If you are looking for a job as a professional marketer, your resume is your #1 sales tool for success. While a great resume will get you noticed and help you land interviews, a poor one will leave you pounding the pavement on your job search path with no end in sight.
But what makes a great resume? Today's marketing professionals need to accomplish more with their resumes. Before you can impress an employer with your skills and achievements during a face-to-face meeting, you must get past resume screening software that's designed to weed out unsuitable candidates--and even if you make it, you are still competing with hundreds of other resumes for just a limited number of interview slots.
Strategic use of marketing resume buzzwords (a.k.a. keywords) will help you significantly increase your chances of landing a great marketing job. Keywords are essential for every step of the job search process because recruiters and hiring managers use keywords to search online job boards as well as their own applicant database for appropriate candidates. To help get you started, here are some tips and best practices surrounding the hottest resume buzzwords for marketing pros.
Be precise with your buzzwords
Broad resume keywords like "marketing professional" or "sales experience" will not help you stand out because every candidate will incorporate these words and phrases. Be different! Choose your wording carefully, and use buzzwords that describe your specific skills and experiences--rather than "marketing professional," consider opting for something unique and impactful such as "market research and segmentation expert" or "social media marketing experience."
Choose the right location and frequency
Your resume should contain plenty of buzzwords that can get you noticed, but not so many that the resume reads like a robotic attempt to gain attention. A good rule of thumb is to choose 25 to 35 specific, descriptive, and relevant keywords and phrases to weave into your resume. When determining placement, be sure to feature your best keywords within the top third of the first page of your resume -- this location is known as the "above the fold area," which is a term derived from the portion above the horizontal fold on a newspaper that must capture the readers' attention in order to gain interest immediately - and it is also the first section hiring managers will see when reviewing your resume online. Quick test: 1) Fold your resume in half from top to bottom; 2) Read the portion above the line; 3) Would YOU call you?
General marketing buzzwords to use (and some to avoid)
In addition to well-chosen marketing keywords, there are some general buzzwords that are more powerful and likely to grab the attention of hiring managers. There are also some with the power to turn hiring managers off and get your resume discarded. A 2014 survey from CareerBuilder looked at the best and worst resume keywords as described by hiring managers and human resources personnel.
From that, they identified the top 10 words and phrases to avoid using on your marketing resume are: Best of breed, go-getter, think outside of the box, synergy, go-to person, thought leadership, value add, results-driven, team player, bottom-line. For the most part, these terms are overused and played out, and hiring managers are tired of hearing them. The "worst" list also included terms that are still viewed by many as essential and effective, such as dynamic, detail-oriented, and self-motivated.
What are the right resume buzzwords to use? The CareerBuilder survey found that hiring managers are drawn to results-driven terms (as long as the phrase "results-driven" isn't actually used), including: Achieved, improved, trained/mentored, managed, created, resolved, volunteered, influenced, increased/decreased, ideas, negotiated, launched, revenue/profits, under budget, won
There is a primary difference between these two sets of buzzwords or keywords. The first, or "worst" set, is a list of terms you can use to ascribe great qualities to yourself--while the second, or "best" set, contains terms that ascribe success to you in tangible, provable ways. Hiring managers do not want to take your word that you are a great marketer. Instead, they want your achievements to stand for themselves, and these powerful words can demonstrate your value as a candidate.
Best marketing resume buzzwords for 2014
The role of the marketing professional is constantly evolving, particularly as increased emphasis is placed on digital marketing strategies. Some of the most in-demand keywords or buzzwords for marketing resumes in the current job market include:
If you are just starting your marketing job search, or if you've been submitting your resume with little to no success, apply these keywords strategically and enjoy a much higher submission-to-interview rate. Need help? Contact our team at Clearpoint½we are happy to help.
Clearpoint is a staffing agency for jobs in information technology, marketing, creative, and other professionals. We do business by building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with our employees and clients.