How to Write a Killer CV For That Next Digital Marketing Job
Your CV is normally the first thing a potential new employer sees. It’s an introduction to who you are, what qualifications and work experience you have and why someone should employ you.
It is essentially a sales document and is generally in competition with a whole bunch of other CVs. The big question is how you stand out from the crowd and avoid the rejection pile, getting from this brief introduction to the interview phase.
Here are our top tips for a killer digital marketing CV that should improve your chances.
Tailor Your CV to the Marketing Job
Whenever you are applying for a job, it’s important to read the specification attached to it. This details the qualities and qualifications the company or digital marketing agency is looking for.
You should always, always take the time to adjust your CV so that it fits this outline. Doing so will not only improve your chances of being selected for interview but will also help keep your CV fresh and current.
CV Basics 101
While no one CV is the same as another, and formatting can vary a bit here and there, you should include some standard information.
- First there are your contact details – your name, address, mobile number and email. These should be at the top of your CV and clearly listed. You may think this is obvious but you’d be surprised the number of people who leave it out.
- Your personal statement is an important part of the CV and is basically a paragraph selling yourself to a potential employer. While it shouldn’t be too long, it does need to be eye catching and thought provoking. Expressing who you are, why you’re a suitable fit for the job and what your key qualities are is not easy in such a short space. Our advice is to take time to work on this section so that it’s the best it can be. Sometimes it’s the first and only thing that will be read before hitting the rejection pile.
- Your work experience is another important part of the CV and needs to include any job that is relevant to the post you are applying for. Start with your most recent employment first and work your way down. Include the company name, your job title, when you worked for them and what your duties were.
- Your achievements in post are going to more important the higher up the career ladder you are. This is one key area where you can adjust the wording to meet the requirements to the job spec. List your skills and demonstrate how these were used in the workplace.
- Your education is next on the list and should include where you got your qualifications, your grades and the dates. If you have been on relevant courses that match up to the job you’re applying for, it’s a good idea to include these too. Demonstrating that you have taken control of your own continuing professional development is certainly a plus point for any potential employer.
- Hobbies and interests used to be a staple of CVs but they’re of less interest than they used to be. Our advice is to avoid putting down any unless they relate to the job in hand. For example, if you’re applying to be a digital marketer for a sports firm, highlighting your sporting achievements or interests could be an important selling point.
The Dos and Don’ts of Great CV Writing
You need to understand what the exact purpose of your CV is. It’s not going to land you the job, it’s your opening salvo to get to the interview stage. It helps to take into account where your CV is going to be read. Is it a hard copy or are you (as is more common nowadays) sending it electronically? Ensure you format in a clean and easy to read way and avoid any quirky designs that might put your reader off.
Cut the Clichés
Words, as we all know, are important. Avoid clichés in your CV content. This includes phrases like ‘good at working in a team’ or saying that you are ‘goal driven’. Almost everyone tends to throw these common phrases onto the page so they are not going to help you stand out. You should, however, include dynamic action words in your copy where possible and back these up with examples in your work or performance.
For example, if you say you are pro-active, you should be able to point to one or two times where you anticipated something at work and put in processes to deal with it. Similarly, if you are a confident public speaker, you can include examples of an occasion when you gave a speech or sales pitch.
Keep It As Short As Possible
One issue that often crops up when it comes to writing a CV is the length. A lot will depend on the sector you are in and what is generally expected. The CV for an academic or researcher will almost certainly be longer than one for a digital marketer.
Ideally, you should remember the maxim of ‘less is more’ and keep you CV as succinct as possible while still getting your main points across. In most cases, a couple of sides of A4 should be enough.
Never send out a CV until you’ve had it proof read and edited. It’s best to get this done with the help of someone you trust. If you’re doing it yourself, then leave at least a few days before you go back to review what you’ve written.
Finally, selling yourself to a potential employer requires you to deliver what they are looking for. Check the job specs first and highlight the key things the employer ideally wants. Match these up with your current experience and the digital marketing skills you have. This needs to be front and centre of your application and will, hopefully, be the first thing that anyone on the selection panel sees.
Get it right and you’ll find yourself being invited to more interviews. It’s then that the real work begins!