When critiquing CVs, a question which strikes me more often than not is ‘what else…?’
Looking to make CVs the best they can be, we always want to know ‘what else’ have you done? What else have you achieved? What have you not put on the CV which might show you in an even better light? Your answers to these questions should then be used in your CV to help improve your chance of getting the invite to interview.
To stand out from the crowd, you need to start with an accurate and professional CV which slaps an employer in the face and says, ‘meet me!’. You’ll need to consider what else you’ve done in addition to your actual job. What else can you put in your CV to take it from being just another ‘okay CV’, which will be left in the pile.
We’ve shared tips on writing great CVs before, now we’d like to take it a step further sharing specific activities you can undertake which could positively differentiate you from all other job applicants.
Let’s assume you’ve got great experience with all the textbook requirements for the job. To become exceptional, you need to consider the activities you can do which help define your industry image and help you stand out from your peers.
Undertaking any, if not all of the activities below can help create an industry platform to build your reputation, something which will provide a distinct advantage during the CV selection process. Don’t hide them away, make sure you highlight them in your CV, so any employer will be aware of what else you’re doing in addition to your day to day responsibilities.
- Blog writing
- Personal Website
- Social Media Activity
- Participating in online communities
- Side Hustle
In writing and publishing your own blog, you are showing an employer your creativity is not reserved for just the 9-5pm job. It may also reinforce the depth of your industry experience for example in applying to be a Content Executive for a Travel business if your blog is about travel – Bonus! Adversely, you need to make sure the blog content doesn’t reflect poorly on your professional career. Whilst your own blog may not be immediately relevant to your day job, it is somewhere which you’re able to develop your talent and hone your craft.
Having your own website can be the shining beacon of why an employer might want to meet you. If you have technical skills, you might show these on your site to impress an employer, who after seeing your site will want to meet the guy / girl who produced such great work.
It’s a bit like your shop window, laid out for everyone to see how good you are. Equally, it’s somewhere for you to hone your skills, whether it’s CRO, SEO tactics, link building, paid advertising etc.
Getting yourself out there, if not in person then at least by your content. This is a great way to get noticed for your experience, skill and knowledge. Become a contributor and have your articles published, get interviewed for podcasts or become a speaker at industry conferences / events. Depending on your level of experience in the industry as to where and what you can submit but become recognised for your proactive stance on contributing to the digital marketing industry.
Social Media Activity
There are now so many choices as to which platform you use to build your audience and how you represent yourself. It might be through photographs on Instagram or your written contribution on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. It might even be through your YouTube Channel.
If you’ve built a YouTube Channel with 1,000+ subscribers this is a huge achievement to be proud of, so share it! If you have a creative outlet, have shaped and molded it to be the best it can be, you should showcase it in your CV!
Make sure your profiles are at least, complete. At their best – showcase them with your finest work and ensure they are complete with full bio and photo. It would also be sacrilege for an employer to stumble up on abandoned or bad social media accounts – so make sure you clean them up!
Get yourself up and out. There are more and more industry-specific meetups happening locally. You’ve got Inbound, Take It Offline, Brighton Digital Woman and more. My thoughts, pick and choose the ones which you can add value to or play specifically to your experience. But if they’re on your doorstep, it’s definitely worth popping in. Don’t spread yourself too thin but also don’t hold back. Networking is fun, as is the knowledge share and beers (yes, there will probably be beer!).
Taking part always counts, you can build a reputation either physically through conferences or meetups, but you can equally build your reputation through online Groups -LinkedIn, Facebook or other. It may be that you initially take part in someone else’s group – Marie Page’s Team Digerati or Jim Munro‘s Dumb SEO Questions on Facebook for example. Although if you’re more experienced you might even try your hand at building an online forum where you can offer less experienced digital Marketers a friendly discussion space.
To be considered from 2 perspectives:
The first is your own training. Ensuring your own skills are upto date and best practice – list the recent or specialist training courses you’ve completed If you did complete your formal education a while ago, it’s worth highlighting recent industry training you’ve received reflecting you’re always evolving and learning.
The second thought is the training of others. If you’re established and have a forte which you could share with others, you may wish to consider offering your services as a trainer to the industry.
Our industry peers are generally entrepreneurial. And for many, it’s common for there to be some sort of side hustle on the go in addition to a day job. Whether it’s an affiliates site, creating the marketing of a family member’s web-based business, developing an app, freelance photography or even writing a book. It’s these extracurricular activities which make you exceptional and is a way for you to show potential employers what you’re capable of. That you’re prepared to step out of the box and go above and beyond the norm.
When it comes to CV writing, detailing your employment history alone is not enough. It’s so competitive out there and if you’re anywhere near ambitious about your career – you’ll want the best job.
You’ll need to ensure you’re undertaking activities like those above. If you’re already doing them, make sure you include them in your CV. It doesn’t have to be in great detail but enough to offer a teaser which can then be discussed in more detail when you’re called for interview.
It’s essential you’re doing a great job in your day job; having a commendable track record of over-achievement is always great but even more so, is being able to demonstrate what you do in your ‘down time’. An employer likes to know you’re contributing to industry knowledge; you’re proactive in your learning and trying out new techniques. Essentially, you’re a go-getter who’s up for the challenge.
In this disruptive industry, to land the best jobs you need to step out of your comfort zone and become a game changer going above and beyond what is expected!
If you would like help finding your dream Digital Marketing Job, get in touch with our specialist Recruiters today! You can send us a message through our Contact Form, Email us directly or call 0203 751 4108. We also publish new job opportunities and job seeking tips via Social Media, so make sure to follow us and join our conversation on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube & Instagram!