Important Advertising Skills for Resumes and Cover Letters

Businessmen shaking hands
••• Ariel Skelley / Getty Images

When you are applying for a job in advertising or marketing, the application screeners, interviewers, and hiring decision-makers will look for keywords and specific skills in the text of your resume and its accompanying cover letter. To focus your application and responses to interview questions, you need to know which words will get their attention. Here are lists of advertising skills for resumes, cover letters, job applications, and interviews.

What Kind of Skills Do You Need for a Career in Advertising?

The categories that fall into relevant advertising skills include creativity, communication, project management, personal mastery, media, and marketing. A job in advertising requires a creative perspective in order to create and execute the most effective campaigns, and project management and marketing are the methods in which these campaigns can come to life. For more information, please visit our advertising career profile.

Sample Resume

This is a sample resume written for a job in the advertising industry. You may read the sample below or download the Word template by clicking on the link.

Review a Resume Highlighting Advertising Skills (Text Version)

Adam Adman
123 Lincoln Street
Kansas City, MO 64109
(123) 456-7890


Leveraging masterful creative and leadership talent to dominate competitive markets.

5+ years’ success coordinating integrated, cross-channel advertising campaigns for strategic brand initiatives. Skillfully liaise with graphic design, executive, and sales teams to define and penetrate global markets.   

Talented in using Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Creative Cloud, Google Analytics, and AdWords to develop dynamic content for social media, newsletters, external / internal communications, and marketing collateral.

Core Competencies: Business Storytelling, Strategic Planning, Project Management, Public / Media Relations, Data Metrics / Analytics, Social Media Advertising, Direct Marketing, Negotiation, Online Marketing Funnels


Advertising Manager (February 2014 – Present)
Spearhead development of marketing strategies for $3.5M food distribution corporation serving global markets. Own leadership of all brand positioning, social media advertising, and content marketing initiatives. Notable accomplishments:

  • Successfully created aggressive multi-channel initiatives that led five corporate brands to first-place standing in global markets.
  • Initiated novel lead generation campaign that increased customer base by 47%.

Marketing Content Strategist (July 2011 – January 2013)
Created digital marketing content strategies to increase market presence of client law firms. Analyzed multichannel development opportunities, drafted content calendars, and led creative teams in content production. Notable Accomplishments:

  • Played key role in helping 50+ law firms across the country to develop comprehensive digital marketing strategies.
  • Consistently produced project deliverables on budget within challenging deadlines.


Bachelor of Arts in Digital Storytelling

List of Advertising Skills

Below you’ll find the most common skills that are sought in the different areas of advertising. Try to include these phrases when you annotate your job and volunteer experience on your resume.

Note that some of the words are synonyms, which is useful so that your resume does not become monotonous and repetitive.

Required skills will vary based on the job for which you're applying, so also review our list of skills listed by job and type of skill.

Creative Skills

These skills are the ones you use in creating an advertising piece or campaign, be it for your employer or for a client. Try to think of examples to mention, either on your resume or in a personal interview, where you have demonstrated these creative competencies.

  • Anticipating Objections
  • Architecting Content
  • Authority Building
  • Building Associations
  • Building Scarcity
  • Business Storytelling
  • Creativity
  • Customer Focus
  • Innovation
  • Storytelling, Writing

Communication Skills

Advertising requires that you communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with companies and their customers. Show the talents you have in all aspects of communication by employing these keywords.

Project Management Skills

What roles have you played in advertising and marketing projects? Showcase your skills in designing, implementing and analyzing projects, being sure to mention any specialized project management software tools you utilize.

Personal Mastery Skills

What interpersonal qualities and habits do you have that contribute to success in advertising and marketing? Are you a people person? A natural leader? Charismatic? Someone who has never met a stranger? These skills are useful ones to showcase as you describe your performance in previous jobs.

  • Assertive, Courage
  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking
  • Focus, Genuine
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Multitasking
  • Organized
  • Persuasive
  • Quick Thinking
  • Receptive, Successful

Media Skills

Have you worked in different media? Even if your experience is from unpaid or volunteer projects, marketing skills can be valuable in a new position. Employers may be looking for someone with experience in specific platforms, so be sure to mention each one you’ve had experience with.

  • Digital
  • Direct Marketing
  • Media, Mobile
  • Multiplatform
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Social Media

Marketing Skills

What experience and training do you have in planning, designing, and bringing advertising campaigns to the public? Be sure to spotlight sales and promotion skills.

  • Analysis
  • Closing Sales
  • Content Marketing
  • Customer Focus
  • Funnel Focused
  • Marketing
  • Positioning
  • Pricing
  • Promotion
  • Public Relations
  • Reciprocity, Sales

While you will want to write a focused resume and cover letter for each position, it's a good practice to show you have a variety of skills that could lend themselves to advertising jobs. Employers may be looking for someone with growth potential rather than a one-trick pony.

How to Use the List of Skills

Each time you review a job posting, you should highlight the keywords which are mentioned in the “qualifications” section. It’s highly likely that hiring managers – or the automated applicant tracking systems they employ – will rank the applications they receive based upon which ones most closely reflect their “minimum” and “preferred” qualifications lists.

Then, go through your resume and review what relevant skills you have developed in your past education, training, and employment. Also, consider skills you have developed volunteering for non-profit organizations and projects, or at unpaid jobs. You’re looking for examples of experience that can demonstrate, in your resume, that you have the qualifications an employer is seeking.

Perhaps, for example, the job listing requests “social media” experience. Even if a social media campaign was only a single event during a former job, you should note it and what role you played in its successful launch in your application materials.