How To Build The Perfect Digital Marketing CV - 5 Helpful Tips
Is there anything more important than your cover letter and CV when it comes to landing an interview? Maybe not. Your qualifications are critical, of course, but your CV can mitigate problems in that field if it’s done correctly.
So to help you kickstart your Digital Marketing career, we’ve put together a helpful guide on how to set yourself up for the perfect digital marketing CV, taking tips from professionals across the field. It’s broken down into 5 easy to follow steps, and should get you started on the path to landing that dream interview.
1. Have a live portfolio website that you built yourself
If you’ve read our article on personal portfolios, you’ll understand why this is important from a career perspective. But it’s also helpful when you go to build your resume. MarketPro Inc say:
“It’s easy enough to make a standard portfolio on one of the major portfolio-hosting sites and call it a day. There’s nothing wrong with that; outside of creatives, most marketing professionals don’t have a portfolio. So having anything at all – even something very straightforward – gives you a huge advantage over competitors for a job. But businesses want marketing professionals who can bring innovative ideas and new perspectives to the table in all aspects of their marketing. If you think of an unconventional or clever way to display your past work and experience, that goes a long way towards making yourself stand above others in your field.”
This matters for your CV because not only should your CV be equally creative and unique - it should reflect your portfolio. It’s all part of building that personal brand - which doesn’t stop at the CV stage.
2. Showcase your content and networking skills through guest blogging
Guest blogging may not seem like something you do to help your CV, but in the digital marketing world, nothing is in silo. This is ‘extracurricular’ digital marketing experience that goes on both your CV and portfolio, and helps to show employers how driven you are. TwelveSkip says:
“Once accepted, you need to write a useful blog post. High-quality content is important in guest blogging. This is especially true if you’re just starting out. Before you submit a guest post, you need to make sure that the post is well-written and well-researched. You should also know how they format their content. Are they using subheadings? Do they like long paragraphs? Do they use a lot of whitespace? Keep in mind that most guest bloggers are taking this concept very seriously. If you don’t know how to create a good post, then hire someone to do it for you.“
That element of quality is critical, because it’s both your personal brand and somewhere your CV will direct recruiters to. So take it seriously.
3. Freelance to gain good references
The following points about the importance of good references on a CV are from a Career Builder survey a few years back:
- 80% of the hiring managers and human resource professionals surveyed said they do contact references when evaluating a job candidate. 16% contact references before they even set up an interview.
- 69% said they have changed their minds about hiring a job candidate based on the input received from a reference.
- 47% said they had a less favourable opinion of the job candidate after speaking to a reference. Just 23% reported having a more favourable opinion.
It’s clear that references are going to be critical to landing your dream job, particularly if you’re really just starting out. So go freelance, go find work in the field any way you can, and work hard to make a good impression and pick up quality references.
4. Don’t forget to customise!
Customising your CV and cover letter for every application sucks. We know. But you need to do it. CNBC’s business blog wrote the following:
“Adjust the wording and what parts of your work you highlight so that it aligns with what the job posting entails. For example, an entry-level videographer should have three slightly different versions of her resume that showcase different abilities for jobs in video shooting, editing or producing.”
It just can’t be overstated: if you don’t customise your CV for a job application, it’s like using a rugby ball for golf. Your product needs to fit the target or it won’t stick.
5. Aim for the person, not the company
Finally, a thought for the final edit of the CV rather than the preparation. Lily Herman, writing for Time Magazine, points out that the more personal you can make it the bigger impact it will have. She says:
“If all else fails and you really want to avoid the dreaded “To Whom It May Concern” line, feel free to shoot the company an email. I did this before when I was applying to a company that had a plethora of people on its editorial and HR teams and I had no idea who’d be hiring me.”
The company is who you want to work for, but it is the people at the company who will be (hopefully) hiring you. So yes, company is important and you should customise to match, but the final target market is the recruiter. So make it personal.
Next up: How to Write the Perfect Digital Marketing CV