There are many ways to evaluate resumes and job applications. Skills, experience, references, career progression. But there's one quality that tops the list. One quality that is a great sign of a quality candidate who can have a positive impact on your marketing team.
The #1 quality of a good Marketing resume? Results.
Unfortunately, there are many resumes that lack this results-orientation. For a hiring manager like myself, that makes for a quick filtering process. But it also hits a nerve, because I know that marketers should be - and are - better than that.
Oftentimes, I see bullet points on resumes stating "Managed XYZ" or "Responsible for ABC." For example, "Managed social media channels, published content to Twitter and Facebook regularly" or "Responsible for optimizing website to find new conversion opportunities." The main problem with this is that it doesn't touch on why this matters or if it was successful. What impact did social media publishing have? Did the website optimization projects result in more conversions? If the results aren't stated, I'm led to assume that either (1) the candidate is more focused on tasks than outcomes and/or (2) while responsible for that task, they weren't successful in achieving set goals.
In a few recent cases, usually entry level resumes, I've seen statements around "Learned XYZ" or "Got experience doing ABC." Firstly, I'll say that I very much value a candidate who wants to learn and who learns quickly. But stating that you learned or got experience with something on your resume makes me think one of two things: (1) you're more focused on what you'll get out of the job experience vs. what you can give (while both are valid, a resume is a place where you should lead with the latter), or (2) you got exposure to something but didn't accomplish anything with that new skill.
Results can be outside of work too.
If a candidate is low on work experience, it doesn't mean they can't show results. A personal website, a volunteer opportunity, or other side project is a great way to get experience and show their stuff. When I was interviewing for my first job out of college, I talked about my internship experiences, my personal blog, and the website I had started for my undergrad departmental society. With so many resources available online, you can learn and try out many new skills without being limited by your work responsibilities.
The reason this hits a nerve? The Marketing industry has changed, but in many companies, Marketing is still seen as a nice-to-have department rather than a revenue-driving engine. As marketers, we need to do some amount of marketing ourselves to show the impact that we can have on metrics that are critical to business success.
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