Do you have a Scooby-Doo what you’re looking for when you look at a tech marketers CV?
You’re right, it can be a mystery.
We’re going to show you how to separate the shabby from the spectacular, so you can source the best tech marketing candidates.
Disclaimer: ensure your candidates send over a cover letter because it gives context to a candidate’s application; unless you’re sourcing the candidates.
1. How Good is the Formatting?
We wouldn’t expect a tech marketer to be an expert in Adobe Illustrator, but they should be able to source a suitable CV format and use it as a skeleton.
If they can use Illustrator, that’s a bonus. If it’s more challenging to look at than a Rubik’s Cube, don’t bother trying to decipher it.
You’ll get a gist of whether you want to read the CV when you open the file.
As a blend of the creative and logician, we’d expect a tech marketer to have considered formatting as it’s a crucial visual.
Here’s what to look out for:
- Spatial awareness — vital if you’re looking for a writer or a designer, poor use of space = poor designs and blogs.
- Short and sweet contact details — more than one address, bin it. Six phone numbers, bin it. Attention to detail and use of information are key parts of a marketers job.
- Section dividers — you need clear indicators; work experience, volunteer work. If it isn’t clear what you’re supposed to be looking at, avoid it.
- Bullets — long, arduous paragraphs are a big no. Information needs to be digestible, all marketers should know this.
- Simple file — nobody wants to see a Prezi themed CV or a YouTube video that makes someone appear ‘out of the box’. Tech marketers need to know when to keep it simple, e.g. Microsoft Word simple.
- Naming — we’ve all been there, ‘CV 2019 Version 15 June 22nd’. Bit sloppy. Keep it simple.
2. Is it Written in a Logical Order?
If a reference for their year 11 PE teacher sits at the top of their page (the positioning of the reference is only half of the problem there), you should be questioning their ability to prioritise.
A CV will usually take on the following format:
- Personal profile — short, concise, 2-3 lines at most. Look for an inclination this person is dedicated to both technology and marketing and wants to further their career in both areas.
- Skills — may appear before or after work experience and education, depending on importance. Will contain any technical skills or software packages they use.
- Work experience — the most critical part of the CV; has to be visible as you scan the page.
- Education — if you’ve specified that the candidate needs to have a degree or a particular qualification, this section is crucial. Marketers wouldn’t rely on this section too much unless you’re looking for a Chartered Marketer or a graduate.
- Interests — some people think this section is a bit naff, we all know ‘socialising with friends’ means going out and getting drunk. Marketers should be able to jazz this section up a bit.
- References — look for recommendations from other tech marketing professionals.
3. Are There Any Typos?
All marketers should be able to write, it’s a fundamental part of the job.
Whether they’re creating social media posts, blogs, marketing reports or proposals, there shouldn't be any typos in their work.
If you have one, use a grammar checker like Grammarly so you can see how much time they’ve put into the spelling and grammar on their CV.
Writing isn’t a strong point for all marketers, but the basics should be there.
4. Do Their Skills & Experience Match Your Job Description
It’s quite easy to get lost in all the formatting and spelling that you lose sight of what you want from the best candidates, which are skills and experience that match your role.
This bit is simple, look at the skills and experience you requested on your job advert, and check that they match with the candidates.
Some of the above can be overlooked if they’re a perfect match, you’re never going to get a perfectly written, typo-free, formatting dream of a CV that ticks every single skills and experience box you have.
Every job description is different, but here are a couple of tips:
- Skills — your job ad is for a tech marketer, what skills do you have on the JD that relate to both tech and marketing? Does the candidate meet the requirements for the software packages you use?
- Experience — does the marketer have experience working for a startup? Or for a technology company? And what’s more important to you?
5. Is their CV Tailored to Your Vacancy?
You need to decide whether the CV is personal to your job description.
If you’ve specified the candidate needs to show they’ve worked in a startup environment before and delivered results, does the CV do it?
We’ve all been there, sending off countless job ads when we don’t know anything about the company.
How frustrating is this for hiring managers?
However, it is easy to see through this.
We’re not saying you should look out for a carbon copy of your job description, but the skills and experience you require have to show in the CV.
6. Are They Honest About Employment Gaps?
When you’re running a startup, you need commitment.
While career breaks and time off aren’t out of the question, you need someone that’s committed.
If the candidate went away to live in a Tibetan Monk Sanctuary for two years to find themselves, it helps if they’re honest.
If they’ve been missing for two years and nobody knows why, suspicions arise.
Don’t be too put off by gaps, there might be a logical explanation, or the candidate didn't think it was important to include the information.
7. Does Their CV Show Progression?
There are a few paths marketers take, they may go to university, get any marketing job they can get their hands on, then progress to a better company and work their way up.
They may have started as an apprentice and worked their way up through the company.
It depends on what position you’re searching for.
If you’re looking for a director, you'll want to look for 10-15 years experience.
An executive will have 3-7, and there are junior and senior executives.
If they’ve advanced in a startup or a technology company, that’s a big bonus for you.
Look at the types of business they’ve progressed in as well, were they small, or did they face more competition in a large company?
8. What Soft Skills Do You Get From the CV?
Soft skills can be difficult to identify when you’re looking at a tech marketers CV, but knowing what your candidates’ soft skills are is crucial at this stage of your company’s development.
You need to get the right people so you can shape your culture.
Here are a few tips:
- Do you understand the CV? If the format and design are pleasing, the ideas are delivered well, and the concept of the CV is well understood, this is a sign of a strong communicator.
- If the CV is tailored to the job description and the company, this is a sign of strong adaptability skills.
- Does the CV make you feel like you’re solving a problem? If it does, it’s a sign the candidate has strong problem-solving skills.
9. Is it Concise?
It’s every recruiter’s nightmare — reading through the novel your candidate has kindly provided to ensure your brain processes information at the rate of a Windows 95 PC for the rest of the day.
If a candidates CV is more than two pages long, they have a problem being concise.
Marketers have to be concise nowadays, with so many marketing messages being hurled around, so be careful with long CVs.
Testing for conciseness is straightforward. Are the sentences short? Is the CV less than two pages?
You could use Hemingway to check writing structure if you’re unsure.
10. Is it Packed With Cliches?
“A real game changer.”
“I’m not afraid to move the goalposts.”
“It’s on my radar.”
“I had to bite the bullet.”
You see where this is going…
There are the CV standard template versions as well:
“I’m a team player.”
“I’m a self-starter.”
Cliches are often used because people struggle to describe what they want to say, or they lack the creativity or self-awareness to think of what makes them unique.
It doesn’t mean the CV is terrible, but questions of uniqueness should be asked.
If you’re delivering a new tech product or service, you need someone with originality who can deliver.
Know What You’re Looking For?
We don’t expect you to read this blog every time you read a CV, that would be painstaking.
You can use this checklist as you run through a CV:
- How good is the formatting?
- Is it written in a logical order?
- Are there any typos?
- Do their skills and experience match your job description?
- Is their CV tailored to your vacancy?
- Are they honest about employment gaps?
- Does their CV show progression?
- What soft skills do you get from the CV?
- Is it concise?
- Is it packed with cliches?