You’ve grown Facebook pages, built engaged communities, created brand identities, but you still can’t seem to land that social media job you want.
What’s going wrong?
Chances are, your social media resume isn’t selling you.
We’ve analyzed thousands of resumes and job descriptions, talked to experts, and put all together into this comprehensive guide.
“[Social media] is becoming a vital part of what companies do, and that's good news for job seekers in a market that—admit it—you know is brutal.”
What this guide will teach you:
- How to plan your resume before you start creating it
- Which social media certifications to include and where to put them
- How your resume summary can tell a great story
- How and why to write an experience section that focuses on results
Looking for related resumes?
- Social Media Specialist Resumes
- Marketing Resumes
- Marketing Internship Resumes
- Brand Ambassador Resumes
- Copywriter Resumes
- Brand Manager Resumes
- Content Marketing Resumes
- Public Relations Specialist Resumes
How to write a social media resume
You wouldn’t start a social media campaign without a strategy and you shouldn’t start a social media resume without one either.
Begin by planning out what resume sections you want to include. Consider the role you’re applying for and what it’s going to take to show you’re the right candidate. These are the sections we recommend:
How to make an effective social media resume header
Once you’ve planned out the sections you want, you’ll start at the top: the header.
Your social media resume header is as important as your page title, Twitter handle, or Instagram name. It looks simple but getting it right is critical.
Your header should have:
- Your name with any certifications (assuming you don’t have too many, in which case put them in their own section)
- Websites (LinkedIn, personal sites, social media pages)
- Contact information
Look at the difference between these examples:
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 resume 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:
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.
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.
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. A quick mention in an education section with the year you graduated is enough. If you are still studying, make sure to include your expected graduation day in your resume.
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:
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 in your resume skill section?
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:
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.
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 in the resume. They show you’ve gone above and beyond to develop your skills and are self-motivated.
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