Transferable Skills in Marketing Might Qualify You for Other Roles

Kellie Hanna, CPRW
By Kellie Hanna, CPRW, Career Advice Expert

Our customers have been hired at: *Foot Note

It seemed like many white-collar workers would emerge relatively unscathed when the coronavirus first started shutting down non-essential businesses throughout the United States, particularly those in jobs that could easily be done from home. In short order, COVID-19 quickly exposed the interconnected nature of our economy, creating a second wave of layoffs in some industries. Marketing, for example, which initially seemed safe from massive layoffs, is now feeling the fallout.

Marketing workers are employed by a broad range of clients, some of which have been hit hard by the pandemic and forced to reduce their staffs. Even marketing workers who were employed by agencies have been affected as those clients reel-in spending on things like advertising and marketing.

Tracy Marlowe, CEO of Texas-based marketing company Creative Noggin, told USA Today, “People don’t want to see advertising messages” right now.” Marlowe has cut salaries across the board by 20 to 30 percent and warns of layoffs if the crisis continues. Many others in her position are already furloughing and laying off workers.

If you’re a marketing professional who is out of work, don’t panic. Your skills will be more important than ever in industries that are experiencing a hiring boom, and competition for open roles will be fierce.

That’s why it’s critical to start looking for work now. When the COVID-19 crisis is behind us and the expanded unemployment benefits end, the job market will be full of others looking to find a job. Let’s take a look at how you can identify and highlight your transferable skills in your resume so that you can outshine the competition.

Transferable skills and training to emphasize on your resume

Everyone on a marketing team, from advertising executives to copywriters, pick up skills in the course of their work lives that are valued by employers in a variety of sectors. The qualities that transcend your particular trade are known as transferable skills.

Generally, transferable skills fall into three categories: hard skills, soft skills and technical skills. Hard skills are the measurable qualities captured by our degrees, certificates and training. Soft skills are interpersonal abilities that describe how we work with others. Finally, technical skills involve our understanding of specific software programs and tools.

Employers are looking for three types. Here are a few examples of skills in each category you might’ve picked up over the course of your marketing career:

Hard skills and technical skills: Hard skills such as: Social media, email marketing, content management, content marketing, graphic design, data analysis, data visualization, lead nurturing, mobile marketing. Technical skills such as: Video editing, writing, UX design, video conferencing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress, social media tools such as Hootsuite, Adobe Creative Suite (note: mention specific tools, such as Photoshop, when appropriate), Microsoft Office, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, email marketing tools such as Constant Contact, YouTube Analytics, Google Analytics, Google AdWords

Soft skills: Emotional intelligence, teamwork, collaboration, empathy, flexibility, time management, adaptability, strong work ethic, creativity

Certifications and training: Many of the tools used by marketing teams have their own certification programs. These include Google AdWords, Google Analytics, Hootsuite, Facebook, HubSpot, YouTube and Google Analytics. Additional marketing certifications include: American Marketing Association Professional Certified Marketer (PCM), Copyblogger Certified Content Marketer, Content Marketing Institute Online Certification

Education: If you have a bachelor’s degree in marketing or a related subject (such as business or journalism), which are all common degrees in this field, make sure to add it to your resume. If you have post-grad education, make sure to prioritize it above the others. You should include additional coursework in this section as well. Marketing certificates and training should be listed under a separate header.

These industries are hiring people with your skills

While job listings in marketing are way down, there are still companies in certain sectors hiring marketing roles. Check Mediabistro and the American Marketing Association job board to see what’s available, or consider freelancing and selling your services directly to businesses through a platform like Upwork.

If you were on the creative side of marketing, including copywriter, copy editor, graphic designer, photographer, video editor, creative director, you might be qualified for these roles:

  • Community outreach specialist (for example, for a nonprofit like UNICEF)
  • Social media strategist (for example, for an essential retail company like Walmart)
  • Communications coordinator (for example, at a hospital)
  • Public relations specialist (for example, at a research institute)

If you were on the business, strategy or analysis side of marketing, including media buyer, ad sales, account executive, brand manager, sales representative, fundraiser, marketing research analyst, you might be qualified for these roles:

  • Campaign manager (for example, for a nonprofit like the American Red Cross)
  • Fundraising coordinator (for example, for a nonprofit like a local food bank)
  • Data analyst (for example, at a data analysis company like Intel)
  • Project manager (for example, at an eCommerce company like Amazon)
  • Sales representative (for example, at a healthcare company like CVS Health)

If you were exclusively in digital marketing, including SEO specialist, eCommerce manager, email marketer, online product manager, you might be qualified for these roles:

  • Social media strategist (for example, for a nonprofit like No Kid Hungry)
  • Data analyst (for example, at a research institute)
  • Communications coordinator (for example, at an eCommerce company like Shipt)
  • IT support specialist (for example, at a hospital)

How to apply for these roles and what you’ll need

You will almost always apply online for a marketing position. To apply, you will need a current email address and phone number, an updated resume and cover letter.

How to find these jobs in your community

How to create a resume that will capture an employers’ attention

White-collar workers in the marketing sector should always turn in a resume and cover letter that puts their best foot forward. A resume is where you highlight your career highs, skills, work experience, education and certifications. By reading the job description closely you will find keywords and job duties to focus on in your resume. Including those will get you noticed.

Cover letters are also important, especially when jobs are scarce. You can use a cover letter to explain a career transition and highlight the skills most valued by an employer.

As you consider your next step, here’s the type of resume that might catch a hiring manager’s attention.

Text resume example: A marketing specialist applying for communications lead role

Name: Teagan Bowman
Address: Barrington, IL 60010
Phone: (555) 555-5555

Summary Statement:  Results-oriented Marketing Specialist proficient in developing creative marketing collateral for diverse projects. Establishes clear standards and enforces protocols for consistent, high-quality results.

Summary of Skills:

  • Evaluate the look and feel of websites used in campaigns or layouts, which are sketches or plans for an advertisement.
  • Initiate market research studies and analyze their findings to understand customer and market opportunities for businesses.
  • Develop pricing strategies for products or services marketed to the target customers.
  • Plan advertising campaigns, including which media to advertise in, such as radio, television, print, online media and billboards
  •  Campaign development
  •  Graphic design
  • Copywriting expertise
  • Digital marketing
  • Market analysis
  • Customer demographics
  • Business administration

Work History

Marketing Specialist
Design Innovation
Chadwick, IL

  • Developed campaigns and specific marketing strategies for clients, adhering to the latest business trends, leading to a 15 percent increase in customer retention.
  • Created documentation outlining research findings for use by project managers, customers and other marketing staff to make accurate decisions about future plans.
  • Wrote engaging and successful marketing, advertising and website copy.

Marketing Associate
Javelin Venture Partners
Chicago Heights, IL

  • Increased audience engagement with brand websites by finding and integrating relevant videos, tweets and other online content.
  • Worked closely with all product development departments to create and maintain marketing materials for sales presentations and client meetings.
  • Assisted in creation of preseason marketing plans with a team of eight members, to support department and divisional strategies .

Office Intern
Products Plus
Chicago Heights, IL

  • Supported various company departments by answering phones, faxing, copying packets and mailing correspondence.
  • Completed clerical tasks such as filing, copying and distributing mail.
  • Sorted and classified files according to content, purpose, user criteria and alphabetical or numerical order.

Education & Training

Bachelor of Arts, Marketing Management And Research
Chicago State University
Chicago, IL

My Perfect Resume Builder example: A marketing specialist applying for communications lead role

resume for a marketing specialist applying for communications lead role