6 Things You Really Need to Stop Putting in Your Marketing Resume

In order to grow your marketing career, it’s not enough to just be able to market a brand or product. You must also be able to market yourself. Given that, it’s incredible how many marketers commit crucial mistakes or professional faux pas on their resumes that make them look dated or out of touch.

Your resume doesn’t need to be flashy to make an impact. But if it isn’t modern, efficient and relevant to the people looking at it, then employers are going to assume you’re not either. Next time you revisit your resume, take special care to ensure it doesn’t include any of these detrimental factors:

Cheap Buzzwords

Marketing ROI Formula Download Marketing is saturated with platitudes that get repeated so often they become meaningless. Unfortunately, those buzzwords and phrases too often find their ways onto resumes. Terms like:

  • “self-motivated”
  • “team player”
  • “data-driven”
  • “best of breed”

are largely meaningless and weaken your resume. In a survey by CareerBuilder, buzzwords like these were named as some of recruiter’s biggest turn-offs. Replace them with strong action verbs that describe how you were able to improve a process, increase revenue or cut costs.

Whacky Job Titles

A few years ago there was a trend of claiming or granting unconventional and often grandiose job titles: “Social Media Samurai,” “Analytics Wizard,” “Red Email Marketing Power Ranger.” You’ve probably gotten a business card listing onc of these titles, or perhaps you even have one yourself.

The idea was clever enough to begin with, but has since lost its charm. You won’t impress anyone these days by slapping “Evangelist” or “Crusader” at the end of your title–even if that’s what your employer has you formally listed as in their records. More importantly, that kind of name doesn’t do much to tell someone what your role was in a casual scan.

For your resume, there’s no shame in using standard job titles common across the industry that were analogous to your responsibilities in that role.


It’s extremely uncommon for a written objective to add a substantial value to a marketing resume. Much more often, it comes off as a generic waste of valuable resume space. The easiest way to put a recruiter to sleep is to have them read about another “marketing professional looking for opportunities that will allow me to leverage my skills.”

Avoid the run-of-the-mill objective statement and replace it with your elevator pitch. Briefly explain what you’re great at, your major accomplishments, and how you can provide unique value to this marketing role.

Personal Photos

There is no reason for a marketing professional to add a headshot or other picture to their resume. It’s just a distraction from what really matters: your qualifications.

Additionally, a photo can give unscrupulous employers unnecessary information nationality, age, religion and other factors that they could use to make a discriminatory decision before meeting you in person. That kind of choice is illegal, but there’s little you can do to identify it and get it enforced.

And really, most headshots aren’t even that flattering.

Your Home Address

It’s 2017. Nearly all communication you’ll ever need to have with a recruiter or hiring manager will go through phone or via digital channels like email. There’s no need for you to list your personal address on your marketing resume–yet it’s something that many professionals continue to do.

Leave your city and ZIP code so employers can be assured you live close enough to do the work (i.e. you’re not 500 miles away). But your home address is just one more bit of irrelevant information that a reader could use to discriminate against you.

Replace your home address with your digital addresses: email, personal websites, blogs, LinkedIn Profile, portfolios, etc.

Past Salaries and Wages

There’s no need to include salary information or hourly pay rates for roles you previously held in your resume.

It’s not only unnecessary; it may send the wrong message to recruiters and employers. You might preemptively price yourself out of consideration before even getting invited to the negotiation table, or offered a rate much lower than what you’re looking for.

Remember, your resume should showcase the value your professional experience and skills provide–not its cost to former employers. If an application asks for salary requirements, address these questions in your cover letter.c

Bonus Tip: The Importance of File Formats

One extremely common mistake we see among marketers in particular is not having a version of their resume available in a universally accepted word processor format like .docx.

Many marketers save their resume as a PDF or other fixed-image format. That’s especially common when they want to get creative with how their resume is formatted. That’s entirely fine, and can even be advantageous as a way to show off their design skills or cleverness. But even if you want to take this approach, it’s still extremely important to have a simple version that can be read in a common program like Microsoft Word.


2 thoughts on “6 Things You Really Need to Stop Putting in Your Marketing Resume

  1. Interesting, but if I don’t supply a photo and past wages the recruiters or company request it from me 99% of the time. Maybe I’m looking for jobs at the wrong companies then.

    1. Hey Allistair, that’s a fair consideration.

      It’s hard to imagine an instance where a company would request a head shot for a marketing job, except perhaps for some kind of position where they’d be on camera a lot (some sort of social media marketer or video marketer, for example). Whether you want to comply is up to you, but I’d be wary of companies requiring a photo for a role where your physical appearance is irrelevant. And I’d certainly never recommend offering it unsolicited as a default part of your resume.

      It’s common for recruiters/companies to specifically ask for your past compensation, and in most scenarios I’d recommend offering that information honestly and without complaint. Again, however, I wouldn’t include it in the resume.

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