Career Resources

So you’re looking for help with getting a job in marketing or advertising. Here you’ll find some articles I’ve written that might help and resume and cover letter resources. If you’d like help building your marketing career, feel free to get in touch,

Articles on Career Growth

How I Ditched My Science Degree for a Marketing Career

How I Got Hired with No Interviews or Applications

How I Stood Out from 437 Applicants To Get Hired At My Dream Company

On Reaching For Opportunities That Are Out of Your League

Why Don’t You Have Your Own Website Yet?

A Simple Tool to Effectively Organize Your Job Applications

How to Grow a Successful Career in Marketing by Matt Barby

Resume and Cover Letter Templates

How should you format your resume? How do you write a cover letter?

Questions you can Google but won’t find much useful information. There are thousands of free resume templates, but they fail to explain how to communicate what you’ve done.

I’ve created templates for both that you can download below. Quick tip: don’t worry about the design yet.

Google Docs Files Word Files
Resume Template
Cover Letter Template
Resume Template
Cover Letter Template

(I’ll share my resume and cover letter that got me hired below.)

Here’s the spreadsheet I used to track all my job applications and positions I was interested in.

I’m not going to give you some BS about putting your education below your work history. Or that your resume should be one page with one-inch margins. All of that is advice that doesn’t actually help you write a bulletproof resume. Instead, you should focus on the content.

Let’s dive in.

How do you make your resume stand out?

Don’t worry about pretty resume design, or where to put your education, or if you should write an objective statement. That’s all irrelevant if you can’t communicate your skills and the value you can provide. A well-designed resume helps, but focus on making the content of your resume solid before thinking about the aesthetics.

The most important part of the resume is the first section where you sell yourself, otherwise known as your hook. That phrase might give you flashbacks of high school writing classes, but it’s still important. To make your resume stand out, you need to demonstrate your value immediately – and you have six seconds to do this. Otherwise, your resume will likely get passed over. Whomp whomp.

Do this by stating what your background is and what value you can offer to the company in the position you’re applying for. This varies depending on where you are in your career. Someone with a lot of experience might have something like:

Healthcare executive with over 25 years of experience leading providers of superior patient care.

While someone earlier in their career might have:

Digital marketer with experience generating leads through social media and blogging for start-up SaaS company.

Writer with experience researching and writing for university and local newspapers, seeking to enter start-up company with less than 50 employees to improve lead generation efforts through blogging.

The key is to make sure every word is valuable. No fluff words. Only say what value you bring and what you can do for them.

How do you communicate your skills in a resume?

When explaining previous employment, communicate results, not responsibilities. For example:

Bad: Responsible for writing blog posts
Good: Wrote 2 blog posts a week which contributed to a 37% increase in blog traffic in 2 months

The first example just states what you were supposed to do – it doesn’t even state that you did it. The second example demonstrates what you did and the results of your work.

Keep in mind the role you’re applying for. If you have a background in marketing, but you’re applying for a sales position, don’t talk about how you increased traffic. Angle it toward sales instead.

Marketing Angle: Wrote 2 blog posts a week which contributed to a 37% increase in blog traffic in 2 months
Sales Angle: Wrote 2 blog posts a week which generated an average of 12 qualified leads per week

This will require actually knowing the valuable of your work and analyzing your results. Some people will go about their day-to-day responsibilities at work without considering the results that they’re creating. If you haven’t stopped to think about the value you’re providing to your company, take a moment to reflect on it. Look at the projects you’ve worked on and talk to your manager about your impact.

Get my resume template.

(Also don’t put down skills like “Proficient at Microsoft Word.” Literally, no one cares.)

What makes a great cover letter?

If a stranger went up to you and, without you asking, started telling you his life story and what he’s passionate about, would you listen? I doubt it. You have more important things to do (like building your career).

But if a stranger went up to you, complimented your shoes, and asked where you bought them, I’d argue you’re more likely to respond.

Start your cover letter by addressing the hiring manager or recruiter by name (never use “to whom it may concern”). You’ll have to do your research to find out their name. Take a moment to develop familiarity and explain why you’re getting in touch with them. How did you find the job listing? Are you in touch with anyone else at the company? Did someone at the company recommend that you email this person?

The challenge with cover letters is that it’s easy for us to go on and on about what we like, what we want in our career, our involvements in college, and what we like about the company. But none of that matters to the hiring manager. At least not in the beginning.

Instead, focus on explaining what you can do for their company and their team. What issues do you know that the company has that you can help with? What skills in the job listing do you fulfill? Play to your strengths and highlight how your previous experiences will help you excel at their company.

Don’t start your cover from scratch. Get the cover letter template and improve it. Tailor it to your situation.

Three common mistakes:

  1. Don’t over explain things. Be concise and make sure every word counts. Again, no fluff. If you go beyond one page, you need to cut it down. You don’t need to include everything in the cover letter, just your highlights.
  2. Don’t reiterate your resume. It’s a chance to demonstrate how enthusiastic you are about the company and the opportunity.
  3. Don’t be overly formal. You’ll be boring and no one will want to read your cover letter.

How to write a cold email that won’t get ignored.

Don’t write a boring, formal email that’s focused on you, you, you. Make it about the other person and show how you’re excited to speak and work with them.

Find them on Twitter and tweet at them. Then find their email and send a message.

Here’s the tweet I use to get in touch with Anum Hussain at HubSpot:

And here’s the email template I used to contact her:

Hi [First Name],

My name is [Your Name], I reached out to you earlier today on Twitter. I found the [job listing] for [Company Name] and had to get in touch with you.

I also went through [Piece of Company’s Content] and recently read [Hiring Manager’s Content] about [topic]. It’s great. I believe I would be a great addition to your team for the following reasons:

1. I’m always learning, whether it be through books or articles (currently reading [Book Title] by [Author]).
2. I focus on [Your Unique Value].
3. The thought of helping [Company] accomplish its goals gets me excited.

Attached is my resume and cover letter explaining why I would be a great addition to your team. I’ve also included [Example Work Samples Related To Your Field] in case you wanted to review my work.

Looking forward to hearing from you, [First Name]!

Best,

[Your Name]

There are many methods for the initial outreach, but the real key to success here is to follow up.

If you’ve done a good job communicating your skills and your value consistently among the resume, cover letter, and introductory email, you more likely to get a response back.

If they respond, that’s an opportunity to engage further. Schedule a coffee with them and let them know that you’d love to learn about what they do, how they got to where they are, advice for you in growing your career. If it makes sense, ask what their biggest challenges are. Then go home, do some homework figure out how you can help.

Then do the work. Yes, do the work for free. Create a marketing strategy for them. Create a proposal outlining how you would tackle the challenge they said they have. Not sure how you create a marketing strategy or proposal? Google how to do those things.

It won’t be perfect. It likely won’t solve their challenge. But you’ll demonstrate a few things about yourself:

  • You take initiative
  • You’ll take on a challenge
  • You’ll work with the information at your disposal and figure things out

This all gives you an opportunity to engage, show your work ethic, build a connection, and yes those things eventually lead to a job.

Here are the downloads again.

Google Docs Files Word Files
Resume Template
Cover Letter Template
Resume Template
Cover Letter Template

Here’s the spreadsheet I used to track all my job applications and positions I was interested in.

Still not sure how to write your resume and cover letter? Here are the resume and the cover letter I sent.

Good luck!

Got questions? Interested in working at HubSpot? Feel free to .