Talk to enough people who hire social media specialists and you’ll begin to notice a pattern. There’s a lot of:
“I never hire someone unless they…”
“I only hire people who…”
So if you’re having trouble getting hired as a social media specialist, chances are you’re falling into one of these traps.
“In my experience, employers like to hire well-rounded social media candidates, so it’s also important to highlight your writing and design skills. At the same time, pursuing a degree that focuses on writing or communications is key.”
- Amy Newton, senior social media manager, Ignite Visibility
Luckily for you, we’ve analyzed thousands of social media specialist resume examples and spoken to hiring managers to uncover all of the potential pitfalls for you.
This guide will walk you through all of the steps of making the best social media specialist resume.
This guide will teach you:
✔ What resume traps you need to avoid
✔ What hiring manager expect to see in your resume header
✔ How to write a compelling professional summary
✔ How to frame your experience around the top hiring criteria for social media specialists
✔ Which social media marketing skills make the most difference
How to write a social media marketing specialist resume
This process starts with choosing your format.
There are two ways to go about this. If you have years of formal work experience as a social media specialist, a reverse-chronological layout is best. This puts your work experience front and center, which is where your greatest accomplishments will be.
On the other hand, if you’re a more junior social media specialist or if most of your work experience is in various side projects, a hybrid layout is best. This emphasizes your skills and the projects you’ve done.
The top social media specialist resume sections
A resume header with links to social media profiles
A short professional summary
An experience section
A dedicated section for side or passion projects
A skills section with metrics to back them up
(sometimes) an education section
You’re probably underestimating the importance of your resume header
Here’s the first trap that’s easy to fall into. Leave your personal and professional profile links off your resume header and you can go straight to the reject pile.
“Aspiring social media marketers must include their professional and personal social networking links on their resume. A potential employer will find them anyway, so including them shows savvy and initiative.”
- Damien Basile, founder of an eponymous digital media agency
This advice came up over and over again when talking to people who hire social media specialists, so we can’t emphasize it enough.
Your resume header is also a great place to include one or two key certifications you might have (if you have more than that you can put them in their own section). Here are two examples to show what this looks like in practice:
LinkedIn & Twitter Certified Social Media Specialist
Just adding social media links and certifications makes a huge impact on the hiring managers reading your resume.
Show you can write and tell your story in your professional summary
What better way to show off your ability to tell a compelling story in just a few lines than in your own professional summary? Hiring managers expect social media specialists to be talented copywriters, so this is your chance to show off.
Keep it concise and explain
“When you’re working across different marketing disciplines, you’ll naturally gravitate to one in particular that appeals to you. It will probably … take up most of your time and be the thing that causes you the most stress—but the most excitement too.”
- Lauren Mallett, head of social media, FireCask
So make it clear where your passion and skills lay and what results you can get with them.
A social media specialist with 5 years experience building engaged communities on LinkedIn and Twitter (3% and .8% engagement rates respectively) for a DC-based NGO. Looking to apply this experience boosting community engagement for Enterprise
I’m a social media specialist who’s worked for 5 years at an NGO. I’m looking for a more senior position where I can grow my skills.
The problem with the second example is that it’s vague (clearly not tailored for a single position), and uses the first person. Both of these make summaries less effective.
How should you frame your social media marketing specialist experience?
When it comes to including your work experience, there are more pitfalls to look out for.
“Mike Hudack, [co-founder] of blip.tv, often says he only hires people if they have a side project they feel passionately about. He wants all hires to be innovative and entrepreneurial. I like that approach.”
- Soraya Darabi, General Partner at Trailmix Ventures
Whether you’re talking about a side project or not, hiring managers want to see the same elements:
Show you can get results.
Show you can come up with innovative strategies.
Show you can work independently.
Throughout, be specific about what you did and what the results were. Anyone can “manage” social media, companies are looking to hire someone who can bring value from it.