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7 Marketing Resume Rules Meant To Be Broken

Are you gearing up for your new career or role in marketing? As you start moving up the career ladder, you'll learn quickly how the smallest resume mistakes can cost you the job.


This creates a domino effect. If you waste time submitting hundreds of applications online with the wrong resume, this sets you back in your job search, hurts your career timeline, and holds you back from networking with the right people.

What makes resume writing even more tricky? Recruiters and hiring managers only glance at this magical document for 6-15 seconds! As you push yourself through a sea of applicants, frantically trying to guess what should and shouldn't be on your resume, we're here to save you some stress.

Starting now, look out for these seven OUTDATED rules that will be sure to make your resume weak and irrelevant in this digital era.

1. Create An Objective Statement

Objective statements used to be a key rule to follow for any efficient resume writer. But now, recruiters want to get to know more of you and less of those fantastic vague statements you're capable of producing. Instead, try a professional headline and list a brief 2-3 word summary of your career experience.

Why is this rule outdated? The recruiter will get to know you within two seconds instead of reading pointless fluff.

2. Don't Add Anything Fancy, At All

As a marketing professional, chances are you have a creative side to you. You may be efficient in graphic design or written communication. And even though resumes aren't a place for fancy gibberish, graphics, and photos, there is some wiggle room here.

The classic resume doesn't need to be in a boring Times New Roman font with all black and gray headlines. Mix it up, add your headline in a larger font with a colored header, and use a clear modern font that speaks to you (and is easy to read). Still write concisely and organize your content in a way that can be easily read by your target audience.

Why is this rule outdated? Your resume will be more intuitive in representing your experiences and your skills. More importantly, you will stand out in a crowd of applicants by adding a slight pizzazz to an otherwise dull document. Again, managers are reading hundreds of these at times all in the same hour!

3. Showcase Your Skills On The Bottom

No, no! Your skills should be at the top of your resume, standing proud and tall. Use an organized table without borders to make sure the characters stay in place when converting to a PDF format.

Why is this rule outdated? Skill sets are the easiest way for a recruiter or hiring manager to understand your core competencies without being bogged down by long bullet points.

4. Send Out The Same Resume Every Time

Absolutely not. Each time you submit a resume, it should be customized for the job posting you're applying to and match the keywords and skills expressed in that posting.

To clarify, we are not telling you to embellish your professional achievements and include bullet points that are on the listing but don't fit you in real life; but we do want you to align the work you've done closely with what the manager is looking for. Why do you think companies even take time to write out job postings and include all those details?

Why is this rule outdated? Think like a manager. If you owned your own business, would you want to hire someone with general skills and vague accomplishments? No! You'd want to search for someone who is an expert on a key set of skills, so you can be more confident that this person will actually perform the job you need him or her to do efficiently.

5. Don't Brag

Show your key accomplishments, especially if you've just saved your employer $200,000 this past year. Explain what you did in a precise, quantitative approach. Showcase why you're amazing at what you do and how you can bring this same enthusiasm to your next role.

Why is this rule outdated? Expressing one's accomplishments could be viewed as being boastful, but the truth is, in this digital era, people want to know what you've done and how. Never be ashamed of expressing your success on paper.

6. Include Skills That Will Appeal To All Employers

Goodness, no. Employers do NOT want you to be the jack-of-all-trades. If your focus is marketing, hone in on the skills that make you an expert in this industry. Research folks! Research exactly what employers are looking for that make you relevant in today's digital world.

Why is this rule outdated? People assume that by expressing a variety of skills that can mold into a variety of jobs, they are doing themselves and their prospective employers a favor. In fact, it's the very opposite. Employers are searching for experts and geniuses who are talented in what they do professionally—not in everything they do.

7. List Every Job

If you want a career in marketing, do you really need to showcase your stand-up comedian skills? Be sure to always exclude irrelevant experiences. Yet, if you truly feel a certain experience can help your new position in some way, then add it in "Additional Experience." The goal here is to precisely vocalize your work ethic so recruiters get you and what you bring to the table.

Why is this rule outdated? There is a difference between CVs (curriculum vitae) and resumes. Hiring teams do not want to delve into an informational overload. They want to skim, understand, move on, and hire the right person.

Not all recruiters and hiring managers are monsters. They are simply people in search of the right employees that will add to the success of their organization. If you do not fit the mold, they'll smell out the stinkers and fakers and your resume will be tossed.

We understand that it may be difficult for you to differentiate which experiences to include and which format works best so ATS systems don't simply toss your resume.

To avoid job search failure and resume errors, get in touch with one of our coaches today by joining the #1 online career growth club!