Getting good consulting gigs is always harder than it seems.
But if you’re having trouble, the way you approach your Digital Marketing Consultant resume could be a big contributor.
It’s as if you stepped into an in-house marketing role and treated it like an agency client. Ostensibly it’s all digital marketing, but the way you approach it makes all the difference.
That’s how potential consulting clients feel when you hand them a resume designed to get you a traditional digital marketing job. They’re thinking “okay, I know you can do in-house work, but how do I know can you be an effective consultant?”
They don’t, that’s the problem!
You need a totally different approach, one specifically designed for digital marketing consultants.
A great digital marketing consultant resume needs to show:
- You’re easy to work with
- You have a track record of getting results for clients
- You can budget your time well
- You’re independent
- You can effectively diagnose a client’s digital marketing challenges
The big difference is that you need to demonstrate that you can be efficient with your work.
We’re going to walk you through exactly how to approach your Digital Marketing Consultant resume to get those big clients and find success as a consultant.
What you’ll learn here:
- Go through two Digital Marketing Consultant resumes that would stand out 9/10 times
- See how you can write a professional summary that tells a compelling story.
- What makes digital marketing consultant work experience compelling to potential clients.
- Whether your resume needs an education, client testimonial, or certification section.
- How to choose the right skills to emphasize.
Looking for related resumes?
How to write a Digital Marketing Consultant Resume
Before you start writing your resume, consider what the client wants. On a broad level, when someone looks for Digital Marketing Consultant they look for:
- A Strategic advisor
- An Operational Manager to improve day to day marketing work
- A specialist to improve upon a niche marketing space
- A generalist
You've to categorize the job/opportunity you're applying in one of the above categories. Once you do that, you'll shape your resume according to it.
Once you've decided, you need to think about how your resume is going to look and feel. This is where your Digital Marketing Consultant resume's layout and design comes in.
The following resume layout worked best for Digital Marketing Consultants:
- Hybrid Resume Layout - Best for a role that isn't focused on a niche experience
- Reverse Chronological Layout - Well suited if you're applying as a niche specialist
If you wish to read more about those resume layouts, here’s a nice explanation that goes a lot more in depth.
Education and certification sections can be used (more on how to decide that below), but the focus should be on the results you’ve gotten for clients. It’s as simple as that. Client testimonials are a nice addition because they touch on the “are you easy to work with” element that’s harder to get from a list of results.
The one thing a Digital Marketing Consultant resume header needs
Frankly, this should be a no-brainer but you’d be shocked how many digital marketing consultants miss it.
You need a portfolio website and an (active!) LinkedIn account. First, simply because both are tremendously useful in building the kind of reputation and networks that bring you great clients.
But as far as your resume is concerned, links to a personal site and LinkedIn also belong right up at the top in your resume header.
Those two sites should, alongside your resume, show happy clients, testimonials, and that you’re someone who’s engaged in the digital marketing world.
Show who you are in professional summary
A potential client reviewing your resume has a few basic questions they want answered quickly:
- Are you a niche consultant or do you do more broad work (obviously with your specializations included)?
- Do you have more experience in B2B or B2C marketing?
- What size clients do you have experience with (early stage startups or well-established brands?)
All of that information can be gleaned from looking at your work experience, but you need to make it easier than that.
A quick professional summary is the perfect way.
Quickly and concisely answer those key questions so potential clients can get a feel for you in seconds. Trust us, they’ll appreciate it.
In just 38 words you have a clear picture of this candidate’s experience and specializations. Now let’s look at how most digital marketing consultants write their summaries.
Vague platitudes and promises aren’t going to get you far here. Don’t waste the client’s time, be specific and tell them exactly the information they need.
Your Digital Marketing Consultant experience on Resume
There are two ways to go about this. For regular digital marketing experience, a typical work experience section will work fine.
However, this layout is designed for just a few jobs. As a marketing consultant, if you’re not working with individual large clients over long periods, you can use a projects section instead.
Remember, focus on showing what value you delivered in what time frame. No company looking to hire a consultant is interested in their responsibilities or vague achievements.
This description begins by defining the scope of the consulting work to give an idea of how involved you were to get these results. It then clearly outlines what the consultant did and what the results were. It’s clear and to the point.
Now let’s see what that consulting experience would look like presented differently.
Now let’s see an example of a shorter-term project.
Again, clarity is key. It’s absolutely clear what was done as a consultant, what resulted, and all with key metrics.
This version has some specifics but not nearly enough. Gaining followers doesn’t mean very much, you need accompanying metrics to show they were the right followers (conversions). It’s also important to know how much money was spent acquiring those followers. In other words, there’s just not enough information to know whether this consulting was successful.
Do you need an education section?
A potential client is probably less concerned with where you went to university because they’re not looking to hire and develop you as an employee.
If you went to a prestigious school or have a highly relevant degree, including it isn’t going to hurt. But, you should ask yourself whether including your education adds any valuable information to potential clients and consider not including it if not.
The importance of client testimonials
While including quotes from previous employers is generally better for your LinkedIn profile than your resume, they carry more weight for a consultant. That’s because, as mentioned, the experience of working with you is an enormous hiring criterion.
So, consider including client testimonials either in a dedicated section or within your work/project experience.
How should you decide which skills to include and emphasize?
You need to understand that everybody is not an expert in digital marketing when you talk with a CEO or a developer. It sounds obvious but it’s a mistake a lot of marketers actually do, including myself earlier in my career. It's basic marketing, adapt to your audience.
Derlyn’s advice plays out when you’re framing your experience. A company might be looking to hire a digital marketing consultant because they don’t know the first thing about digital marketing or because they want some of your specific expertise.
That reasoning is going to affect how you show your skills. If the potential client isn’t very familiar with digital marketing, frame your skills (and experience) in a way that makes sense to them, avoiding jargon.
If they’re more familiar with what you do, just be sure you reflect the terms they use in their communications with you about the position. So, if they talk about CAC optimization or strategic planning, don’t mention “customer acquisition and strategy planning experience.”
Communication and persuasion are particularly important for digital marketing consultants. Lee Odden explains why:
The best digital marketing advice in the world is useless if it’s never implemented.
In other words, the skills needed to be a great consultant are a bit different than your typical digital marketer. You need a strong combination of the hard skills to succeed and the soft skills to sell yourself and your accomplishments to your clients.
How to include your certifications on your resume
Including certifications can be a useful shorthand for a less experienced digital marketing consultant. But, ultimately your resume is going to live or die based on the results you’ve gotten for clients.
Nobody is going to want to hire someone with “book knowledge” of digital marketing and just hope they’ll work in a consulting role. So, use certifications if they can help show greater expertise in some areas, but don’t rely on them.
How to write a great digital marketing consultant resume
- Don’t treat your resume like it’s one for an in-house or agency role.
- Frame everything around client needs, focus on giving them exactly the information they need to hire you and nothing else.
- Use client testimonials to show you’re easy to work with in addition to effective at getting results.
- Consider your audience when choosing how to frame your experience and skills, choosing language that will make sense to those people.