How To Write a Marketing Resume: Your Step-by-Step Guide (With Templates and Examples)

Afoma Umesi, Contributor to the CareerFoundry blog

Preparing to write your marketing resume but not sure where to start? Then you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading for your complete marketing resume guide.

Although you may have the necessary skills and experience to land the marketing job of your dreams, you’ll need to do more. It is vital that you know how to write a marketing resume that sells your value to potential employers.

In this guide, we’ll highlight what you need to include in your marketing resume, walk you through the process of writing yours, and show you where to find the best resume templates. If you’d like to jump to a specific section, just use the clickable table of contents.

  1. What’s the main purpose of your marketing resume?
  2. What should you include in your marketing resume?
  3. How to write a marketing resume from start to finish: A step-by-step guide
  4. Where to find marketing resume examples
  5. Where to find marketing resume templates
  6. Marketing resume FAQs
  7. Key takeaways and next steps

Ready to perfect the art of marketing-resume-writing? Let’s go!

1. What is the main purpose of your marketing resume?

The main goal of your marketing resume is to show recruiters that you have the essential hard and soft skills and experience required for the job. Your resume should highlight your creativity and analytical skills—both of which you will need for any marketing role.

As much as hiring managers want to know that you’re a person, your marketing resume should contain more professional than personal information. It summarizes and presents the most relevant skills, qualifications, and experiences you have, allowing an employer to scan through and deduce whether or not you might be a fit for the role. It should be a simple, factual document (unlike your marketing portfolio, which is where you can really let your personality and your personal brand shine through!) 

2. What should you include in your marketing resume?

It can be quite the dilemma deciding what should and should not make it into your marketing resume. As much as you want to share detailed information about yourself and your skills, it’s important to keep it concise. You don’t want to create a 3-page resume.

These are the must-have sections and information for any marketing resume:

  • Name and contact info: Include your  name, phone number, and email address.
  • A personal summary: 2-3 profiling sentences at most, summarizing your abilities and professional goals. This is similar to the headline summary you can add to your LinkedIn profile.
  • Links to relevant online profiles, like LinkedIn or a professional Twitter account.
  • Link to your marketing portfolio: This is a personal website that highlights your skills and experience. You’ll find some marketing portfolio examples to inspire you here.
  • Summary of key marketing skills: Include hard and soft skills relevant to marketing.
  • Education: Share your educational background, especially major degrees and diplomas.
  • Professional experience: Break down past job roles, including dates and your impact in each role.

Now we know what a marketing resume is and what it should include, let’s look at how to go about creating one.

A job applicant sitting at a desk with a baby on their lap, writing their marketing resume on a laptop

3. How to write a marketing resume: A step-by-step guide

Now that you know what to include, let’s take a closer look at how to organize each section. We’ll also look into how you can use each section to highlight your value to the organization.

1. Choose a marketing resume template

Designing your own resume can be tedious, unless you’re a designer!  If you don’t have the time or know-how to make one from scratch, choose from the vast array of template options available. We’ll share a few places where you can find good templates later on in this guide. 

Keep the following in mind when choosing a template:

  • Readability: Avoid overly aesthetic designs with illegible text. Design matters, but it would be pointless to submit a pretty resume that recruiters can’t read. 
  • Design: We definitely recommend a pop of color on your resume, but keep it minimal. A two-column design might also make it easier to fit more information on your resume.
  • Formatting: A 2018 Jobscan study showed that over 98% of Fortune 500 companies use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). These bot-like applications look out for keywords in resumes and are often unable to read images, charts, and other visuals. If your potential employer is one of such companies, then overly stylized resumes like infographic-style resumes, for example, may miss the mark.

In a nutshell: Aim to keep the layout and design of your marketing resume simple, clear, legible, and scannable for both humans and software!

2. Write a compelling summary

Your personal summary features at the top of your resume, and is your chance to pitch yourself—particularly when the job posting does not call for a cover letter. You should highlight your skills and the relevant experience you can bring to your new role, as well as what kind of opportunities you are looking for.

It can be nerve wracking to decide how to present yourself in three sentences. So, as a guide, here are three things to include in your personal summary:

  • Unique selling point, i.e. your core skills and strong points, incorporating keywords from the job description
  • Past work experience with quantifiable impact, if possible
  • What you hope to bring to your potential role

Watch out: A common mistake people make in their summary statement is mentioning what they hope their potential new role will do for them. Sentences like “Marketer hoping to improve skills and gain industry experience” are a no-no, even for entry level jobs. Try these instead:

  • Creative and analytical digital marketing specialist with expertise in email marketing. 2 years of experience growing a mailing list by 150% using marketing best practices.
  • Seasoned digital marketing specialist working with B2B and B2C companies. 3+ years of experience developing and implementing SEO strategies to increase traffic and brand conversions by over 100%
  • Social media marketer with proficiency in Google Analytics, PPC, and social media analytics. Team player with strong community-building skills and a tireless approach toward reaching marketing targets.

3. Add your contact information

This is crucial because recruiters often keep you updated about your application using the contact information provided on your resume. So, be sure to include a functional email address and phone number.

4. Add links to your marketing portfolio

In addition to your contact information and experience listed on your resume, hiring managers want to see your skills in action. Therefore, include a link to your marketing portfolio. This article explains how to create a marketing portfolio if you haven’t done so already. You can include a link to your marketing portfolio in the contact information section.

5. Highlight data-backed skills

This section allows you to expand on your personal summary. Again, refer to the skills mentioned in the job description. Of course, you don’t need to copy the description word for word, but make sure you prove your matching skills in this section.

Keep these other tips in mind for an impactful “Skills” section:

  • Use bullet points to go straight to the point, saving time and page space, and making it easier for the reader to see your skills at a glance
  • Skip the obvious skills like Microsoft Word proficiency and highlight skills that make you indispensable
  • Include data to back up your skills. For example, how much did your SEO skills boost traffic? How many sales did your email marketing strategy generate? How much did your content strategy decrease your site’s bounce rate? Remember to use percentages for a stronger impact.
  • Don’t forget soft skills like communication, teamwork, leadership, or community-building. As usual, add proof. How large a team have you led? How have you shown community-building skills? Be specific.
  • Write in the active voice. Not only does this back up your communication and writing skills, but it highlights expertise more efficiently. For example, doesn’t “Led a team of 20,” sound better than “In charge of leading a team of 20…”?

6. Include your educational background

It’s natural to feel intimidated if you don’t have a degree in marketing, but that’s actually not necessary for starting a career in the field. There are many other ways to learn the necessary skills, many of which are transferable from other jobs, career paths, and fields of study.

Regardless of whether or not you’ve studied marketing specifically, be sure to mention your significant educational qualifications. Here’s what to keep in mind while filling out this section:

  • Write your educational background beginning with your most recent qualification. 
  • If you have a university degree and work experience, it may not be necessary to add your high school diploma—because it goes without saying that you have one. 
  • Spell out your university’s name and mention the degree received in full. For example,
    University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
    Bachelor of Arts in Marketing [GPA]

    The same applies if you have a certification from a bootcamp or an online education provider.

  • Where you do not have work experience yet, it might be worth showcasing any university honors, activities, or projects you’ve completed that are relevant to the field of marketing you want to get into
  • If you do not have a university degree, mention your highest educational qualification and include any relevant certifications.

Read this article to find out which qualifications you need to become a digital marketing specialist.

7. Show your professional experience

Typically, in the marketing industry, your professional experience can outweigh any degrees or lack thereof. So be sure to include any and every relevant work experience. 

If you’ve never had a standard marketing job, talk about the times you tried your hand at marketing your own business. Did you ever manage your family’s business social media accounts? Do you have a blog for which you generate content ideas? Then share how much you’ve grown your audience. 

For each experience, add a subheading with the role, organization worked with, and dates showing the period spent at that role. Again, start from the most recent role to the least recent. The dates are vital because they show your career progression and the breadth of your experience. 

As you discuss your past roles, you also want to show the value you brought to past employers. So, use figures and specifically highlight what you accomplished during your time there. 

Now let’s take a look at some marketing resume examples to inspire you!

A person sitting on the floor, leaning against a sofa, writing their marketing resume on a laptop

4. Where to find marketing resume examples

The following articles share some useful real-life marketing resume examples:

Before you start writing your own resume, we recommend reading through some of these examples to get a feel for what works well on a marketing resume. This will inspire you when it comes to creating your own!

5. The best marketing resume templates for 2021

As we mentioned, you can use a resume template to build the foundation of your resume. The good news is, there are lots of free, customizable options out there for you to choose from.

Here are some great resources for finding marketing resume templates:

These templates provide the basic framework and design that will ensure your marketing resume is professional, polished, and easy to read.

A person in side profile, sitting at a desk, looking through their marketing resume on a laptop

6. Marketing resume FAQs

Before we wrap this guide up, let’s answer some frequently asked questions about building a marketing resume.

How long should my marketing resume be?

Ideally, your marketing resume should be one page long, especially if you’re an entry level applicant. One-page resumes are easier to review and often present all the relevant information as concisely as possible.

If you’re a marketing veteran with years of experience enough to fill more than one page, then stick to a maximum of two pages. Any more than that and your resume is probably full of unnecessary information that will overwhelm the relevant content.

What is the best format for a marketing resume?

Marketing recruiters tend to prefer straightforward, traditional resumes. So, stick to basic, chronological resumes. 

As for document formats, .doc and .docx files are the most ATS-readable since they are text-based. But if the submission portal indicates that PDF files are acceptable, you can use those as well.

What will make my marketing resume stand out?

Clear writing, succinct bullet points, and obvious industry expertise will help you stand out on paper.

Should I optimize my marketing resume for certain keywords?

Yes, especially if you’re submitting your resume via recruiting software. Naturally, keywords such as “SEO” and “social media marketing” will pop up in most marketing resumes, so you don’t have to keyword stuff. However, it’s important to make sure you’re using industry terms as much as possible to keep your resume optimized.

What sections aren’t necessary for a marketing resume?

Some sections are optional and may be included based on your knowledge of company culture and whether you have room in your resume for additional sections. A few unnecessary but potentially valuable resume sections are:

  • Career objective: Employers care more about what you’re bringing to the table than helping you build a career. So they may not be too interested in where you see yourself professionally in the future.
  • Hobbies: This is also far from essential, but some hiring managers like to see a hint of personality. Plus, some hobbies speak to an analytic mind, grit, or even passion that helps managers see if you’re a good fit for the company culture.
  • Relevant volunteer opportunities: These can be a great way to show expertise, especially if you don’t have strong professional marketing experience.
  • Relevant honors or personal accomplishments: These can also speak to your personality and interests.

What’s more important, my marketing resume or my portfolio?

Both are critical. Not every job might require a resume, but it’s worth having one on hand to customize as needed instead of starting from scratch whenever you need a resume. Portfolios are crucial as a marketing professional; they go a long way in proving your skills and experience.

7. Key takeaways and next steps

Learning how to write a marketing resume can help you stand out from other applicants. To write a resume that gets recruiters’ attention, you have to be specific, data-driven, and strategic. Highlight your unique selling point as well as essential soft skills. It is also vital that you pay attention to the job description itself to know which skills to focus on in your resume.

Keep these steps in mind:

  1. Find an effective marketing resume template
  2. Write a compelling summary
  3. Add contact information, social profiles, and portfolio links
  4. Don’t forget to add educational qualifications
  5. Include skills and professional experience

You’re all set to write a winning marketing resume! If you’d like to learn more about forging a career in digital marketing, take a look at these guides:

What You Should Do Now

  1. Get a hands-on introduction to digital marketing with a free, 5-day short course.

  2. Take part in one of our live online events about career change into tech.

  3. Talk to a program advisor to discuss career change and if digital marketing is right for you.

  4. Explore all our career-change programs and become an in-demand tech professional.