This article is written by Andrew Fennell. Andrew is the founder and director of StandOut CV, a leading CV advice website which helps job hunters land the jobs they want.
As a University of Reading student or recent graduate, you are entitled to free CV advice from our experts. The Careers Consultants are offering free CV reviews aimed at helping you to put together a successful application regardless of the area of your desired job. Head over to MyJobsOnline to book a Careers Appointment with one of our consultants if you want to get your CV checked.
There are also plenty of free CV templates and CV building hacks available on the Careers website, under COMPETE for success. Here you’ll also find heaps of digital tools that you can use to create a strong and visually appealing CV as well as additional resources to prepare for an upcoming interview or assessment centre.
Digital marketing is a booming sector across the world, with job vacancies in the UK growing by over 30% yearly and salaries for entry-level positions starting from £20,000.
Digital professionals also get the chance to work with big cool tech firms such as Google and Facebook whilst building skills that will make them extremely valuable to any employer.
So, it’s no surprise that graduates are keen to bag a job in digital marketing.
But, what is digital marketing?
Essentially, digital marketing is any method of creating awareness of a business or organisation through the internet or other electronic means.
It includes things such as:
- Social media marketing – generating website visitors through Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Email marketing – Running marketing campaigns via email to drive sales
- Search engine optimisation (SEO) – Ensuring websites can be found in the search engines
- Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) – Crating paid adverts on platforms like Google and Facebook
The reason that it’s such a huge industry is because every company needs to have an online presence to succeed nowadays. However, despite the high demand for digital marketers, there’s also stiff competition.
How to write an entry level digital marketing CV
So, if you’re keen to get started on the digital career ladder and become a superstar marketer, you need to put together a strong CV.
A well written CV that appeals to digital recruiters will help you to get your foot in the door of your first employer and start gaining some real life experience in the field.
Start by researching your target roles
The aim of your CV is to win job interviews by impressing recruiters and hiring managers.
So, before you start writing your CV, you must determine exactly what content will make the right impression for you.
The best place to do this is job on the job websites.
Run searches for the types of jobs you are looking for, whether it’s “junior digital marketer” or “graduate content writer”, and browse through the adverts
Make a list of the most common candidate requirements – they will fall into the following categories.
Education – Are they looking for specific degree subjects or A levels? Do they want minimum grade levels?
Hard skills – Writing, numeracy, languages, IT systems etc.
Soft skills – Problem-solving, communication, motivation, teamwork, etc.
Digital specific skills – advertising platforms, email marketing software, social channels, etc.
Once you have compiled a list of the most important requirements for your target roles, you will know exactly which of your skills and knowledge to highlight throughout your CV. This will make the task of writing it much easier and more effective.
You won’t always have every skill needed; sometimes you will need to be a bit more creative and draw transferable or similar skills out from your experience.
Structure for easy reading
Recruiters and hiring managers tend to be very busy people, so you must make your CV easy for them to read and pick out the information they need.
Clearly divide your document into the following headings:
- Personal statement – an introductory paragraph to catch recruiters’ attention and sell your talents
- Education – list your education in great detail
- Projects and achievements – Achievements that are relevant to the roles you are applying for or generally impressive
- Work experience – Any experience you have, including part-time and voluntary work
- Hobbies and interests – Any hobbies which are related to your target roles or generally impressive
Use a clear simple font and break text up as much as possible to facilitate ease of reading – don’t overcomplicate the CV with wacky designs, images or logos.
Head with a powerful personal statement
Your personal statement is an introductory paragraph which sits at the top of your CV.
Its aim is to grab recruiters’ attention as they open the CV and entice them to read further.
Your personal statement should be brief, very high-level, and not go into too much granular detail – think of it as an elevator pitch or personal introduction, you just want to include the highlights.
The type of things you should include are:
- Education – your highest level of education and relevant modules and papers
- Skills – skills which are relevant to digital marketing such as writing, analysis, coding, etc. You also want to include soft skills like communication and teamwork
- IT knowledge – workplace software packages you are capable of using
- Work placement or voluntary experience – if they are relevant to target roles
Tailor your education section
As a graduate, you may lack work experience in your desired field, so you need to compensate by providing plenty of detail around your education and show how the knowledge you’ve acquired can benefit employers.
List your degree(s), grade achieved, and break it down into modules/sub areas, and detail any impressive projects undertaken or papers written.
If your degree has any digital aspects, be sure to highlight them in this section.
You can add courses to your CV before you’ve completed them – just be sure to detail that you are currently undertaking them.
Draw out digital and non-digital skills from your work experience
As a recent graduate, it’s unlikely that you’ll have any full-time paid digital marketing experience, but that doesn’t mean that your experience is not important.
If you do have relevant full-time experience, that’s great. But if not, you can include:
School/university work placements – Even if they haven’t been in a digital role, you can still demonstrate the ability to work within a professional team, work to deadlines, and produce results. You can also try to highlight any transferable digital skills that relate to your previous research.
Voluntary work – If you have undertaken any voluntary work, you should definitely include it in your experience to prove your commitment and demonstrate your skills
Freelance work – Freelancing is an excellent way to build your digital skillset, get paid, and boost your CV. Something seemly simple as article writing is in huge demand on freelance sites like PeoplePerHour and will look very attractive on your CV if you are applying for content based digital marketing roles.
Part-time work – 75% of students have worked part-time jobs during university, but many of them don’t add these roles to their CV. Don’t discount your part-time jobs as irrelevant, as plenty of employers like to see graduates who have worked hard and paid their own way through college – plus you can also draw out plenty of in-demand workplace skills from those jobs.
When writing a CV for entry-level digital marketing jobs, you don’t need to be an expert in all things digital – and employers won’t expect you to be.
You just need to show them that you understand the talents they are looking for and try to match them as closely as possible.
If you have digital skills to show off, that’s great, but don’t forget all the other important workplace skills and employer requirements.