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Are you thinking, gosh that looks good but no idea how you do that? Worry not – here is the alternative version of our marketing CV example for you to download. This will print a lot better if your printer isn’t up to par. You can also get rid of the border altogether by going to the ‘Page Layout’ tab in Microsoft Word and then choosing page borders. Again, this might work better if you don’t have a great printer.
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10 mistakes to avoid on your marketing CV
The most common mistake to find on a CV relates to spelling or grammar. Even though we have spell checkers and a keen pair of eyes, there are still lots of job seekers out there that still fail to write an error free CV. But there are lots of other mistakes which are not so obvious that you need to avoid when writing your marketing CV.
Here are the top 10 CV mistakes that could scupper your changes of an interview.
1. Making bold and unproven claims
Your opinion is naturally going to be very biased because you want to look good on your CV. However, the employer has to try and figure out who’s telling the truth and who is either exaggerating or deluded. As harsh as it may seem, this is what’s going through the mind of the hiring manager.
So if you decide to make bold statements like – ‘I am the best marketer in the world’ – you are not going to win them over. If you choose to make a bold claim that you can’t prove, it is not going to do you any favours. There is no way of knowing if this is true or not, and it obviously comes across very outlandish, over confident or even arrogant.
Stick to the facts and avoid and crazy and bold cliché statements. The employer will see through the claims and move onto another candidate who is able to provide some evidence, and has written a more realistic and believable CV. Here’s an example of a factual statement that will earn you credit:
“My November email campaign was sent out to a cold database of 5,000 clients and attracted a 15% open / 9.8% click-through-rate. This generated 390 new customers for us with an initial sales value of £132,500 and ongoing orders.”
2. Using lengthy paragraphs
Avoid giving your life story and stick to what’s relevant. Try to make use of bullet points to list certain pieces of information, such as your skills and qualifications (as we have done on our marketing CV example).
The employer wants to quickly dive into your CV and find what they want without any hassle. If they have to read lengthy sentences and paragraphs to do this there is a good chance they will miss the most important information or simply give up.
3. Writing a generic marketing CV
How many times have you written a CV in your career so far – one, two, three at the most? The answer that most people give is ‘one, which I just keep updating’. This just isn’t enough if you want to stay competitive and make the employer feel special.
The hiring manager will only want to find relevant skills, qualifications and experience. They will be aware however that other aspects from your career will also be thrown into the mix, but for the most part they just want what’s right for the job and the company.
Our advice would be to always tailor your CV to the role every time you apply again for a new job. It doesn’t matter how similar the role is to your last one as each company views things differently. So many aspects will differ from company to company, starting with their culture and moving onto skills, tasks and responsibilities.
There is never a ‘one size fits all’ CV – it’s just impossible. So always write a brand new CV each time you apply and take into account what the company wants. Do your research before writing your CV so you can ensure it encompasses the job description and the company’s goals.
4. Using an inappropriate email address
A quick but very important tip is not to use a silly or inappropriate email address on your CV. Although the employer may find your wacky sense of humour funny, others may not.
You should always remain professional throughout so if your email isn’t simply your name, create a brand new email address. This will also make it easier to see any job offers as you will be unlikely to be receiving spam.
Bonus tip: As a marketer you’ll want to show off your industry knowledge and expertise – so remember to include your LinkedIn and Twitter handles in the contact section. However, the same rule for email addresses also applies to social accounts – they should be professional. Find out more about writing a killer LinkedIn profile to complement your marketing CV here.
5. Listing too many tasks
Another popular mistake we see time and time again is writing too many tasks. Your work history section should only present relevant information which would be of benefit to the new company. Anything else needs to be kept to a minimum so the short amount of time the employer has reading your CV will be worthwhile.
For older irrelevant roles you may not even list tasks at all, particularly if you have plenty of recent work experience. However, consider carefully if you acquired any skills in an irrelevant role that are transferable to the role you’re applying for.
6. Using wacky styling
There is nothing wrong with going for a bit of colour on your marketing CV. A little colour for your headings or a border can help your CV stand out and make it easier to read. Our marketing CV example has just a splash of orange and grey, two great colours to use on any CV.
However, avoid this creative approach when it comes to font styling. Stick to a respected and easy-to-read font such as Times New Roman, Arial or Garamond. This is especially important if you’re sending off your marketing CV in Word format. In this case, if your recipient doesn’t have the unusual font installed, their default one may be used instead. Since you have no idea how this will affect your CV layout, it’s best to stick to a safe choice.
Not keen on this CV layout? Check out our collection of free Word CV templates here.
7. Leaving off important keywords
You are missing out if you choose to ignore the great keywords you can find on the job advert. These vital keywords will help push you one step closer to a job interview because it tells the employer you are on the same page.
The employer wants to see that you’ve understood what they want. What better way to do that than to use some of the same words? There may be certain skills which you have, but your old CV uses slightly different terms. If they mean the same you should alter them to match. It helps the employer to skim through your CV and find what they’re looking for – plus it gives you a better chance with ATS systems.
Also look out for certain words which relate to the character they are looking for in a candidate. If they like to use words like ‘dynamic’, ‘rapport’, ‘great communicator’, and ‘highly motivated’, then why not slip these into your CV. Don’t overdo it however, and also make sure you backup your claims with proven results.
If the job advert is a little thin on detail, try reviewing job profiles for inspiration, such as those on Prospects.ac.uk.
8. Not including results
Your CV isn’t just an opportunity to show off your skills, qualifications and experience; it’s also a chance to show what you’ve achieved with those credentials. Let’s face it, anyone can say one thing or have qualifications come out of their ears, but does it really guarantee they will be good at their job?
When it comes to a marketing role, the employer isn’t just looking to see who has the most skills and qualifications. They also want to know who has achieved the most and who can demonstrate impressive performance. In the marketing world, results count for much more than certificates. Take advantage of this knowledge and make sure you give some indication of what you can do in the workplace.
There are lots of ways to do this, but one of the best approaches is to include results within your work history. So rather than just list the tasks and responsibilities, you should also give some examples of what you achieved. You could also have a separate section for key achievements/accolades/publications (as on our marketing CV example), and so on. You could also attach summaries or samples from key campaigns. The key to getting this right is to show, not tell.
9. Making salary demands
The job advert should have given an indication of the expected salary; however certain roles that pay commission could be a little harder to follow. You may also need to pass through a trial or probationary period before your salary increases. In any case, when it comes to discussions about salary, this should be left to the interview stage.
You should avoid discussing salary on your CV at all costs. It may put you out of the running without giving you chance to show an employer that you’re worth what you’re looking for. You will be in a far better position to negotiate and discuss the details of the salary once you’ve made it to the interview stage.
10. Leaving off company descriptions
Whilst some companies need no explanation, others may be completely unknown to prospective employers. If your work history includes lesser known employers, give a brief description about what the company does, and how you fit into their organisation.
It may seem obvious to you, but it may not be to the employer. It will also help them to connect your tasks to the role and how they relate to the success of the business. All you need to do is write a sentence or two, to explain what they do.
Bonus tip: Membership of a professional organisation such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing can help show your interest in the industry – so add a memberships section if you can!
NB: This CV template was originally published on 06.11.2018 and it has now been completely updated for 2019.