List of important skills for a marketing resume

Marketing jobs require certain skills, and having these on your resume could help land a great job—and promising career path.

List of important skills for a marketing resume

Your marketing resume should naturally sell itself.

Marketing jobs are expected to grow by 8% from 2018 to 2028, which is faster than average for all other jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To stand out as a candidate in the industry, you have to be sure your marketing resume highlights a particular set of skills. According to the 2018 CMO Survey sponsored by the American Marketing Association and others, these are the most sought after marketing skills (in order) when hiring talent:

  • Creativity
  • Leadership abilities
  • Marketing/technology platform experience
  • Data science background
  • Curiosity
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Financial acumen

But just throwing a bunch of buzzwords onto a resume isn’t enough to rise above the crowded talent pool. The challenge is being able to bring such skills to life on and off the page so that you can stand out from among your peers. Monster asked two marketing professors for thoughts on how to do just that.

Key general marketing skills

General marketing attributes are often soft skills that can be hard to clarify and quantify. Put another way, they may fall into the “show, don’t tell” category of skills. In other words, just putting that you are a “problem solver” or “creative” on your resume is not enough—everyone’s saying that. You’re going to have to bolster those claims in your cover letter, on the resume itself, and during the interview. That said, here are a few soft skills that you’ll want to highlight:

Critical thinking skills. If you think about what most companies are trying to do, it’s thinking about an abstract economic environment that may be going through social and multicultural shifts, says Zachary S. Johnson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Marketing at the Robert B. Willumstad School of Business at Adelphi University and founder of ProfVal.com. “Identifying assumptions, understanding reliable sources, and then being able to transform the information into something actionable,” he says, is how you are putting those critical thinking skills and creativity into practice.

Tip: On your marketing resume, highlight a problem that you solved or idea that you helped launch.

Curiosity. “Marketers who are really good have to be sort of like anthropologists studying humans,” says Ann Bastianelli, senior lecturer of marketing at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. “Curiosity about people and what makes them do what they do, what motivates them to change their behavior, is an important trait.”

Tip: Be curious. Ask plenty of questions about a potential new role and perhaps a company’s recent marketing activities to show how you think.

Communications. Business leaders look to the marketing person for a concise explanation of what’s happening in the marketplace and why. “The ability to capture complex information that responds to broad questions and defend a point of view articulately is big,” says Bastianelli.

Tip: Make sure all of your written communications are error-free and speak to the recruiter’s needs. In screening calls, be ready to articulate why you are the best candidate for the job.

Trend-savvy marketing skills

In addition to the soft skills above, today’s marketing professionals can make themselves more desirable to employers by possessing digital and data skills.

Analytics. “There’s been an exponential growth in business analytics,” says Johnson, “and marketing is one of the disciplines that is trying to capitalize on that data.” Therefore, more and more hiring managers for marketing roles are looking for candidates with analytical skills.

Tip: This might be an easier skill to list if you’ve worked with specific software and systems.

Social media. Expertise in this area is not platform dependent, says Johnson, especially since platforms change all the time. “Combine your theoretical knowledge with an overview understanding of a few core social media platforms that seem relevant in your area of study,” he says. "That combination of theoretical knowledge and practical skills will give companies confidence in your ability." 

Tip: Instead of just listing that you did a Facebook campaign on your resume, quantify your achievements by pointing out that you achieved a 25% increase in clicks or you generated XX number of new customer sign-ups. Also, “if you have 10k followers on social, mention that,” adds Johnson.

Niche marketing skills and experience

“One of the bigger trends I've seen over the last few years is the hybridization of knowledge requirements,” says Johnson. In other words, employers increasingly seek graduates with deep reservoirs of business knowledge fed by streams of knowledge in disparate disciplines, he explains. 

For instance, one health care startup that Johnson was in contact with was seeking business majors with the capacity to conduct secondary marketing research within the domain of pharmaceuticals. “In other words, she needed a graduate with strong critical thinking skills aided by knowledge in disciplines including, among others, marketing, finance, business analytics, and health care,” he says.

Tip: Highlight your internship experiences. “Internships are more practice-focused and industry-specific,” says Johnson. And, if you took coursework in your niche field of interest (for instance, if you want to go into entertainment or sports marketing specifically and took classes in those disciplines), add that as well.

Get some help selling yourself

Your marketing resume is your moment to stand out. Do your research so that you understand the needs of your potential employer, and tailor the marketing skills on your resume to engage with those needs. Use descriptive examples and focus on proven attributes to create a strong impression. And be sure to get a second set of eyes to review the finer points of your resume. Could you use some help? Get a free resume evaluation today from the experts at Monster's Resume Writing Service. You'll get detailed feedback in two business days, including a review of your resume's appearance and content, and a prediction of a recruiter's first impression.