You have years of marketing experience, plenty of accomplishments under your belt, and you’re looking to take your career to the next level as a marketing manager.
But you’re not getting calls for interviews.
Chances are, it’s your marketing manager resume. Here’s what’s probably wrong:
- It’s not tailored to the position you’re applying for (they’re looking for someone with experience leading SEO-driven content teams and you’ve mostly worked on paid marketing and link-building)
- It doesn’t quantify your accomplishments (the reader knows you managed some email marketing campaigns but has no idea what results you got)
- It’s generic and doesn’t convey any interest in keeping on top of the latest marketing trends
To be fair, there are many more possible issues, but these are the big ones (we’ll talk about everything else below).
You need to show you have the right skills. As one senior marketer put it:
Now let’s see what that advice looks like in practice.
This marketing manager resume guide will teach you:
✔ How to tailor your resume to the position to boost your chance of success
✔ What makes a marketing manager resume header a secret weapon
✔ How to write a compelling summary that will leave an impression
✔ How to frame your marketing experience to make it more compelling
✔ Which skills make the most impact on a hiring manager
Marketing Manager resume example
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How to write the best marketing manager resume
The first thing to nail is the format. Before the hiring manager reads a word, that’s what they’re going to notice. Because you’re expected to be an experienced marketer, a reverse-chronological format which focuses on your past work experience is ideal.
Within that format, these are the sections we’ve found to be most effective for marketing managers:
There’s one resume section you barely think about, but it could be getting you rejected
Think about how little time you’ve spent on your resume headers. Name, email, title, done, right?
Now imagine if you spent that little time on the header of a Google or Facebook ad?
You wouldn’t dream of it.
If it seems a bit crazy to take that much time to write ad copy and neglect the header of the resume that could get you your next marketing manager position, that’s because it is.
The right header speaks volumes, projects confidence, and makes a strong first impression.
The difference is subtle but important. Certifications and relevant links show someone who’s lives and breathes marketing as opposed to someone just doing the bare minimum.
How to write a marketing manager resume objective or summary
A great marketing manager should ideally be a great writer as well. Most of the time you’ll be responsible for managing some type of copy, so it makes sense to show off your writing skills in a great resume summary
Think of this as your 30 second elevator pitch, a quick summary that’s going to grab the recruiter’s attention by telling a compelling story backed up by metrics.
Let’s see a good example and a less than good example:
This summary fits a lot into a space space. Let’s break down all the messages it sends:
- It explains that this marketing manager has largely worked in content marketing. This is important because a marketing manager can specialize in any number of areas. Emphasize your experience in the area the job offer is looking for.
- It presents strong and specific success metrics. This makes it clear that this candidate gets things done. It’s also specific about the type of company this worked for.
- It then shows that this candidate cares about process as well as strategy, fixing what was clearly a broken team dynamic and CMS. This portion highlights the people management element of being a marketing manager.
Now let’s compare that to another version of a marketing manager resume summary written for the same candidate.
Okay, there’s a lot to unpack here. Let’s look at all the things that went wrong here:
- They referred to themselves as “I”, generally you want to avoid this in resume summaries.
- It’s vague to the point of being meaningless. What do they mean “a variety of marketing areas” or “diversity of experience”? The hiring manager reading your resume doesn’t have time to investigate what you’re trying to say, so just say it.
- It’s not targeted. The second sentence makes it clear that this is a generic resume summary written to apply to every single marketing manager job offer. This tells the hiring manager that this applicant didn’t care enough to personalize it.
Now that you’ve got a top notch marketing manager resume summary written, let’s get to the most important part of your resume: the work experience.
How should you include work experience?
You can have an absolutely perfect resume header, summary, skills section etc. but if your marketing manager experience section isn’t excellent, don’t expect a callback.
But you’re not the kind of person to slack off here, so let’s dive into what you need to craft the perfect experience section.
In three bullets, it’s clear that this person has had great success in both managing a happy marketing team and getting fantastic results with it. Both core elements of being a marketing manager are addressed: team leadership and raw results.
Now let’s see another version of that same experience section:
Notice the difference?
Take away all of the specifics and focus on results and that impressive experience turns into what can only be described as mediocre.
Does a marketing manager resume need an education section?
Yes, but don’t focus too much on it. Having a relevant degree is a plus, but by the time you’re experienced enough for a marketing manager position, you should be way past graduation.
Your work experience should do the talking, so include what your degree was, the institution, and your graduation year, but that’s about it.
Important marketing manager skills for your resume
Let’s say you’ve just finished a stellar marketing manager resume. You spent days polishing it. You send it to a top choice and… crickets.
Turns out your top choice clearly stated that you need technical SEO skills. You’ve got some experience there but it wasn’t only alluded to in a single bullet point.
The point is, you need to be targeted and strategic about your skills.
As a marketing manager, you're going to need to show you have at least some basic skill level in 7 major categories:
- Social media
- SEO (technical, on-page, off-page, organic)
However, do not pretend you’re an expert in all 7. This just tells the director of marketing that you’re full of it.
You can go for the classic T-Shaped Marketer framework, showing deep knowledge in one area and some knowledge in the other 6.
In general, just be sure you’re showing what the hiring manager and director of marketing want to see. Below, we’ve broken down the soft and hard skills you should focus on:
How to include your certifications on your resume
In general, your experience should do the talking. However, let’s say the marketing manager position you’re applying for wants more email marketing experience than you have?
What are you supposed to do?
Your best bet is to try getting a certification. It’s the best way to quickly boost your skill set in a specific area without the need to spend months or years working on it in a job.
How can big data get you the best marketing manager resume?
As a seasoned marketing professional, you know there’s a lot to be learned by talking to customers, but there’s also plenty to learn from big data sets.
That’s why when creating this guide for you, we both talked to marketing managers and directors and analyzed thousands of marketing manager resumes and job offers.
We focused in on the skills that are most in demand and most often listed on resumes. Here’s what we found:
Our top techniques for the best marketing manager resume
In summary, our best advice boils down to this:
- Tailor your resume to the exact job you’re applying for.
- Quantify your marketing achievements as much as possible.
- Use a reverse chronological resume layout.
- Include certifications and links in your resume header.
- Write a focused professional summary focused on showing you have the right experience and skills for the position.
- Focus on the skills mentioned in the job description and back them up with examples.
- Use certifications to boost your experience.