As one user discussing what it takes to become a social media manager on Reddit put it: “Every young person with a Snapchat account considers themselves a social media manager these days.”
That’s your challenge. You’ve got tons of competition because the barrier to entry is so low.
But if you can excel, the potential rewards are big. Plenty of social media managers end up starting their own firms, and growing them into thriving businesses.
You just need to get your foot in the door and get the chance to show what you can do.
This guide will show you how. We’ll walk you through every single resume section and give you expert advice on how to optimize each one.
This social media manager resume guide will teach you:
✔ Why choosing the right resume layout for your experience is vital
✔ How to create an effective resume header that makes a strong first impression
✔ How to write a compelling professional summary or objective
✔ Why the way you present your experience is just as important as what it is
✔ Which core skills are most valued by people hiring social media managers
✔ How to use big data to gain critical insights into what other social media managers are doing to get hired
Social media manager resume examples
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What type of social media manager resume works best?
If you’ve been working as a social media manager for years, a classic reverse-chronological resume works best. Your work experience should be front and center, as it’s going to show you’ve got what it takes.
On the other hand, if you’re like many applicants and your social media experience has come from lots of formal and informal work over time, a hybrid resume might be better. This is when you emphasize your skills while also including your work experience.
Either way, one truism applies:
These are the sections we find are most effective for showing social media management experience and skills:
What your resume header is probably missing
As a social media manager, you’re expected to be meticulous. Those 100 flawless posts don’t mean very much if the 101st has an embarrassing error in it.
That’s why your resume should be flawless, starting with the header.
Put simply, you need your name, contact information (phone and a professional email), and location (the city is enough) as a baseline. But a great header also has websites that show your social media skills and certifications.
In other words, before the hiring manager even gets past the header, they can already see that you’re confident and qualified.
Right there you have two resume headers from the same person, but each one leaves a very different impression.
Show you can write and tell your story in your professional summary
If your social media management experience is spread out through many different jobs, non work experience, etc. a quick objective or summary can help tie it together.
Also, you need to show that you can write well and a compelling professional summary is the ideal place to do that on a resume.
Here are two examples to illustrate how to do it well and poorly:
This summary focuses on hitting the pain points most people hiring a social media manager have. It specifically mentions saving them time (by working independently), increasing engagement, and boosting revenue. Throughout, it avoids “I” statements and uses specifics when possible.
Now compare that to another version:
This summary commits several cardinal sins of social media management. First, it promises to increase subscribers by a specific amount without mentioning engagement (usually a red flag for fake accounts). Next, it’s vague about where the applicant’s actual skills lay.
To most hiring managers, this reads as “pay me and I’ll build you a fake audience”.
What’s the most effective way to include your social media manager resume experience?
In a discussion on how to get hired as a freelance social media manager, one experienced professional put it this way:
That’s the goal of your experience section: show you’ve gotten results so the hiring manager has a reason to hire you. Figure out what the needs of that person and the company in general are and frame your experience around showing you can meet those needs.
Below are two examples describing the same exact work experience, look at what a difference the framing makes:
Those three bullets tell you that this person:
- Brings revenue
- Saves time
- Is self motivated enough to learn new skills and develop new more efficient processes
In other words, in three short bullets this candidate has shown that they can check all of the major boxes most hiring managers have for a social media manager.
Now look at that same person with the same experience but phrased differently:
This one falls flat, it doesn’t definitely prove a single one of those three critical points mentioned above. They “increased leads” but by how much? They automated activities, but to what end? They used photoshop, but what does that tell us about them?
Does your social media manager resume need an education section?
There’s no BA in Social Media Management out there, so a college degree usually isn’t a prerequisite. A hiring manager is far more concerned with your proven experience than education.
Still, if you have a related degree in something like marketing, communications, or business management, it’s worth mentioning. If you graduated recently, include some details about what you learned or accomplished during your education. Otherwise, simply listing the school, dates, and degree is sufficient.
How should you decide which skills to include and emphasize?
The best skills to include are always going to be the ones requested in the job offer.
However, not all skills are equal. One social media manager put it this way:
Skills that can’t be learned quickly are more valuable. You should also try to demonstrate that you have those skills as much as possible. Anyone can say they’re a good writer or are well organized, giving examples is going to make that skill stand out.
Wherever you list your skills, try and include examples of instances when you demonstrated those skills.
Here are 18 social media management skills you should consider including:
How to include your certifications on your resume
If you have just one or two relevant certifications, you can simply include them in your header (as was demonstrated above). However, if you have more it makes sense to create a dedicated certification section for them.
While certifications generally aren’t a requirement, they are a great way to concretely demonstrate skills in a particular area. If a job requires, for example, extensive work on LinkedIn but you don’t have experience there, a certification is also a great way to quickly build up a basic skill level.
We used big data to get you critical insights
Your social media manager resume is never going to exist in a vacuum. Any hiring manager looking at it is also looking at dozens of others. That’s why you need to know what the competition is doing.
We analyzed thousands of social media manager resumes and job offers to understand what skills are most frequent and where they show up. You can see how often each skill appears in resumes and job offers to get a feel for which skills are most in demand.
In short, what makes a social media manager resume work?
To get hired as a social media manager, you need to:
- Show you can save time by automating work and being efficient
- Demonstrate that you can build engaged social communities, not just wastelands of fake accounts
- Show that you can translate social media success into revenue (or whichever ultimate metric is most important for that organization)
- Make it clear that you’re independent, ready to try new platforms and software when needed, develop new skills, and generally operate without someone looking over your shoulder all the time