How to Write a Marketing CV

Marketing is a multi-faceted profession and this adds complexity to the task of writing your Marketing CV. Your CV has to market your skills, experience and achievements to your next prospective employer who has to find it appealing enough that they want to give you an interview.

As a marketing professional you need to demonstrate on your CV that you can think strategically to further your employer's objectives, through research into produce and service development, as well as to plan marketing campaigns to ensure adequate levels of consumption of those products and services.

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Marketing CV Profile

All information in your Marketing CV should be presented in a concise fashion and nowhere more so, than in the profile at the top. This summary of your candidacy is just 3 to 4 sentences long and should tell the recruiting employer exactly why they should read your full CV and then invite you to interviews for marketing jobs.

In other words, the effect should be near instantaneous, so this snapshot should sell you in record time, leaving no time for doubt.

Marketing as a profession requires a large amount of energy and motivation, confident decision making, the ability to respond to change, the ability to multitask and, above all, willingness to work under pressure. Add to this creativity, original thinking and innovation, balanced with the ability to work to budgets.

As marketing people rarely work alone, you also need to emphasise teamwork on your Marketing CV - you may be a team leader or a team member, but always mention it. Passion is certainly required in marketing.

As a CV service, we recommend you use your profile to focus on the area of marketing that really interests and motivates you, ensuring that it is relevant to the vacancy (if it's not, focus on another area).

When writing your profile, state the number of years' relevant experience that you have in the relevant sector of marketing or industry. Mention the main areas that you specialise in, such as product development, promotions or sales, along with two to three outstanding skills.

You also need to highlight some key strengths, which may be more associated with your personal transferable skills, such as problem-solving, communication, team-building, etc.

Remember, marketing is a huge industry, so the particular blend of knowledge, skills and abilities will vary according to the individual professional and industry. Consequently there are inherent challenges to conveying your particular combination of analytical and creative capabilities in your Marketing CV.

Achievements for a Marketing CV

As a marketing professional, you will already understand the value of communicating benefits, rather than just describing features.

It is the same with your Marketing CV and nowhere more so than in the achievements section.

You don't have to be involved directly with sales in order to sell the benefits of employing you to a recruiter, by outlining how you have improved results in the past. It's all about demonstrating your impact on a business.

This involves highlighting the ways in which you made a difference through your contribution, either as an individual or as a member of a team. These are written up as 5 to 6 bullet pointed sentences.

To make your contribution specific, you need to quantify them in some way. The most effective achievements nearly always include quantification, as this enables the employer to mentally translate that result into their business, thereby seeing how you could make a difference for them as well.

Your achievements should focus on factors such as: how much profit was made, how much expenditure was saved, time factor reduced, business developed, people recruited, new customers attracted, repeat sales, new telephone enquiries, Facebook sign-ups, etc.

These will show in the Achievements Section of your Marketing CV how your decisions and input made a positive impact on your previous or current employers' business. Your statements start to sound like evidence.

If your roles have been closely involved with sales, then you can mention sales targets and results that you achieved. Percentage or total lead generation, effective sales tracking or repeat orders can be listed. Bonus payments or percentage commission (OTE) can also be included, providing the figures are good.

One recommended way of writing up achievements is to focus on SAR - Situation, Action and Result. In other words, what you were responding to, the action you took to make something change, and the result that your action yielded.

Of course, to write up an achievement and make it interesting, it's far better to start the sentence of with the action - in this case, your action. Verbs and adverbs carry far more energy and also personalise your statement.

In presenting your achievements, it's also important to refer to the thinking that underpinned your actions. While you may be a creative thinker, your ideas are usually a response to a particular set of circumstances.

This can be your 'situation' - the marketing information or intelligence you responded to. The recruiter will value this, for while inspiration is important in marketing decision-making, no employer wants reckless decision-making.

Include timescales in your Marketing CV Achievements. Employers wish to know how quickly you can achieve results, as this has a considerable effect on the bottom line.

Recruiters do not want to employ an overcautious professional - rather, they value a professional who can persuade them of a positive course of action by providing a foundation of research. Therefore, always mention the considerations that were involved and that you had to evaluate.

If your employer has been through a difficult time in the current economic climate, it is still possible to write up achievements. A negative situation is still a situation, so you can communicate your ability to minimise the effects of a downturn in business or a reduction in workforce.

Above all, always be specific and narrow the focus to specify how you employed these skills. For instance, if you have skills relating to e-commerce, always highlight the exact skills that you used, followed by the results. Provide as much detail as possible, without going on at length.

Career History on Your Marketing CV

Your career history should be, as far as possible, a continuation of your achievements section on your Marketing CV.

Never fall into the trap of writing about 'responsibilities' and, worse, starting sentences with 'Responsible for ...' It's important that your descriptions spring to life, rather than reading like a dull job specification document.

In this respect, you should always focus on what you actually did in a job, rather than what you were contracted to do. Try not to be repetitious though - even if you worked in a similar way at more than one job, try to approach the description in a different way.

Some commentators say that you should even change job titles you've held in order to better reflect the actual work that you did. However, there's always the risk that your change to the wording will show up at some point and you risk losing integrity.

First, present your job title, the employer's name and inclusive dates of employment on one line. Beneath this, list 5-6 areas of your activities. (You only need list the jobs you've held in the past 10 years, as those prior to this will not be relevant in terms of technologies and strategies used.)

As a marketing professional, you need to ensure the Career History on your Marketing CV covers several key areas. First, your understanding of the relevant marketplace is fundamental and should be evidenced over and over. No employer will be interested in your skills if they're not convinced that you can adapt to their industry or sector.

Always demonstrate the connection between strategic thinking and effective actions that have a positive impact on the business. You should show understanding of a wide range of processes and actions: research, planning, market modelling and segmentation, brand development, offerings, pricing, press and PR, etc. Again, be guided by the requirements of the vacancy you're applying for.

An understanding of budgetary planning and projection is important, even if you don't manage a budget. Likewise, you need to show an understanding of organisational structure and the competing needs of different areas.

Communication within a team is always but always vital, whether it's the marketing team itself or the wider business and managers in other departments. You will usually also need to show that you can interface with and negotiate with agencies, suppliers and service providers outside the organisation.

Technology is a huge aspect of marketing, so you need to show your ability and to use marketing tools and models and associated software. Always provide a context for your activities.

Other basic marketing skills include verbal and written communication, writing and presenting proposals and reports, etc.

Marketing CV Qualifications and Training

It is possible to enter marketing from other areas of the organisation, but it's increasingly rare to apply successfully for the better positions if you don't have marketing qualifications.

Commence by listing your most recent high-level qualification, whether this is a chartered postgraduate diploma or a degree.

If you have a marketing or business degree, listing the degree, the class you attained (if it's above a division 2), and the academic institution you attended. Give the year you completed the degree, providing it's within the past 10 years.

If you have completed a Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) chartered postgraduate diploma, this can be listed above your degree qualifications. Provide details in the same way.

For other non-chartered CIM certificates or diplomas, list the accredited study centre along with the other details of your study. With so many specialist qualifications now available, particularly in digital marketing, it's acceptable to add a line or two regarding the focus of the diploma.

There is no need to include details of your pre-university education.

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