If you're a marketing student, how do you plan to advertise yourself to your future employer? If you're still wrestling with this, here are some ideas and tips to get you thinking.
Detail Your Experiences In Story Format
When you write your resume, take the time to describe every item on that resume in essential details. Remember: your employer doesn't know where you've worked and what you've worked on in the past.
Telling short stories (one short paragraph maximum) about your past accomplishments and how you applied your skills to your previous positions helps your employer better understand your value to the company.
Why use "stories?" Because people relate more to them. When you demonstrate what you've done for other companies, and make it relatable to your potential future employer, you're forging a connection, getting the employer invested in you, and making it more difficult to choose another candidate.
If your resume is a list of dry facts, it's easy to forget about you or de-personalize the interview.
Highlight Relevant Internship Experience
Internships aren't completely useless or meaningless, but they're not as useful as you might think. Have a section of your resume that reads "Internship Experience" instead of "Previous Experience." Previous experience sounds dull and could mean anything, from a work history perspective.
Your internship experience should be relevant, however, to the company you want to work for. Make it clear that you have internship experience, but also make it clear that you did more than fetch coffees all day for senior management.
Your employer will want to know what you know about the industry, that you know how organizations operate, and that you have a working understanding of the marketing business and not just academic theories.
Ditch Your GPA Unless It's Outstanding
Your employer isn't going to be impressed with a GPA of 3. But, if it's above 3.7 or 3.8, include it. It's becoming more rare to see that, and it sets you apart from everyone else. If you don't have a high GPA, take it off your resume. Seriously. Not only does it not help, it might hurt.
If it's requested, of course hand it over.
Tailor Your Resume
A lot of marketing majors have several different experiences concerning on-campus positions – including part-time jobs and internships. You should tailor your resume for each individual employer so that you make yourself relevant to that company.
Consider additional marketing certification from Simplilearn.com that seem to fit with the company's culture or general skillset shared by the most successful employees that work there.
Keep It To One Page
Don't go on and on about yourself in your resume. Ideally, it will be a one-page document with lots of bullet points. These days, resumes that are more than one page end up in the trash can. Should you print on both sides? No. If you need a little extra space, you can decrease the font size a little but don't go crazy with it.
Your future prospective employer shouldn't need a magnifying glass to check your qualifications. Also, the more difficult you make it to review your resume, the lower your chances are of getting the job.
Use Social Profiles
Social profiles are a double-edged sword, so use them wisely. Done right, they can expand your resume for "optional information."
Include logos right in your resume for your public Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles. These profiles should be kept separate from your private "friends only" profiles. You could use simple words or phrases like "connect with me" or just include your Twitter handle or Facebook username.
Make sure it's easy for the employer to type into the social networking site's search engine.
Use Bullet Points
Using bullet points makes your skills stand out and puts them in an easy-to-read format. You're going into marketing, so bullet points should feel very natural to you.
Emphasize benefits, not features. How can you benefit the company? For example, instead of bullet-pointing that you have a marketing degree, tell your employer what you've done in other jobs to improve the company's bottom line. Maybe you've reduced operating expenses in a department by 30 percent.
Maybe you helped work on a campaign that brought in 15 percent more revenue.
Let your employer know this. It's way more persuasive than telling him or her about the classes you took in college. Sure, they want to know that you have a degree. But after that, they want you to answer the follow-up question: "So what?"
If you can't do that in quick, bite-sized, bullets, you're not proving yourself as a marketer.
Include Impressive Skills
Don't include boring or mundane skills like "Microsoft Word." First of all, every marketing major should be able to use all the major word processing apps. What employers want to see is that you can use more sophisticated programs like Excel, Photoshop, and even Final Cut Pro X.
List those on your resume, and be ready to demonstrate how awesome you are at them, and you'll be ahead of the competition.
Since most candidates focus on "core job skills," employers will automatically assume you have all the basics and then some. And, that's always a good position to be in.
Don't Get Too Crazy
There's "making it pop" and then there's going overboard. When you're a marketing major, building a perfect resume can be difficult. You do want something that's eye-catching, but if you overdo it, it looks cheesy and forced at best – disingenuous or phony at worst.
A good general approach is to include all of your essential information first, and then go back and jazz it up with accent color, play with the font size, and style.
If you do use color, use one. Not two, not three. One.
Play with different layouts, and try to come up with one that is easy on the eyes and flows naturally. Use high-contrast between the paper stock and the text. Finally, pass it around to a few of your critical friends for constructive feedback. If they were an employer, and not your friend, would they hire you?
By Siva Kumar
Siva is a growth hacker, blogger, social media marketer, content strategist and content manager for Simplilearn. He enjoys sharing his research and ideas online.