Video Marketing

A Resume IS Content Marketing, Silly

Shawn 02.11.2014

My resume says that I have “Content Marketing Experience.” Hooray. You now have no idea what I do.

Ok, let’s try a different tact:

“I was a surf instructor in my native California.”

Awesome, now you know something about “Me,” but still nada about my skills or experience.

Ok, ok…middle ground…middle ground…something interesting but on topic…GOT IT!

I’ll write a resume using a template from 2008 I got when I Googled “great resumes.” It’s instantly forgettable and shows that I can cut and past like every other “Content Marketing Social Media Community Manager Copywriter” crowding your inbox.

Rejection here I come!

Content marketing is about one thing – creating great content. That’s it. Videos, blogs, infographics, it doesn’t matter what format it’s in, as long as it communicates compelling information. So if you can’t interest me in something as fundamental as yourself, I know you don’t have what it takes to make lima beans “go viral.”

Your resume needs to show an employer you can do what they’re hiring you to do. Namely, create compelling content.

But, resumes are boring. They’re stale. It’s impossible to create an interesting resume. No, it’s not. You’re just doing it wrong. But let’s step away from resumes and content marketing and examine what I mean from another angle.

I was a bartender for years, and worked at dozens of bars (seriously, so many). It was never hard to find a job, even at the fancy places, and I never dreaded interviews or the application process. Why?

Because I marketed the hell out of myself.

I could scribble a pink emphysemic unicorn onto lined paper covered with pizza stains, call it a resume, and still get the gig.

Because bartenders don’t market themselves on paper.

Actual experience was all that mattered. I showed up – at the appropriate time – looking good – hair done, tie clip on, sleeves rolled up, wearing strategically snug fitted jeans – and confidently presented myself to the right people.

Then I made tasty drinks.

If I really wanted the job I’d research their cocktail menu and learn their house drinks to show that I was invested in the bar’s “culture.” I always got the job, but not because of my sweet unicorn resume.

That piece of paper wasn’t important, because it didn’t service my primary goal – namely, proving that I could bartend. Showcasing my drink knowledge, looking presentable, and highlighting my sweet jigger action (it sounds dirtier than it is) got me every gig.

Now back to Content Marketing.

A content marketer’s resume has to service the primary goal of showcasing their ability to generate great content. A bullet list of dry accomplishments and stale credentials isn’t great content. Neither are rambling  personal details. So what exactly does a great content rich resume look like?

Enter Sumry.

I came across this resume building site this morning, (thanks Daily Muse) and was skeptical – I’ve seen some trainwrecks in the past – however, after five minutes I was galvanized by how much Sumry “gets” what a resume does.

We all know the classic rules of resume writing:

  • Keep it to one page
  • Be personal, but don’t ramble
  • Use interesting “action” verbs
  • Use bullet-points
  • Never use bullet-points
  • Don’t list Microsoft Word as a “skill”

Sumry ignores all these (except the Word thing – don’t ever do that), and helps content marketers develop something relevant.

Jason Pittam, a Digital Strategist, starts his Sumry resume with this bombshell:

“Former R&D semiconductor engineer.”

Holy crap. That’s way outside the normal digital strategist skillset. I’m hooked. Jason then goes on to create an acronym using his name. He even uses the word “Sanguine.” Hire this man.

Nate Hanson, co-founder of Sumry, starts his resume by explaining how he bought and flipped a mobile home while in his teens for a $15,000 profit. He follows it up with his early graduation from college (debt-free), and his role as producer on the Frank Pastore Radio Show on KKLA – where he painstakingly built an audience of 200,000 daily listeners (the largest talk show of its kind). Hot damn. These are resumes that I want to read.

Heck, they’re so good that I’m writing this article about them. When’s the last time you can say that about your 12-point Times New Roman Word pile of bullet points?

The clean layout and simple modern design of each resume is fantastic. They let the information, not the formatting, shine. Each starts with a profile photo (or digital rendering) and layer after layer of skills, expertise, experience, and creativity flow onto the screen as you scroll.

And you will scroll.

These “resumes” aren’t really even resumes – they read like bio features in a magazine (a reputable one), and each candidate’s skills and style breathes life into the template.

Sumry’s main feature is of course the hosted digital resume, complete with links to other content you’ve produced, but it also comes with a condensed printer-friendly one sheet for in-person interviews.

The service costs $10/month “until you get hired,” then shifts to $2/month after that – cancel anytime. For the price of two pumpkin spiced lattes applicants can set themselves apart and get their dream job. It’s a no brainer, really.

If you’re a Content Marketer, there’s no better way to show that you understand your field. Unless you’re Marina Shifrin.

So hurry up and create your own Sumry resume now before everyone gets one and you have to research and master the next big trend in content marketing (a.k.a. “the most important part of your job that will never ever end no matter how good you get at it”).

Best of luck in the job search you content marketing genius, you.


Born in Southern California, Shawn grew up surfing, eating In-N-Out, and growing his hair long. After graduating with a Liberal Arts degree from CSU Long Beach in 2005 he left the crowded freeways behind and spent the better part of a decade traveling the world living for stretches in Rome, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, and Brooklyn. He writes novels as well as copy, loves learning keyboard shortcuts, and plays his grandpa’s old lap steel guitar. You can hear his band at

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