Make sure that your resume has an emphasis on marketing, no matter what your prior experience may have been. Also, realize that nothing is overlooked on your resume. If you mentioned in the personal section that you love impersonating rock stars, be sure to practice your Bruce Springsteen routine before walking into the interview room. Here are some quick tips to get you started:
- Get someone who knows absolutely nothing about your prior experience to review your resume to see if it makes sense to them. Most people fail to realize that they use "industry-speak" that makes sense only to those with a similar background. The simpler and clearer the resume, the better your chances are of getting an interview.
- Emphasize teamwork, leadership, passion, and creativity. Many marketing firms believe that if you worked on a team before and you were in previous leadership roles, it is likely that you will continue to grow these attributes. Having a passion for anything translates well in an environment where you must believe in your brand. You may not have been in a "creative field," but if you can prove that you are capable of "out-of-the-box" thinking, then your chances at a marketing career are improved.
- Scatter marketing terminology throughout your resume regardless of your background. Words like "cross-functional teams," "customer needs," "strategic direction," "portfolio management," and "communications platform" make you look like a marketer even if you were a banker. But don't overdo it!
- Focus on results. If you lead a cross-functional team through a budgetary process, quantify your results. (For example, "I saved the firm $25,000.") This shows that you can succeed when given a task, and that you are action-oriented.
- Illustrate your love for consumer behavior. Maybe you majored in psychology or cultural anthropology at your undergrad university. Maybe you were a manufacturer, but your favorite part of the job was understanding how to make things easier for consumers to use. Maybe you were a banker, but really enjoyed understanding why people invested the way they did. Whatever angle you take, make sure that consumer understanding is clearly demonstrated in your resume.
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