Gone are the days of the Times New Roman, stark resume. Now, in some fields at least, there’s more room for creativity and personality in these one-sheeters—cue a collective sigh of relief for anyone creating a social media resume.
When it comes to the bustling field of social media, it pays to stand out. In the last decade, jobs seeking people to fill this role have increased more than 1,000%. Social media is becoming the proven work of future CMOs—not just additional intern work.
But as the popularity and opportunity for career growth in this field grows, so does the competition. And with recruiters spending just six seconds looking at each resume, you need a resume that stands out clearly and quickly.
Follow this guide to understand the do’s and don’ts of creating a social media marketing resume. Then, download our social media resume template to put these tips into action.
The do’s of a social media resume
Do include data-driven experience
Skills that every social media manager must have, like communication, creativity or organization, won’t make you stand out.
Showing how you’ve used those skills to create impact will.
Using metrics in your resume to quantify the impact you made in past positions differentiates you from other applicants in the stack.
This not only shows what you did—it shows what you accomplished. After all, what sounds more impressive: “Posted engaging content” or “Created content that consistently achieved an average of 100,000 impressions”?
Here are a few KPIs to consider including in a data-driven resume:
- Audience growth: Grew X channels by 10,000 followers in X months, or increased followers by X% in X months
- Ability to build brand awareness: Increased monthly impressions by X% month over month, or grew Facebook post reach from 4,000 to 12,000 people
- Stats around revenue: Contributed to increasing revenue by $X, or contributed to selling out 200-ticket events through audience targeting
- Engagement impact: Maintained a 4% average engagement rate on Instagram posts, or increased average monthly engagements by 10,000 across all channels
- Paid social stats: Decreased ad CPC by $X by adjusting audience targeting
- Successful campaigns you managed and the KPIs around them
Use Sprout Social’s reports to quickly and easily pull these metrics. The Profile Performance Report can highlight your impact and metrics per network, while Cross-Channel Reports give you a big picture look at outcomes across all social profiles.
If you don’t have access to a tool like Sprout or exact data points, try these workarounds:
- Quantify how many influencers you worked with
- Include the budget you managed for paid social
- Mention follower growth: If you don’t remember how many followers your company had when you started, use the Wayback Machine to look at their followers on your start date
- Include posting frequency and the number of channels you managed
- Highlight strategy by numbers—for example, did you streamline the number of times your company posted on social daily?
Highlight hard and soft skills
Hard and soft skills represent two sides of the same creative coin, and you should include both in your resume.
Hard skills are more specific and measurable—think social media tools and software you have experience with, like Sprout, or skills like content creation, being bilingual and photography.
Soft skills are more abstract, but important—think communication, hard-working and detail-oriented.
Experts suggest limiting yourself to six to 10 of your most relevant skills to keep them concise and trustworthy.
Job descriptions for social media professionals will include a mix of hard and soft skills, so look at job postings you’re interested in to identify which are most relevant.
Take a look at a few skills, hard and soft, we identified in a social media manager position at Beyond Meat:
Pro tip: Use your work experience descriptions to prove these skills with accomplishments and metrics. If Sprout is in your hard skills section, prove how you used it in your experience section.
Use keywords from the job description
Customizing your social media resume and skills for each job you apply to goes a long way, landing you in the top 5% of applicants before a human being even sees your application.
Many larger companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen resumes, scanning them for relevant keywords to find the most qualified candidates. Using keywords can prevent you from falling through the automated cracks and, once at a hiring manager’s desk, can make you stand out.
What does this look like in practice? Let’s use this job posting for Calm as an example:
Here’s how you can translate the keywords identified above into the work experience section of your resume:
- Developed cross-platform brand and content campaigns across our TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter channels
- Led the creation of a video content strategy to grow my company’s TikTok channel by X views and videos in X months
- Created data reports to share with cross-functional collaborative partners from the Marketing, Content and Partnerships teams
If you’ve been in the work world for a while, including certifications in your resume—like Google Analytics or Sprout Certifications—can highlight your commitment to continuing education in an ever-changing field, as well as your proficiencies.
If you’re a recent graduate, adding digital marketing certifications to your resume can emphasize your hard skills—even before you have full-time experience to tout.
Emphasize experience over education
Before this sparks the most heated discussion since whether or not social media managers need masters degrees, hear me out.
Social media professionals can come from a range of diverse backgrounds—some never studied marketing.
Large organizations weigh experience more heavily than education 44% of the time, with some leading companies dropping their four-year degree requirement altogether. And one study found that 45% of hiring managers and recruiters weigh potential as the most important element of an application.
— Anthony Yepez (@AnthonyYepez) February 14, 2022
Nope, got a language degree 😊
— Shaneen (she/her) (@olmos_shnn) February 15, 2022
Nope! English literature girl over here 🤓
— Dakota Jeane | The Social Media Manager (@dakotajeane) February 14, 2022
The takeaway? De-emphasize your education section and lead with experience.
There are a few exceptions to this rule. Leading with education can help recent graduates alleviate gaps in their early resume. For applicants with five to 10 years of experience, several professionals recommend moving your education further down on your resume. They also suggest removing your graduation date after 10-15 years to limit age bias—with the exception of continuing education, like a Ph.D. or notable certifications.
Pro tip: If you don’t have a degree, you can still apply for a job that requires one if your experience speaks for itself. Flexjobs recommends including a line that says, “in lieu of a bachelor’s degree, I have X years of proven experience” to get through an ATS.
Include an objective statement if it adds value
A career objective consists of a few short sentences at the top of your resume describing you, your accomplishments and what you hope to achieve next.
With already limited real estate in your resume, is this necessary? Not always.
If you’re changing fields, applying for an entry-level position or if you just moved, a career objective can provide background that fills in job gaps and provides more context .
At the end of the day, it’s up to you—just ask yourself the question, “does a career objective add value?”
The don’ts of a social media resume
Don’t be dishonest
This goes without saying—don’t lie on your resume. Only include skills, experience and stats that are truthful.
If you need to beef up your experience, identify the skills in job postings that you lack and go from there. Can you find lower-level positions or certifications that can help you build these skills? You can even look into freelancing to gain more hands-on experience and refine skills you already have.
Don’t overdo the visuals
When it comes to a social media resume, a splash of color here and a personal logo and icons there add a touch of design flair that proves your keen visual eye.
But don’t go overboard. How do you react when you see a resume with wild fonts, multiple colors and too many visual elements?
Not to mention, that applicant tracking system we mentioned earlier may not register resumes with images or lines in them that can appear as jumbled messes of code.
Pro tip: Skipping photos in your resume is recommended. At best, they don’t add value. At worst, they can influence discrimination.
Don’t forget to spell check
A resume highlighting your copywriting skills and attention to detail can lose all credibility from one typo.
Don’t just rely on spell check in Word or Google Docs—read through your resume carefully a few times, and ask a friend or family member to do the same.
Use this template to write a social media resume that resonates
You know you have what it takes to land that incredible TikTok-centric job you’ve been dreaming of—now prove it. Create a social media marketing resume that is clear, to-the-point and most importantly, makes you shine.
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