Marketers are often multi-talented professionals with a broad set of skillsets and capabilities. And thanks to digital marketing, there is a growing number of niche marketing specialties.
Social media marketers offer skills like managing Facebook ad campaigns and growing your Twitter following, while content marketers boast storytelling expertise like social media copywriting skills and the ability to come up with engaging blog post ideas.
Some marketers have more technical skillsets, like graphic design or expertise in analytics (e.g. Instagram analytics, Facebook Audience Insights, or broader data analysis that spans multiple channels).
Others are the jack-of-all-trades type, able to handle practically any marketing challenge their higher-ups throw their way.
As a marketing professional, what skills should you be building to enhance your resume? To gain some clarity, we reached out to a panel of marketing pros and hiring managers and asked them to answer this question:
“What are the most important marketing skills a marketer should be looking to add to their resume?”
Meet Our Panel of Marketing Pros & Hiring Managers:
Bob Clary is a brand strategist, blogger, and social media guru with specialties that also include search engine optimization, search engine marketing, re-marketing, digital public relations, and marketing engagement. Clary has over 15 years of experience in the marketing space and is currently Director of Marketing at DevelopIntelligence.
“The most important marketing skills that every marketer should be looking to add to his or her resume include storytelling, whether it be using data or in content creation, the difference between goals, strategies and tactics, how to measure ROI, and the basic principles of design in terms of the role UX and UI play in marketing as well as how social algorithms work.”
For over 25 years, Overit has been crafting award-winning creative campaigns for its clients. While they’ve grown in services and skill sets in that time, they’ve stayed true to their original mission: integrate cutting-edge techniques and technologies to surpass what you thought your brand could achieve.
“With regards to what the most important skills a marketer should be looking to add to their resume are, I would have to say middle and bottom of the funnel tactics. Many marketers these days are focused on top of the funnel (social, paid ads, etc.) with not enough focus on bottom of the funnel. According to recent statistics, the number one goal businesses have is increasing revenue. For most businesses, this is most effectively (in terms of both time and cost) done by increasing conversions once leads are in your funnel, not by increasing the number of leads at the top of the funnel.
“To improve conversions, marketers should be looking to learn more about:
- Email marketing
- Buyer personas
- Lead scoring
- Marketing automation
- Sales enablement
- Retargeting with paid ads”
Rafe Gomez is the co-owner of VC Inc. Marketing, an award winning provider of sales support and business strategy services to organizations around the world. His work has been featured in Entrepreneur, CNBC, Inc., MSNBC, the New York Post, StartUp Mindset, and many more.
“The #1 most important skill that a marketer should add to his/her resume is to demonstrate – using clear facts and data – how their efforts, plans, and strategies have improved sales for their employers or clients.
“In most organizations, marketers don’t have much contact with the customers or end users of the products/services that they’re supporting. This creates situations in which marketers are devising ideas that they think should be effective based on their education and experience, but – because of their lack of customer contact and/or interactions with their sales teams – don’t really know if what they’re proposing will work. This phenomenon is quite frustrating to management and sales teams, both of which look at marketing as expendable, immeasurable, and often counter-productive to achieving sales success.
“To counter this, marketers should work closely with sales to gain a deep and accurate understanding of the needs, goals, and challenges of their customers/clients. Marketers should then work backwards by taking this knowledge and devising approaches that address these exact needs, goals, and challenges. Savvy marketers who operate in this fashion will be able to easily validate how their efforts deliver impressive ROI, and organizations in any industry will always have a need for such professionals.”
Andrew Maffettone is the Director of Marketing & Operations for Seller’s Choice, a full-service digital marketing solution provider for e-commerce sellers. Andrew is a digital strategy and marketing expert with over a decade of experience improving the online presence of e-commerce sellers all over the world.
“When putting together a resume, having a deep understanding of analytics is absolutely essential – especially in digital marketing. Every aspect of your marketing strategy should be aimed at driving traffic to your store or website and, because of this, you need to be able to look at your marketing efforts and point to the reasoning behind their impacts on traffic. Without being able to decipher and monitor your key performance indicators and how those are impacted by your marketing efforts, you won’t be able to truly understand what works for your company, what does not, and what can be optimized. Knowing your numbers is key.”
Chelsey Heil is the CEO and founder of Creatives By Chelsey. She has an in depth understanding of all marketing aspects, she’s a mom to her daughter Aubrey and loves Disney!
“The most important marketing skills for your resume depend on the position you’re applying for. If you’re applying for a marketing management role, you need to have a good understanding of SEO, social ads, PPC ads and content marketing. Knowing each of these areas is critical to moving your projects forward, keeping deadlines, and making sure your team members are doing what they’re supposed to be doing. But if you’re not sure which role you want, quality content marketers are in high demand right now so I would start there. The skills you want for content marketing are keyword research, great conversational writing skills and a decent understanding of on-page SEO.”
Tracy Julien is VP of Marketing for GuidedChoice, a leader in retirement investment planning and managed IRAs. She has over 15 years of experience working for brands like FTD, the Blue Cross, and Unilever. Tracy specializes in consumer marketing, focusing heavily on marketing strategy, global brand management, customer experience, and product innovation.
“The term digital marketing gets thrown around a lot in the business world today. Often, people don’t know the true definition of digital marketing. Digital marketing is a broad term, but it consists of a handful of specific skills that can really boost your resume. Paid search, SEO, email marketing, social media, etc. all fall under the digital marketing umbrella. Link building falls into the SEO category, but the often-tedious task is extremely valuable. The concept of link building is simple: Get high quality backlinks placed on sites for your site to help boost its authority on Google. Executing a quality link building strategy is not so easy though. You don’t need to be an SEO expert to know the importance of links. The basic concept of link building though can give your resume the boost it needs.
“More of a resume tip here but show off your skills on your resume. Don’t simply put ‘Digital Marketing’ on your resume. List the specific aspects of digital marketing that you are good at. Separating yourself from the pack is ideal.”
Ryne Higgins is the Senior Manager of E-Commerce at Peacock Alley, a 45-year-old manufacturer of luxury bed and bath linens.
“Digital Analytics. In order to create the most effective and efficient strategy, marketers have to be able to understand all of the data that is available to them. Google Analytics, Hubspot, and hundreds of other platforms can tell you page views, click through rates, bounce rates, and conversions, but you have to then take this info and interpret it into an improved strategy.
“Content Strategy. One of the most effective marketing channels is content, and it takes an excellent content strategist to navigate this channel flawlessly. Knowing how to study the competition, look at keyword research, and incorporate the values and message of the client into a piece of content is a valuable skill.
“Creativity. Creativity is more important than ever in today’s world, with so many competitors constantly working on new campaigns. Marketers have to be able to separate themselves from the pack through creativity. This includes creative thinking, but also teamwork and risk assessment skills.”
Raj Shah is a senior marketing manager at TakeLessons Live with almost 10 years of digital marketing experience.
“The modern (digital) marketer must learn how to navigate through standard reports, and even learn to create custom reports in Google Analytics. This is especially important if you specialize in SEO, SEM, email marketing, social media marketing, CRO, and any other discipline that requires you to get the most return out of your website.
“Google Analytics gives you all types of data of actual visitors that touch your website. It tells you where they come from (traffic acquisition), who your most frequent types of visitors are (audience demographics), what they do, and from which kind of devices (user behavior). It also tells you what web pages perform the best and which ones have the most opportunity for improvement. It teaches you the ability to ask smarter and more relevant questions, one of the best traits of a skilled marketer.
“Even using GA for your personal blog can give you a core understanding of how web analytics work, so if you ever work for a Fortune 500 company that uses Google, Adobe, IBM, or any other enterprise analytics, you have enough working knowledge to get started.”
Sarah Hancock is a Content Marketing Manager for BestCompany. She has worked as a digital marketer for five years. Sarah is passionate about content marketing and search engine optimization.
“In my opinion, every marketer should be looking to hone their data analysis skills. We hire quite frequently for my marketing team, so I see a lot of resumes and conduct several interviews. Many marketers focus on their creative skills and aptitudes, which is great; creativity in marketing is important. However, creative moves should be backed by data, and too few marketers know how to look at data, analyze it, understand what it means, and craft their campaigns around it. Marketers who learn how to analyze and utilize the data available to them and highlight that skill on their resumes will not only set themselves apart from the pack and be more attractive to potential employers, but they are also better at their jobs because they base what they do off of research and learnings from past campaigns.”
Jim Milan is Communications & SEO Manager for Auto Accessories Garage, a fast-growing online retailer of auto parts and accessories.
“Video marketing is a great skill to add to your marketing resume. Videos are an incredibly powerful tool in modern marketing, and simple video production is not too difficult to learn. The difference between an amateur-level video and a professional-quality video is often just a little bit of know-how and care. Many companies don’t have the resources for an in-house video team or to hire a video production company, so the ability to create original video content can be a huge advantage.”
Kristen is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at G2Crowd who loves writing and sharing stories about top-notch marketing. When she isn’t writing, Kristen is all about performing or anything related to her dog, Bella, who may or may not have a whole bunch of virtual doggy friendships on Instagram.
“Marketers need to have strong writing skills. Marketing at its core is about sharing messages with consumers. This means that no matter what marketing role you have, whether it’s B2B or B2C, demand generation, ABM, or content marketing, you’ll be writing.
“Marketers need to know how to write content that is engaging and authentic. With consumers being exposed to up to 10,000 brand messages a day, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. An experienced writer can make even three words count in a call-to-action button. Alternatively, knowing how to write over 5,000 words on an in-depth topic will improve SEO and website traffic.
“These writing and communication skills tie into the need for analysis. You can be a great writer, but is your writing supporting the brand and ROI? Knowing how to measure the results of your marketing enables you to focus your time on activities that work, rather than throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping some of it will stick.
“Marketers can use marketing analytics software to track a variety of metrics, including traffic, click-through-rate, sales revenue, cost per lead, landing page conversion rates, and MQLs.
Alistair Dodds is a Marketing Director at Smoking Chili Media. Specializing in Technical SEO, Facebook PPC, Analytics and copywriting. He heads up the online marketing team, directing content marketing strategies and implementation for the Smoking Chili Media client base.
“Measuring ROI at a granular level is key with data tracking across platforms becoming so ubiquitous. Marketers have the ability to track multi-touch conversions through cross-domain tracking. It’s an essential component of your skill set so you can test, measure, and adapt campaigns to incrementally improve ROI. It can be essential when designing follow-up campaigns and increasing your team’s budget. Taking action based on the data you measure is now the difference-maker on the resumes we check.”
Alex Birkett is a Growth Marketing Manager at HubSpot. He’s based in Austin, Texas.
Kris Hughes is with Austin-based project management software company ProjectManager.com. In his current role, he’s responsible for the daily management of the company’s social media and content marketing initiatives, and in previous roles with digital publishers Wide Open Media Group and Rant Media Network, he led large teams of social media managers and content creators as well as maintained daily contributor responsibilities along both lines.
“A modern marketer’s skill set can be infinitely diverse depending on what industry they are working in, how their performance is typically measured, and what their role is within a larger marketing team, but there are a few skills coming out of school that are essential:
- Basic understanding of SEO at a minimum. While there’s a hand-wringing debate ongoing about the future of SEO, there’s no doubt every marketer will encounter it to one degree or another during their marketing career, so a basic functional understanding is essential.
- Highly polished writing skills. I’ve never met someone working in marketing who isn’t strong with the written word. Develop writing skills early and polish them as much as possible.
- Learn design software. Learn Photoshop, the Adobe Creative Suite, or something similar. While you might not be actively designing marketing assets on a daily basis, there will definitely come a time when you’ll need to be functional with them to help out in a pinch.
- Basic understanding of Google Ads and Facebook Ads. While content marketing and creation is essential, social media advertising (in particular) is a natural tie-in. It’s vital to have a working understanding of both Google Ads and Facebook Ads to be able to market content effectively given your company’s objectives and drive the desired ROI on that advertising spend.”
Emily Fritz writes for dio, a national experiential marketing based in Central Pennsylvania. With over ten years’ experience in marketing, digital marketing, communications, and media relations, she values an integrative approach that places a brand experience in the heart of the marketing plan.
“Live event marketing and event planning skills are important for marketers. In the digital age, physical experience is what drives online engagements.
“As traditional advertising declines, experiential marketing is on the rise. According to EventTrack research, experiential marketing budgets are increasing by 5.6% in 2018. Plus, 86% of brands say they will execute more or the same number of event and experiential programs in 2018 as compared to 2017.
“As the world grows more and more digital, people actually crave visceral experiences. Gen Z and Gen Y consumers, especially, gravitate toward brands who offer meaningful experiences. (Not to mention, these generations block traditional and digital advertising, so connecting with them in-person at events is a smart way to invest marketing dollars.)
“Being a marketer who understands how physical experiences highlight the brand’s authenticity and further differentiates it from competitors will be extremely valuable in the future. Marketers also need to understand the consumer journey – and what physical touchpoints play into a buying decision. By immersing a consumer with an experiential marketing activation, brands are able to stand out and create memories for their audiences. Marketers need (and need to understand) personal communication skills and personal experience motivations.
“Live events integrate well with digital media and social amplification. People organically want to talk about the events they attend and share experiences IRL online. Marketers will continue to learn how to design such events to motivate social sharing.
With a bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of
Missouri, Lauren uses her editorial skills as the Editor-in-Chief of
the Digital Insights blog and Morethanglam.com. Lauren also has been an asset to the marketing team when it comes to ad copywriting, campaign management, digital marketing, and PR efforts.
“Marketers should always be adding skills to their resume. One of the most important skills to master is organized reporting. Having a system down for gathering reporting data will make your, and your client’s, life easier.
“Another skill to be consistently working at is quality content marketing. Brands are increasingly interested in good content that will not only attract the right people to engage with their content but also increase brand awareness. Posting on social media multiple times a day is great, but it will lead you nowhere if the content itself isn’t engaging.”
Eric Quanstrom serves as Chief Marketing Officer at CIENCE Technologies, Inc. Mr. Quanstrom leads all Marketing efforts, from Awareness to Zealous fans. He brings 15 years of CMO-level experience to the role of Chief Marketing Officer.
“The most important skill marketers can add right now is expertise in designing customer experiences.
“This is most applicable across multiple touchpoints to multiple people with multiple buyer personas – both within your (vendor/supplier) organization and on the buy-side. If I had to give this a buzzword-worthy moniker, it would be lifecycle marketing.
“When I think about the way the buyer’s journey has changed, it’s no longer a linear progression with any single decision-maker. In virtually every B2B sale, it’s a multi-touch, consensus buying exercise where every buyer brings their own (persona) perspective to the table.
“As such, the ability to market cohesively at each touchpoint through an entire sales cycle is a hugely important skill set.”
Lisa Shepherd is founder of The Mezzanine Group, a business-to-business (B2B) marketing company. She’s written three books on B2B sales and marketing and speaks frequently at industry and academic conferences on the changes in B2B buying and selling.
“The single most important skill that marketers need to add to their resumes today is the ability to measure the impact of their work.
“Every marketer, from Chief Marketing Officer down to Marketing Coordinator, is being asked to demonstrate the value of the investment their companies are making in marketing.
“And there aren’t enough marketers today who can do that. When I’m screening resumes to hire a marketer, I want to see a lot of numbers on candidates’ resumes. I always look first for QUANTIFICATION. I want to see these symbols: $, %, #. If I don’t see those symbols, then I know that the marketer isn’t focused on measuring the impact of their work, or doesn’t have the skills to do so.
Andrew Rawson came to Traliant with more than 25 years of experience in strategy, operations, and marketing. Most recently, Andrew served as the Global Head of Compliance Learning (eLearning) at Thomson Reuters, an information, technology, and services company with more than 60,000 employees.
“One important marketing skill a marketer should be adding to their resume is SEO specialist. In our digital world, it is important for a marketer to be able to create search engine optimized content to draw customers in. In addition, a marketer should be looking to add social media expert to their resume. Because social media is used by so many people, a successful marketer should be strong in this skill. Social media allows companies to reach a much wider audience, therefore, it is important to have a marketer that is well-versed in it.”
Marko Saric is a marketing consultant and founder of HowToMakeMyBlog.com. He has worked in online marketing over the last 10+ years both for a social media analytics startup but also for a public listed gaming company running their content marketing.
“The best marketing skill a marketer should have these days is the ability to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and truly understand them, their needs, concerns and wants. You can outsource your skills to Facebook et al. who will gladly do your job for you using lookalike audiences, machine learning and such, but it is not the best long-term solution for your career. Being able to research, identify, and truly understand a target market is a skill that puts you in control and allows you to have a broader range of tactics and strategies when trying to communicate and spread a message to a wider audience.”
Mike McRitchie is a Top 100 Career Blogger and Career/Small Business Strategist. He helps mid-career project managers, technical experts, and small business owners design and pursue compelling careers or businesses. He helps them uncover significant accomplishments and cool stories that he then crafts into compelling marketing pieces – resume/LinkedIn profile/website content.
“The most important marketing skill a market should have is copywriting skills. Whether you’re writing an email, social media post, blog post, sales page, autoresponder series, or website content, copywriting is king. Even if you have someone else write the copy for you, the knowledge you get from studying and implementing copywriting in your work will pay off dividends in all areas. You learn how to write copy that people enjoy reading. And if you learn direct response copywriting, then you’ll also be able to write persuasive content that gets people to buy the products or services you’re selling.”
Jason Lavis is the Managing Director of Out of the Box Innovations Ltd.
“Include examples of game-changing insights and the results you helped to achieve in your resume. Practical case study highlights will excite those that might hire you because they’ll hope that you can do the same for them.
“The most valuable skill that a marketer can nurture is the ability to find inspiration, insight, and creativity in different situations. These skills aren’t teachable, and you can’t see them in college course curriculum.
“Reasonably soon, marketing technology using chatbots, machine learning, and AI will take over most marketing tasks. We can upload every clickable headline, call-to-action, and close, and let machines split test at a rate we couldn’t conceive of.
“One of the most distant developments for AI is going to be the creative and artistic type of work. Flashes of market-crushing inspiration come to marketers that persistently exercise their creative muscle. It was the most critical skill back in the days of ‘Mad Men,’ and it’s likely to be the case until humans stop marketing.”
Ketan Kapoor is the CEO & Co-Founder of Mettl.
“Lead nurturing is one of the most underrated and sought-after skills that a marketer can master over time and get an edge over the others. It’s not only a buzzword, but it also defines and drives the entire customer journey across the funnel. No matter the quality of content you churn, until you define the audience it caters to in the conversion funnel, you will face a tough time closing leads and driving business.
“You must be able to understand the position of your customer in the funnel if you are to create the right content and messaging and influence purchase decisions. The beauty of lead nurturing lies in the fact that it allows you to juice out maximum potential from the rest of your initiatives, whether it’s social media, blogging, PR, or any other campaign. All the while, you don’t have to introduce a new marketing initiative that incurs more resources and efforts. If you can master the lead conversion funnel and curate campaigns around it, this skill can be readily applied to any business in no time.”
Vincent DeCastro is a digital marketing and SEO professional with over 20 years of experience teaching and managing Search Engine Optimization and Pay-Per-Click Advertising campaigns. He has managed over 100 small and mid-sized business’ internet marketing campaigns involving a mix of SEO and PPC. DeCastro is currently the CEO of SEO My Business in Atlanta.
“Every marketer should be a master of digital marketing. Their resume should include SEO, paid advertising, or PPC, social media marketing, and email marketing/automation. As someone who has worked in PPC for years, I always look for candidates who have strong skills in AdWords, LinkedIn, and Facebook especially. It is imperative for marketers entering the workforce now to have knowledge in all of these areas of marketing if they want to succeed.”
Diane Domeyer is executive director of The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service placing creative, digital, and marketing professionals. As a 25-year veteran in the staffing industry, Domeyer has been interviewed by numerous publications and named one of the Bay Area’s Most Influential women by the San Francisco Business Times for six consecutive years.
“When it comes to hard skills, employers seek candidates with expertise in a range of specialties. We published a new report, Step Up Your Digital Game, that includes results of a survey of nearly 600 creative and marketing professionals with hiring authority. The research shows top areas in demand include:
- Digital marketing strategy
- Search engine optimization and search engine marketing
- Marketing data analytics
- Content development and management
- Social media
“In addition to technical proficiency, employers are placing greater weight on soft skills – such as communication, collaboration and adaptability – when evaluating candidates for marketing roles. This trend extends to leadership positions, as marketing executives must increasingly collaborate with colleagues in other departments to develop and execute business plans.
“Empathy is another important quality. Business relationships are vital to every marketing professional’s career trajectory. Those who are able to empathize with their colleagues and customers can more effectively solve problems and move the company forward.”
Sean Dudayev is a dedicated entrepreneur that is passionate about helping startups achieve their business growth goals. He is currently consulting dozens of companies in their sales and marketing efforts. His mission is to connect the right businesses to right customers so that the world can be a more fruitful place for all of us.
“The most important skill that absolutely must be on your resume is digital marketing expertise. In this day an age, you’re not a marketer if you do not have skills in at least one area of digital marketing. If I had to be specific, being a specialist in paid advertising (Google and Facebook) or SEO would be preferable. This is due to the fact that these have a more direct impact on revenue over other digital marketing efforts like social media marketing. If you have digital marketing as a skillset on your resume, the world is your oyster.”
Mike Khorev is an SEO expert and digital marketing strategist that helps small and mid-size businesses generate more leads and sales and grow revenue online. He offers expert advice on marketing your company the right way through performance-based digital marketing, web design, social media, search engine marketing, and many other online practices.
“The most important skill a marketer should add to their resume is marketing automation. This is aligned with the overall business trends in AI and automation.
“Many companies are jumping on the automation train, whether it’s a new CMS (Hubspot), workflows, or nurturing campaigns. Many new tools can help you with social media management, CRM, email marketing, and reporting automation, which not only can help you improve ROI but also cut down on resources and save your marketing team a lot of time.
“Platforms like HubSpot are also offering courses and certifications (some of them are free). This will be a skill valuable to many companies, as many companies are now looking to integrate automation to their marketing processes to make it more streamlined and maximize cost-efficiency.”
Kenneth Burke is the marketing director for Text Request, an online business texting service. He’s run a boutique marketing agency, Kenneth Burke Media, where he helped dozens of businesses from pre-launch startups to billion-dollar companies achieve their goals. He’s also been awarded for his work in sales and psychology research.
“As someone vetting resumes, I don’t care that much about what particular skills you have. I care about what you’ve done with those skills. I’d recommend to marketers touching up their resumes that they focus on the results they’ve produced through their whatever skills they have (which should already be relevant to the job they’re applying for). Show me what value you can bring to my table. Examples:
“Instead of saying: I’m proficient in search engine optimization and SEO strategy.
Say: In my three years at [The Company] I grew our organic search traffic by [350%].
“Instead of saying: Fluent in knowledge base software and natural language processing.
Say: I built a sales and support chat bot that helped us grow sales by [120%] and customer retention by [45%] over two years.
“You’re supposed to be a marketer – so market yourself. Show me the value I’ll get by investing in you as an employee. The #1 question I’d ask in an interview is, ‘So, what have you done?’ The person who answers that best – and who fits with the company culture – should win the position every time.”