Just changing the information presented makes one resume look far more professional right from the top.
Why a social media resume objective or summary is a must
Every social media professional needs to be able to tell a compelling story in a limited number of characters. If you can’t do that on your resume, why would anyone hire you?
Use a resume objective (a short sentence or two) or summary (generally more of a paragraph) to tell your story. Explain some combination of who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and why you’re applying to this social media position.
This section should frame the rest of your resume, give it context, and grab the interest of the hiring manager. Here are two examples to see what we mean:
I built a Tumblr following of over 100k before graduating high school. Since then I’ve spent 4 years freelancing as a social media strategist, building a wider skillset to include photography, podcasting, and brand management. Now, I’m looking to take those skills and use them to build a top quality social media strategy for XYZ.
I’m passionate about social media and love building devoted followings for great products.
That second example is vague to the point of being meaningless. It adds no value to your resume. The first, on the other hand, tells a story. After reading it, the hiring manager will have a real sense of you as a professional.
How should you include your work experience on a social media resume?
Far too many social media resumes fill their experience sections with statements like “managed Twitter and Facebook accounts.”
Problem is, anyone can “manage” an account. Employers want to know what you achieved by managing that account.
Social Media ManagerBrand New Brands
06/2015 - 09/2018
Created #brandyourself, garnering 12,500 Twitter mentions in the first two weeks, helping in a product launch which exceeded sales projections by 27%.
After 6 months of management, traffic to the website from the company Facebook page was up 54%.
Successfully handled a wave of negative comments after a scandal with one of our brands.
Social Media ManagerBrand New Brands
06/2015 - 09/2018
Managed company Twitter account, creating hashtags and promotional campaigns.
Successfully managed the company Facebook account
Reframing that social media management experience around concrete metrics makes it far more impressive and relevant for any potential employer.
Now that third point about handling the scandal doesn’t have an accompanying number (it’s hard to quantify success in that case) but it’s useful for an employer to know you have experience handling that kind of situation.
PRO TIPThink about the person who will read your resume.What do they care about? Frame your experience around what matters to them, whether that’s boosting sales or increasing brand awareness
Including education on a social media resume
Most degrees don’t mean much in the world of social media. If you have a background in marketing it can be helpful, but in general your History degree isn’t worth too much.
Still, it’s worth mentioning if you have a university degree, just don’t waste too much ink on it.
How to list social media skills on a resume
Don’t do what every other social media resume does and list things like “excellent communication skills” without any context or examples.
Make sure you’re listing the right skills, then make sure you’re backing them up. Here’s an example:
Most Proud Of
Excellent Communication Skills
Excelled at competitive debate in high school and college, taught public speaking at my university’s speaking center.
Digital Community Management
I’ve been a moderator for the "Social Media Marketers" Facebook group for 4 years, helping it grow to 100k members while staying useful.
My experience managing accounts on 4 social media platforms for a single brand taught me how to plan top level cross-platform strategies.
Of course it’s not always possible to give a specific number to back up a skill, but just trying to explain the context and example is still far better than just listing it.
But which skills should you be including?
Soft skills that make the difference
Based on all the things a social media professional has to do in a given day, these are 10 soft skills most employers are looking for:
10 soft skills to consider for your social media resume
Speaking Multiple Languages
Hard skills worth mentioning
There aren’t as many hard skills involved in being a social media manager. However, the ones that are involved are tremendously important.
For example, you need to know how to interpret data to understand the impact and significance of your work.
4 key hard skills for a social media resume
How to analyze a social media job description to learn what skills you need
Here’s a quoted portion from a real job ad for a social media manager. Let’s analyze just what skills and experience it’s asking for:
“...This person will help execute the social media strategy for TEGNA’s original content verticals and provide social media support to our TV stations across 41 markets. The social media coordinator must be highly organized with clear communication skills, and comfortable working in a fast paced environment.”
Provide social media support, the key word is “support”. You won’t be expected to originate your own campaigns and proposals so much as support decisions made elsewhere. This is where experience executing strategies from superiors will come in handy.
Across 41 markets, this tells you to emphasize any experience doing social media across many different national or global regions. Speaking other languages, having lived abroad, etc. can also show that you understand how to work with markets different than your own.
Highly organized, add examples of when you handled many things at once. This could even be when you worked a full time job while taking a full course load in university (while maintaining your GPA).
Clear communication skills, at a bare minimum, your resume and cover letter need to show you have these skills. There’s no better way to show that than by doing it.
Fast paced environment, did you used to work in a busy restaurant? Have you had to handle a crisis in a previous social media role? Mention that experience to show you can handle the pressure.
Social media certifications that get you noticed
Nothing says “I take social media marketing seriously” better than some proper certifications. They show you’ve gone above and beyond to develop your skills and are self-motivated.
The top 8 certifications for a social media resume
Hootsuite’s Social Marketing Training
Digital Marketing Nanodegree from Udacity
Twitter Flight School Marketing Leadership course
Social Media Certification from Boot Camp Digital
Blueprint Certification from Facebook
IQ Certification from Google Analytics
Big data analysis to give your social media resume new insights
You’re not going to be the only one applying for that social media position, so it helps to know what the competition is doing. That’s why we analyzed thousands of social media resumes and job offers to understand what skills each were mentioning.
The gap can show you which skills employers are asking for and which they aren’t seeing often enough on resumes.
What makes for the best social media resume?
These are the tricks that really make a difference:
Plan out your resume and its sections
Include certifications in your resume header
Use your summary to tell a compelling story
Focus your experience on specific examples and results
Pick the skills you mention from the job description and back them up
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.