Some Suggestions for Writing A Resume in Marketing or Communications
About your company
- If you have spent a long time at one company, make sure that you communicate any mergers/restructuring that may have occurred while you were there; it broadens your experience.
- If your company was bought and you went with the acquiring company, show both experiences under the most recent company.
- If your prior company was bought, sold, merged or renamed, show it with the most recent name.
- If your company is small or from another region in the country (or in another country), make sure you include a brief paragraph to explain what the company does and what the equivalent sales are.
About your position
- Use the most common descriptive title for your position and don’t use abbreviations or acronyms. Examples: Advertising Account Representative= Account Executive; CRM Manager=Direct Marketing CRM Manager; RMD = Regional Marketing Director.
- Make sure that your progression of titles will make sense to most readers from other companies. Example: don’t use "Product Manager, Product Specialist, Category Director;" use "Product Manager, Senior Product Manager, Group Product Manager."
- If you have unusual responsibilities for your title, make sure you spell them out.
- Include any unusual reporting structures that you have experienced. Example: a trainee reporting into a Senior Manager; a Director of Public Relations reporting into the President; a Manager with six subordinates or a whole department.
- Weigh the physical (space) description of your jobs in two fashions:
- Write more about most recent assignments, less about early jobs.
- Write more about what is most merchandisable to your next job/anticipated target audience.
- Review for overall flow: Is your progression of titles and responsibility orderly, logical and explained? Can you sell from it?
About your products
- Try to spell out the magnitude of advertising, public relations and promotional dollars for each brand you worked on.
- Give magnitude to your work: cite sales dollars or client revenue or billings, in order to hide confidential numbers, put "in excess of."
- State the number of items/products in the product line (SBU’s); if business–to–business, describe the product or service in some detail.
- Cover any unusual methods of distribution: broker, food service/institutional, mass merchandisers, wholesale only, private label, manufacturer’s rep, etc.
- If applicable, state the phase of product life cycle you were responsible for: concept through test market, test market through rollout, mature maintenance, repositioning, restaging, etc.
- Mention whether the product(s) have local, regional or national distribution and whether they were marketed in a local or national manner.
- If you have worked outside the country: convert brand names to domestic names, show brand shares and be sure to show shares and marketing expenditures and convert by X% US population and dollars.
About your education
- Be sure to show scholarships or graduating honors if earned.
- If you went to foreign schools, convert your degrees to U.S. equivalents.
- Never confer a degree on yourself that you never earned; most companies check all degrees before an offer is made.
- Make sure to state if your education was self–financed.
- After you proofread you resume, have someone else check it. We all know about the presentation that lost its credibility because there was a typo on the first chart.
- Be honest: Don’t take credit for something you didn’t actually do and don’t change dates of employment or of promotion. Remember, it is a very small community and references are checked out before any hire. If a recruiter or a company finds out that you’ve lied, a special notation will go on your file, and you will no longer be a viable candidate.
- Talk to your recruiters if you have any questions about what to include in your resume. Don’t be afraid to be candid; it’s the recruiter’s job to help you package and market yourself.
- Make sure your resume is done in "MS Word" format as a minimum; add others as you wish. E–mail it to a friend to see if it transmits and prints properly.
- Do not drop dates and years of graduation. You are kidding yourself if you really believe a recruiter will present you anywhere without understanding your entire career.
- Functional resumes/non–chronological resumes are a waste of time. Their only purpose is to hide: bad career moves, too many jobs, short stays at companies and "too much experience." As a rule, most recruiters just toss them.
- Untargeted e–mail campaigns are just another variety of spam. They are deleted, either by automatic filtering or a fast mouse click.
- "Objective" is best done in the cover letter to your resume, where you marry your background to the opportunity at the target company. If you are afraid that your resume may stand alone, limit the objective to one sentence.
- "Executive Summary" is never read and a waste of space.
- Personal information – keep it short.
- Graphics – make sure your resume is easy to read, has enough open space, is graphically logical and uses few typefaces. Utilize no less than 12–point type for body copy. Colored paper, cute graphics or monograms are a no–no.
- Page length: one page for 1–4 years of experience; two pages for 5 or more years; three pages if your company or duties require extra explanation.
- There are three ways to handle your portfolio or reel: have a portfolio and tape available, reduce your materials to a CD/DVD, or place them on your personal business website (not on your personal, personal one)!
- Be sure to include your expertise in software. Most people expect you to be competent in Word, Excel and PowerPoint. List expertise in products like Dreamweaver, Access, SPSS, iMovie, etc.