13 Key Marketing Skills to Boost Your CV

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Learn about the workplace and technical skills that you need to have on your CV, and discover how to make them stand out against your competition.

[Featured image] A marketing manager gives a presentation to company stakeholders in a conference room. She stands in front of a monitor displaying a line graph of data.

Working in marketing can take several different forms. You might conduct customer research, design eye-catching graphics, or develop engaging content—to name just a few areas. Despite all those distinct functions, there are a number of workplace and technical skills that typically apply to all marketing careers, and strengthening them can make you more successful in your role.   

In this article, we’ll go over the top workplace and technical marketing skills, as well as ways to highlight that you have these on your CV.  

6 workplace marketing skills  

Workplace skills (sometimes known as soft or transferable skills) are generally developed through experience or may be due to a particular quality you possess. You can apply them to a number of different tasks, roles, and industries. In marketing, six workplace skills are important to develop and sharpen throughout your career.  

1. Creativity  

Marketing involves working with ideas—and improving them in order to reach new and existing customers—so all marketing roles require creativity to some extent. While some roles, like copywriter or social media coordinator, may demand more creativity on a daily basis than others, honing your creative talents is a benefit to your marketing career all round. 

What this looks like:

  • Producing short, innovative videos for a new social media campaign 

  • Identifying a new way to conduct market research so your team learns something new about competitors 

  • Working collaboratively with other parties or influencers to build a brand. 

2. Research 

Marketers develop savvy campaigns that encourage customers to do something—buy a product, like their social media content, or refer a brand to a friend. Knowing how to conduct both qualitative and quantitative research can help you find data that may help inform your team’s specific efforts.    

What this looks like:

  • Using social media listening tools, such as Hootsuite or Buffer, to understand what customers are saying directly about a product

  • Conducting market research on a major competitor’s products, campaigns, and pricing strategy. 

  • Doing keyword research to make sure your content aligns with user intent 

3. Listening

In addition to the research that you conduct about customers, it’s equally important to listen to the feedback they offer: What pain points do your customers experience? What do they most enjoy about your latest products? Marketing is a two-way process and it's not just about doing things for the customer, but listening to what they want and incorporating their experiences into your research and design. 

Listening requires a good degree of empathy, which can help you understand and incorporate human emotions into your campaigns while also being more flexible by staying open to suggestions that shift the course of your marketing efforts.  

What this looks like:

  • Social listening, which is paying attention to the comments customers post on social media 

  • Tracking site metrics to see how much time users are spending on various pages

  • Reviewing industry insights and discussions 

4. Communication 

As with any role, communication is vital in marketing, and you’ll need to be able to communicate with team members, stakeholders, and customers alike. It is vital that you're able to build professional relationships and communicate your ideas to your team, and it is essential that you're able to engage your customers and audience. Whether you're working on an advertising campaign, writing copy for social media, or representing your company at an event, marketing is all about communicating effectively. 

What this looks like:

  • Responding to customers’ complaints with respect and empathy 

  • Writing or proofreading marketing copy

  • Leading a presentation to company stakeholders about annual results 

5. Analytical and critical thinking 

Is this marketing campaign going well? Are we reaching our audience in the best way possible? Questions like these often arise in marketing, and it’s crucial that you develop your analytical and critical thinking skills so you can review the impact of your work and adjust it accordingly. Honing this skill can also be helpful when it comes to analysing trends and deciding whether to align with a common trend or take a new approach. 

What this looks like:

  • Comparing social media metrics month by month to determine which type of post does best

  • Interpreting user search intent and drafting an article that gives readers something they haven’t found find from competitor sites 

  • Reviewing quarterly marketing campaigns and identifying what could be improved in the future  

6. Collaboration

Marketers not only have to collaborate with team members, but also with other members of a company they don’t have such a familiar working relationship with. It’s not uncommon for marketers to work with software engineers, data scientists, and salespeople, as well as external collaborators such as influencers, to develop new offerings for audiences or identify solutions to issues customers are experiencing. Collaboration requires you to actively listen to what others have to say and communicate efficiently, coming to an agreed outcome. 

What this looks like:

  • Social media team members partnering with graphic designers to ensure brand alignment on all posts using graphics or images 

  • Content marketing team members working with product team members to add new features to a company’s website in order to provide better information to customers

  • Digital marketing teams working with market research analysts to determine where, geographically, to focus specific ad targets 

7 technical marketing skills 

Marketing also requires a robust technical skill set. Given the amount of collaboration—and at times overlap—that can occur in marketing, it can be advantageous to have a well-rounded understanding of the programmes and tools used by colleagues in other roles. For starters, it can help you communicate better with other members of your marketing team who work in different areas, and it can also help you move into new or different areas of marketing as your career evolves. 

1. Writing

Given the number of marketing areas that require strong writing, your ability to understand messaging on both a broad and sentence level can be a huge help. Even if you don’t end up writing anything for an audience, this skill can help you contribute more constructive feedback when working with copywriters, or when trying to convey a message to your team.  

What this looks like:

  • Drafting copy for social media posts, and revising it to fit each platform’s target audience

  • Writing a long-form blog post about a new product offering

  • Reviewing a copywriter’s new landing page description for brand alignment

2. SEO and SEM 

Both search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) aim to improve website visibility and traffic. Thanks to the growth of digital marketing and e-commerce platforms, having an understanding of either area can help you make more informed decisions about things like a company’s web presence, digital content, and customer needs. 

  • Key tools: Semrush, Conductor, Yoast 

3. CRM and marketing automation 

Marketing efforts are multifaceted because marketers engage with customers on multiple channels, including social media, email, and online ads. But with separate teams typically responsible for those efforts, things can become misaligned without marketing automation or customer relationship management (CRM). This software helps track a customer’s journey and makes sure your team’s work pays off.  

  • Key tools: Hubspot, Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Salesforce

4. Content management system (CMS) 

Most companies have websites, which means there may be a lot of information spread over hundreds (if not thousands) of pages. A content management system (CMS) helps house all of that content so teams can make updates and add new content. Knowing how to work in some of the more common CMS platforms, listed below, can be an asset. 

  • Key tools: WordPress, Drupal, Contently 

5. Data collection and visualisation 

Data tells many stories. A number of marketers use data collection and visualisation tools to understand everything from competitors’ website traffic to customer demographics. Having some understanding of how to analyse data—or understand the data you’re looking at—can help you develop more specific insights and adjust your strategy. 

  • Key tools: Tableau, Looker, Zoho Analytics  

6. Design

Typically, graphic designers and user experience/user interface (UX/UI) designers are required to have design skills, but having a general understanding of things like layout, colour, photo editing, and typography can be a strong addition to your overall skill set if you don’t work in those areas. You’ll be able to make informed decisions or offer specific feedback to design teams.  

  • Key tools: Adobe (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign), Canva, Sketch 

7. Social media 

Social media is a major part of any company’s digital marketing strategy. Understanding the major platforms and the type of content that reaches audiences on each one can broaden your marketing prowess. Beyond that, knowing how to use social media monitoring and listening tools, can strengthen your digital skill set. In fact, an ability to use Instagram and Hootsuite were listed as two of the top 10 growing marketing skills, according to LinkedIn [1]. 

  • Key tools: Sprout, Hootsuite, Buffer

Put your marketing skills into action 

Now that you have a better idea about the types of skills that can make marketers more successful, here are a few tips to integrate them into your job search.  

Your CV

Integrate your workplace marketing skills into your summary or profile, into your professional experience section, and even as part of a separate skills section. It’s especially important to show recruiters the impact you had by quantifying your achievements. For example, if you’re applying for social media roles, instead of saying, “Scheduled social posts on major platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram,” go one step further and explain the engagement you achieved as a result of that work. 

As part of the skills section of your CV, list the programmes, software, and tools you know how to use. You may want to have a sub-section devoted to technical skills within your main skills section. Start with the most relevant tools for the job you’re applying to. For example, if you’re applying to be a market research analyst, tell recruiters which data analysis and data visualisation programmes you know first, along with any that are listed in the job description, before listing other technical skills. 


When you are invited to interview, you should come ready with examples of your workplace skills to use when discussing your past experience or answer behavioural questions, such as, “Share an example of how you worked on a team.” In this case, you could touch on any collaboration you fostered, how you communicated with your team members, and even any creative problem-solving that resulted in a positive outcome.

How to gain marketing skills 

You can build—or strengthen—the skills you’ll need for a marketing career in a number of ways. Let’s go over some of the most common options. 

Teach yourself 

Read up about the latest trends and technologies being used in marketing as a starting point and identify a few new areas—or tools—that might be helpful to learn. 

Don’t know where to start? You can also finish a Guided Project on Coursera. They’re designed to be completed in two hours or less, and in that time you can gain a beginner’s level understanding of programmes like PhotoShop or Tableau. 

Professional certificates

You can take your learning one step further with a Professional Certificate. Google Digital Marketing and E-Commerce Professional Certificate may be a helpful place to start. By working through seven tailored marketing courses, or choosing one that suits your needs, you can build the skills necessary to pursue an entry-level role in areas such as data analytics, digital marketing & e-commerce, IT support, project management, and UX design.


Earning your degree in marketing can help you gain important skills in a number of marketing topics and marketing-related topics—and a qualification that is usually essential to advance in certain marketing roles.

Freelance projects

Finding freelance or even volunteer projects for local organisations, charities, and businesses can help you develop the necessary marketing skills to succeed in other full-time roles. Plus, it may be something to add to your portfolio—a specific example you can show recruiters. 

Next steps

If you want to explore more about marketing, consider earning a Google Digital Marketing and E-Commerce Professional Certificate. Learn how to lead marketing campaigns, engage with audiences and use analytics to measure performance.

Article sources

  1. LinkedIn. “Top in-Demand Marketing Jobs and Training Skills,  https://www.linkedin.com/business/marketing/blog/linkedin-ads/top-in-demand-marketing-jobs-training-skills." Accessed July 21, 2023.

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