if anything I’m the opposite, always giving people the benefit of the doubt. However, when I have limited time, plenty on my plate (without the extra help I’m hiring for), and high expectations for candidates, you’re going to need to go out of your way to impress me. Always remember, that’s your job. In marketing you are trained to target your audience. Assume your audience (your prospective boss/HR/hiring manager) is in my same boat.
There are a few key things you need to do to landing that dream job you’re applying for. Fail in these areas and your resume will likely go straight to the “no” pile.
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This goes for any job, but when you’re in marketing, you have to show you know how to spell and punctuate, while showing your flair. Read it, read it again, read it out loud and make your friends critique it. If you have typos, you’ll make it really easy to put in the “don’t bother calling” pile.
2. Customize your resume and cover letter.
Again, this goes for any job, but please, please, please write a personalized cover letter for the company you’re applying for. Possibly even a custom resume. When I applied for my current job I even went so far as to rearrange my online portfolio to best demonstrate the skills I needed for this particular position. Your application materials may look vastly different for the marketing job at that bank than they do for an ecommerce company, and rightly so. Write your resume inverted pyramid style. Don’t know what that means? You may want to consider a different career.
3. Make your resume scannable.
Marketing professionals know people don’t take the time to read every word anymore. Because of that, your job materials need to be well-formatted and easy to scan at a quick glance. You don’t like reading big blocks of text. Neither do hiring managers. Intrigue them with headings, bold text, and color that is fun and easy to read.
4. Include visuals.
Photos, videos and *things the look shiny and pretty* are clicked, read, and shared. Prepare an online portfolio, include photos or videos and make your headings have pops of color. Show your professional personality and make them excited to meet you. If the paper copy of yourself doesn’t get them excited, you may never get the chance to shine in that interview.
5. Walk the talk.
Looking for a job in social media marketing? Include your Twitter handle, Youtube channel, Facebook page, Google+ ID, etc. Even doing these things on a personal level shows valuable skills that can be converted into commercial use.
6. Keep it short and sweet.
In school I was told my resume should be one page, at least until I’m so
damn important that my accomplishments simply can’t fit on one. Condense your resume to your skills, experience and qualifications that matter most for the job you’re applying for. No need to elaborate on everything — special details should be highlighted in your cover letter and more can be shared in your interview. Remember how you wrote it inverted pyramid style? Now if it doesn’t fit, it can likely be deleted.
7. Make it about the company.
“Wait, isn’t my resume supposed to be about me?” Well, yes. When I was in my last semester of college and freaking out about finding a job, I read this book called “What Color is My Parachute?” It helped me so much in understanding the way I should pursue looking and applying for jobs. Go back to your lessons in Marketing 101. Show your audience (the company) that you know them, why they will love this product (you) and how it will benefit their lives (the company’s success).
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If you can do all that, you are armed and ready to put your best foot forward and make it to the interview.