The Marketing Executive Resume: Marketing the Marketer
“Physician, heal thyself” is a biblical injunction to be heeded in all sorts of circumstances, but, for job seekers, it rings particularly true for those seeking employment in one field: marketing. Hence, the importance of the marketing executive resume.
Begin with the premise that every resume is, at heart, a highly-targeted marketing piece, designed to sell something unique to a very critical and very limited audience. That audience is made up of potential employers. The “something unique” that you’re selling is you, the marketing professional, someone who knows a thing or two about sales. If your own resume fails to do a first-class job of marketing your value, what does that say about your professional competence in general? After all, you come to the job market as the marketing expert.
Here is an opportunity to let employers see that expertise in action. If a marketing professional cannot market herself with the best possible resume, what chance is there that she will turn out to be a star if hired?
"It’s all about the benefits you provide"
Marketing yourself is not that different from marketing a product, and you can apply many of the principles that underlie any campaign apply to your own resume. In effect, you are building a brand. The first order of business is to differentiate your brand from the competition. With all those other job seekers out there promoting their own brands, you need to stand out.
• Create a resume that commands attention from the start.
• Keep the focus firmly on your value, especially the concrete value you have brought to previous employers.
• Engage hiring managers with a succinct statement of your biggest and best accomplishments, and try to view those accomplishments through the eyes of a prospective employer.
The resume should always tell the story of the ways in which your work did very good things for past employers.
"Here is an opportunity to let employers see that expertise in action."
To really drive that point home, apply another lesson from Marketing 101: People don’t care about the wealth of features your product offers; they care about what your product will do for them. In other words, it’s all about the benefits you provide.
Those benefits do not come alive on the page if your resume consists of a list of job titles and responsibilities. Instead of listing tasks you performed, get a hiring manager’s attention by focusing on your specific accomplishments, especially if you can quantify those accomplishments.
For every past position, try to back your claims with numbers. If market share increased following a campaign that you created, make that increase a bullet point. If sales improved, make that a highlight. Even if sales were not soaring, and that’s not unusual in a tough economy, your approach may have helped your company do more with less. That should be a point of emphasis.
"Try to back your claims with numbers."
Even the savviest marketing professionals, the ones who can create winning strategies for everything from antacids to zippers, can find it difficult to market themselves. Perhaps it’s too close to home, a predicament akin to that of the lawyer who represents himself and has a fool for a client. In that case, another pair of eyes can be a blessing, especially if those eyes have experience in the very specific world of the job search. Your resume may be the most significant marketing tool of your career, and professional help can take it to the next level.