Careers advice

Building your CV: what skills do you need for marketing?

Here are the skills your marketing CV needs to include.

The pressure’s on – you’re a marketing professional (or hope to be) and now you’ve got to market … yourself.

It’s no secret that this is a competitive sector in NZ, so how do you make yourself stand out? Well, your CV is a great place to start, and if yours is going to get the attention it deserves, it needs to include at least some of these core skills.

Key hard skills for marketers

One of the golden rules of CV building is to tailor each one you submit to a specific role. Not all the hard skills in this section will apply to every role, but you’re bound to need some of them. Here’s what employers want to see:

1. Social media

From banks to bars, audiences hang out on social media, so this is a big one for businesses of all shapes and sizes. If the role you’re going for involves working with social platforms, you’ll want to showcase skills like:

  • Platform familiarity – do you know your way around the key social platforms used by NZ businesses?
  • Calendar planning – can you set up and implement a logical schedule to best suit your objectives?
  • Audience knowledge – customisation is everything in marketing these days, so do you know who you’re targeting?
  • Post creation – are you used to timing posts to perfection, and nailing the right media every time?
  • Analytics – there’s no point in doing all of this and not measuring results. Do you know what you’re looking for, and what it tells you?

Social media skills are important part of a modern marketer's toolkit.

2. Content creation

Content can serve all sorts of purposes from communicating your company’s values to encouraging customers to make a specific purchase.

Whether your a blogger, videographer or graphic designer, you’ll need to:

  • Follow (or create!) a strategy – companies don’t make content for fun, and you need the business objectives in your head at all times. Like social, you’ll also need to make or adhere to a content calendar.
  • Know your user personas – different content types suit different audience groups at different times. Do you know which to deploy and when?
  • Know how to navigate a CMS – content management systems (CMS) are key to content marketing. While the employer won’t always expect you to have used their particular CMS package before, showing experience in this is great.
  • Be a master of your medium – whether it’s the written word, or a camera’s lens, you need to deliver the goods and create engaging content that will help the business grow, retain and convert its audiences.
  • SEO – being an search engine optimisation (SEO) specialist is a job within itself (see below), but bloggers and website content creators need to know this stuff too.
  • Analytics – you’ll need to measure the success of your content, most likely in Google Analytics. Do you know which metrics really matter, and what they’re telling you?

3. Email marketing

Email is another key tool in a modern marketer’s arsenal. The crucial skills here are:

  • Platform familiarity – from Hubspot to Mailchimp to Marketo, there are heaps of email tools out there. Having familiarity with at least one or two is highly recommended for email-related roles.
  • Targetting – do you know to direct the right communications to the right groups at the right times?
  • Copywriting – do your subject lines stand out from the spam, or are they lost in the noise? Every word of your email needs to engage the reader and encourage them to take the actions you want.
  • Formatting and layout – your emails also need to be visually appealing. Have you got an eye for what works?
  • Analytics – can you measure open rates, click-to-open-rates and other criteria that indicate the success of your campaign?

Do you know your Mailchimp from your Marketo?

4. SEO

It’s not just our audiences we need to please. A whole subsection of modern marketing is dedicated to appeasing Google, and this is where search engine optimisation (SEO) comes in. As a dedicated SEO specialist you’ll need:

  • Technical know how – do you know your meta fields from your alt tags? And how to use each element of SEO best practice to boost your site’s performance in organic search?
  • Coding basics – okay, so you can do SEO without reading code, but it will certainly help to have at least some understanding of common languages.
  • An understanding of core tools – there are tons of packages that can help with SEO. If you show you’ve worked with popular platforms like Google Search Console, MOZ or SEMrush, so much the better.
  • Analytics – like every other aspect of marketing, you need to know your efforts are having a positive impact and working towards your overarching marketing goals.

5. Paid digital marketing

Often known as PPC (pay per click) marketing, paid digital marketing is another common marketing skill employers want to see on candidate CVs. If this is included in the role you’re applying for, mention:

  • Budgeting – allocating the correct spend to see great results, without blowing the bank.
  • Technical know how – what keywords are you competing for? Do you know when you want your ads to display, which audience list your targeting?
  • Analytics – how did your campaign go? What changes will you make next time to improve your results?

6. Mobile platforms

From research to transaction, so much of the customer journey takes place online today, and this will only increase in the years to come. Whatever your marketing specialisation, you’ll need to show that you’re always thinking about how mobile impacts users’ experiences.

7. Analytics

As we’ve mentioned, analytics comes into just about every marketing role imaginable. There are also dedicated marketing analyst roles. If you’re going for a job in this field, you’ll need:

  • Platform familiarity – Knowledge of Google Analytics as well as statistical packages like SPSS, SAS are common requirements for these roles. Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets are also mainstays of marketing analysts.
  • Data skills – you’ll need to effectively manage mining, warehousing and analysing data.
  • Strategy training – how do you turn your findings into useful insights to inform future direction?

Whether it's social, search or street campaigns, you need analytics to measure success.

Key soft skills for marketers

These technical skills are important on marketing CVs, but employers also want to see you’ve got a solid base of soft skills to back them up.

For marketing, the most important are:

1. Communication

Marketing is all about conveying messages. You need to address your audience in a voice that’s familiar to them, on subjects that engage them and in a way that encourages them to take action. Whether it’s through a Facebook post, a website banner or an email newsletter, communication skills underpin all of this.

2. Team work

From product developers to sales staff to fellow marketers, marketing is always a collaborative effort. As we’ve seen there are heaps of specialisations within this one field, and your results are always going to be better if you’re working with a range of different experts.

3. Creativity

While we’ve never had more platforms to engage with audiences, the competition for eyeballs, ears and clicks has never been tougher. Creativity is at the heart of great marketing, as this is how you stand out.

4. Adaptability

From new social platforms to AI technology, nothing stands still for long in the world of marketing. Keeping your finger on the pulse, and adapting to new opportunities as they arise will help you stand out from other applicants.

5. A desire to learn

Not every marketing campaign you run will come back with A+ results. However, you can still draw positives as long as you learn for next time.

Formatting your marketing CV

A marketing CV needs to be aesthetically pleasing – after all, this is a chance to show off skills in formatting and design that will be key to your success in the role.

Try using one of our free downloadable templates to help you grab your reader’s attention from the get go.