How to Provide Better Customer Service by Implementing Live Chat

It’s no secret that businesses need to prioritize the customer experience. Ultimately, keeping your customers happy will help your business grow and prosper. In fact, 80% of consumers say they’re willing to spend more money to have a better customer service experience. As a business owner, you need to recognize this and adjust your approach accordingly. … Continue reading “How to Provide Better Customer Service by Implementing Live Chat”

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The 11 Best Smart Home Devices & Systems of 2018

In 2018, smart home systems and devices are more impressive and all-encompassing than ever.

Using a smart system is no longer just about asking Alexa to tell you the weather or play that new Drake song — now, you can use smart devices to grill chicken at your next family barbecue, turn the lights off in the living room while you’re watching a movie, or vacuum your floors.

Your home devices provide a sense of convenience, particularly when they’re ordering pizza or calling your sister, but in 2018, they can also tackle more serious tasks, like acting as your home security system when you’re out of town. In other words, they aren’t just for fun anymore — they also fulfill some substantial needs.

Learn more about bots and AI here.

Before we get into our list, let’s define what we mean by smart devices versus smart systems. A smart system is the overarching command center that controls your individual products — think, Alexa or Google Assistant. Essentially, a smart system is what you speak to when you want something to happen. A device, on the other hand, is an individual product that reports back to that system — think, Amazon Echo or Philips Hue lightbulbs.

Now, let’s delve into our list of the 11 best smart home devices and systems of 2018, so you can decide for yourself which systems and products will best enhance your life.

Smart Home Systems

1. Amazon Alexa

With more than 7,000 third-party integrations, Alexa is undoubtedly one of the most comprehensive smat home ecosystems available today. While you have likely heard of using Alexa in Eco-speaker form (“Alexa, what’s the weather today?”), you might not know that Alexa is now built into plenty of other smart products, including thermostats (i.e. Ecobee4) and TVs (i.e. Fire TV).

Alexa makes every aspect of your smart home easy to access and control. You can use Alexa to speak to apps like Spotify just as easily as you can ask her to turn off the lights. Since Amazon’s ecosystem is one of the most prevalent in the industry, most smart products integrate seamlessly with Alexa, including products made by Philips, Samsung, Nest, and Schlage — meaning, Alexa can now close your garage, lock your doors, and adjust your home’s temperature. To know if Alexa will work with a certain device, just look for the ‘Works with Amazon Alexa’ tag.

Ultimately, Alexa’s ability to integrate and speak to most other smart devices and apps (Alexa has the most third-party integrations of any smart system) makes her one of the best choices for your smart home.

2. Google Assistant

If there’s any true runner-up to Alexa, it’s Google Assistant. Even though Google Assistant has less third-party integrations, it can often answer questions and complete commands Alexa can’t, thanks to Google’s major ownership of the search engine space. Research from Dentsu digital agency 360i found Google Assistant was five times more likely to give a correct answer than Alexa. Ultimately, Assistant wins when it comes to understanding how people naturally speak.

For instance, if you tell Assistance “I don’t like this song” on Spotify, it will skip to the next one, while Alexa will simply tell you, “Thumbs up and down are not supported on Spotify.” Small differences like this could sway you towards Assistance, since it’s often more helpful (and less literal) than Alexa.

Assistant can also integrate with products from most major brands, including Philips, Belkin, August, Nest, and popular apps such as Spotify and Uber.

3. Wink Hub 2

Wink Hub 2 is touted as the “first smart home hub designed for the mainstream consumer”. Unlike Alexa or Assistant, Wink doesn’t have any brand loyalty, allowing you to pick and choose different smart product brands and merge them seamlessly with one another.

Wink Hub 2 supports smart home protocols including Bluetooth LE, Kidde, Lutron ClearConnect, Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, and more. If you’re looking to create a fully integrated smart home with kitchen and wall appliances in-sync, this might be your best option. You can also download the Wink Hub app and control commands, like light switches or garage door, from your phone on-the-go.

The Best Smart Home Devices

1. Best Speaker: Amazon Echo (2nd Generation)

Price: $99.99

If you’re looking for a relatively affordable device to cater to your everyday needs, you probably don’t need to look further than Amazon Echo. The speaker connects to Alexa to play your favorite music, make phone calls or send messages, answer questions, and set alarms for you, i.e. “It’s 6 p.m., time to head to your tennis lesson”. It also connects to other smart products in your home, so you can use it as your liaison between you and your sprinklers.

The speaker fills your room with 360° audio, and uses noise cancellation technology to ensure you can be heard from any direction. With the Echo, you can turn the TV on, order a pizza, and create a shopping to-do list — without ever leaving your couch.

Image courtesy of

2. Best Lights: Philips Hue

Price: $49.99/one bulb

The Philips Hue bulbs enable you to control both intensity of light — dimming or brightening on-command — and the color of your lights. You can create special color-coordinated moods (i.e. choose the “energize” theme on your app for a specific room you’re in, or sync it with your music). You can also set color-coordinated alarms, ensuring you wake up every morning to a bright pink bedroom.

These bulbs work with most smart home systems, making them arguably the most flexible option. If you don’t want color, you can also purchase Philips Hue White.

Image courtesy of

3. Best Light Switch: TP-Link HS200

Price: $37.88

Philips Hue bulbs and similar smart lights are fantastic and effortless — until someone flips a light switch, in which case, your bulbs won’t work until you flip it back.

For true ease-of-use, consider buying smart light switches, which you can control from your phone or smart home whether or not your physical light switch is up or down. Using the app Kasa, you can create scenes and smart actions — for instance, you might tell the app you’re “watching TV downstairs,” and the switches will automatically turn off all upstairs lights.

TP-Link HS200 works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, but you might need to consider other options if you primarily use Apple HomeKit, Wink, or another smart system.

Image courtesy of

4. Best Thermostat: Ecobee4

Price: $249

The Ecobee4 allows you to control air temperature with voice commands, but unlike other smart thermostats, it also works as its own Amazon speaker (rather than simply working with an Amazon speaker), so it can do everything your Alexa or Assistant can do, including play music, shop, and control other devices. Of course, if you already own a smart speaker, you might want to consider a cheaper thermostat option.

Ecobee4 integrates seamlessly with apps and other home ecosystems like Alexa or Apple HomeKit. Plus, it’s able to control the room you’re in, rather than the room it’s installed.

Image courtesy of

5. Best Security: NetGear Arlo Q

Price: $119.94

While some of these smart devices are more for convenience and entertainment, the NetGear Arlo Q is a truly useful tool for home security. The NetGear Arlo Q records high-quality video and audio, and even produces exceptional quality images of people in pitch-blackness.

You can customize whether your camera automatically records when you’re not home, or set it to a time-based schedule for when you’re at work. While it’s on the pricier side, it offers seven days of video and audio backup for free, making it a worthwhile investment compared to some of the other smart security systems.

Image courtesy of

6. Best Grill: Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker with SmartChef Technology

Price: $166.99

Anyone who grills regularly knows the inconvenience of it — walking in and out of the house to check the meat, hoping the temperature is hot enough but won’t burn your steak, and adding coals or lighter fluid when necessary. This tool handles all that, alerting you on your smart device when your grill is preheated, what the internal meat temperature is, and when your meat or fish is fully cooked. The 725 square-inch cooking space and four internal chrome racks allow you to grill for both large and small occasions.

Image courtesy of

7. Best Cooking: Perfect Bake Pro

Price: $86.49

If you struggle to figure out what you can make with the half a cup of flour, three eggs, and handful of blueberries you have in your fridge, you might be in luck — this smart device allows you to input what food you have, and then generates recipes you can use with those items. You can autoscale the recipe for the amount of people or even amount of ingredients you have (i.e. “only have ¼ cup of chocolate chips”), or generate a shopping list from recipes you want to make. Best of all, you can use the bowl to measure your ingredients as you pour them in — the smart bowl tells you when you can stop pouring.

Image courtesy of Amazon.

8. Best Vacuum: Ecovacs Deebot N79S

Price: $229.98

I’m personally willing to pay triple this price for any device that can vacuum my floor for me, but at $229, the Ecovacs Deebot N79S is a pretty impressive deal. It integrates with smart home systems and other apps, offers a manual steering option, and cleans surfaces surprisingly well. It also has a long battery life.

Image courtesy of Amazon.

The Ultimate Collection of Resume Templates for 2018

Are you looking to create an awesome resume that lands the job of your dreams? Whatever industry you’re applying to work in (from marketing to sales), there’s one thing all resumes need to have in common: the ability to stand-out.

But, this uniqueness doesn’t mean you need to make your application uncommon — especially when you’re using a template.

Resume templates allow job seekers to put together a unique one-page document that’s proven to get results. The best part? Even a non-designer could whip-up an incredible resume template in a matter of minutes and see results, including invites to interview or job offers.

Work your way through this guide to discover how a resume template can help you land a new job.

How to Create a Resume Template

Are you ready to make a start on the template that’s going to boost the success rate of your resume? Grab a pen and paper — it’s almost time to dive in.

Here’s what your one-page document needs to include, and the resume outline that’ll bring the best results (no matter the industry):

1. Your Details

The first thing you’ll need to build a resume template is a section for your personal details. Granted, this might be the most obvious part of your resume, but don’t underestimate their importance. The most obvious things often go unnoticed, right?

All resumes need to include details such as:

  • Your full name and address
  • A contact number
  • An email
  • Your address

You could also add an image or your personal logo to your template. Resumes for creative jobs need to stand out, and in an industry where design is important, adding a visual touch to your resume could be all it needs to make an impact.

Not only will these contact details make your resume look professional, but it edges the recruiter towards our end goal (a job offer) if your contact information is easy to find.

2. An Objective Statement

If you’re frantically Googling the definition of an objective statement before reading into this section, don’t worry. Here’s all you’ll need to know about creating one for your resume template.

An objective statement is 1-2 sentences on how you want to achieve a goal in relation to the position you’re applying for. It’s usually listed at the top of a resume, and it’s an essential element of any resume template because it sets you apart. That’s the goal here, right?

How to Write a Resume Objective Statement

When writing a resume objective statement, think about the job in question. Then, ask yourself:

  • Why do I want to work at this company?
  • How will the role help me achieve my goals?
  • What skills do I want to develop?

Each of these questions requires you to dig deep into your career goals, and show the company you’re motivated to reach them.

For example, if I was building a marketing resume template, this might be my objective statement:

“Looking for a position where I can develop my 5+ years of inbound marketing experience and help to build a solid content marketing strategy for a startup.”

It touches on my experience (what I can bring to the table), along with how I want to help the company. I told you it wasn’t too complicated!

3. Your Experience

Now we’re moving onto the good part of your resume template: your experience. After all, that’s the bare bones of this document, and it’s the section recruiters spend the most time reading.

This step is self-explanatory — tell the recruiter the jobs you’ve had prior to this one.

Include your job title, company name, dates of employment, and a brief summary of your duties. This allows the hiring manager to understand how your experience could help you, should they chose to bring you on-board.

This part of our resume outline comes with a warning: Don’t over-do it. Keep your list of duties short — preferably in a bullet-pointed list — to keep the recruiter’s attention.

4. Your Education

The education section of your resume template is also pretty self-explanatory. You’ll need to include the school you attended (with dates), along with the grades you achieved.

However, don’t fall into the trap of including your middle (or even worse, elementary) school as part of your resume outline. You likely didn’t learn anything here that was out of the ordinary, so don’t include it on your resume.

Instead, stick to high school and preferably college and onwards, highlighting university grades, should you have them.

You should also include any training programs you’ve completed in the education section of your resume outline. These can set you apart from other candidates, especially if they’re directly related to the role or industry you’re applying for.

(If you’re building a marketing resume, our HubSpot certifications would fit perfectly in this section!)

5. Your Skills

The skills section of a resume template is where many job-seekers struggle. Whether you’re shaking your head in confusing or asking “what skills do I need to put on a resume?”, it’s not uncommon to get it wrong.

That’s because people don’t know the best skills to list. Should they list skills that are applicable to any role, or stick with industry-specific skills that directly relate to the role they’re applying for?

The answer is simple: a combination of both.

Soft Skills

Skills that are applicable for any job are called soft skills. They’re essentially what makes you a “good worker.”

Soft skills can include:

  • Conflict resolution
  • Excellent communication
  • Great at working in a team
  • The ability to work on your own initiative

93% of employers say soft skills are an “essential” or “very important” factor in hiring decisions. So don’t leave them out!

Hard Skills

On the other hand, hard skills are a bit trickier to build. They relate directly the role (or industry) you’re applying for and listing them on your resume template will show that you’re a great fit for that specific position.

Hard skills include things like:

  • Writing
  • Customer service
  • Analytics
  • Data analysis
  • Computer programming
  • Graphic design

Since these hard skills are more difficult to master, don’t be afraid to toot your own horn on this part of your resume template. If you’ve got it, flaunt it!

6. Personal Qualities and Interests

What better way to make your resume stand-out than to include information about yourself? It’s a surefire way to make your resume template unique — there’s only one you.

The personal qualities and interests section of your resume outline should let the recruiter know about the person behind the document.

What qualities set you apart? Do you have any interests or hobbies? What activities do you love doing outside of working hours?

Don’t worry if your hobbies or interests don’t directly relate to the role. Personal accomplishments — like training for a marathon, taking cooking classes at night, or learning a new language — show your commitment to learning new things and experiencing new perspectives. 

Best Practices for Resume Design

Now you’ve got the structure of your resume template, let’s get your creative juices flowing and move onto the design.

Despite this being the fun part of your template, it can be the hardest to master. Not everybody has the same taste in design and what works for one industry might be a no-go in another.

Here are the best practices for designing a resume template:

Resume Layout

The layout of your resume is how it looks on a page. You’ve got control over the columns, spacing, and order of your resume template, and each option has its benefits:

Sequential Order

Resumes that show your contact details, objective statement, and experience in order are sequential.

This style works well because it allows the recruiter to easily follow a resume. Although it’s only a one-page sheet, the hiring manager can flow through your resume without putting too much brain power into the information they’re looking for.

However, because sequential resumes are popular, it might miss the mark on uniqueness.


Resume templates that go against the norm and display information out-of-order look more unique. That’s because you have more creative control over the layout of your resume.

I sense a “but” coming?

The “but” here is opposite to a sequential resume: They’re not easy to follow. You have a risk of overwhelming or confusing the recruiter and seeing your resume get tossed into the trash, which is not what we want.

Best practice for a resume layout depends on the risk you’re willing to take. If you’re more willing to lose out on uniqueness and avoid losing a recruiter’s attention, stick with a sequential resume (and vice versa).

What Fonts Should You Use on a Resume?

Font choice is another tricky one that depends on the role and industry you’re applying to work in.

As a general rule of thumb, serif fonts are usually easier to read. But, sans-serif look more modern. (Notice how much of your resume template is based on preference?)

Head over to Google Fonts and enter text to see how each font looks. If you spot any you’d like to use in your resume template, add them to your PC or Mac. You’ll then be able to find them when editing your template in a document, like Microsoft Word.

Here are some recommendations for each font style:

When finalizing your font selection, avoid using a different font for each sentence. Stick to three or fewer throughout your entire resume template, or browse Google Fonts’ popular pairings for groups that are proven to work:


What Color Should You Use on a Resume?

Color is another resume design element that is totally decided by preference.

Here, best practice is a light background color paired with dark text.

Switching this around and using dark backgrounds can make text hard to read, and be too off-putting for the recruiter scrutinizing the detail in your resume.

But, in terms of best practice for any other elements, stick to three (or fewer) colors throughout the entire page. Going full speed ahead with 25 different colors could risk your resume template looking like a child’s coloring book. 

CV vs. Resume: What’s the Difference?

CVs and resumes are two names for similar things. But, if you’re applying for a job, how do you know which document you should be sending — and the things you’ll need to include for each?

When to Use a CV

Send a CV (curriculum vitae) if the recruiter wants an in-depth dive into your experience. These documents tend to be 1-2 pages in length, and talk about various things in detail, including your education, experience, and skills.

CVs are used commonly in the U.K. but aren’t very customizable. That’s because achievements need to be listed sequentially.

When to Use a Resume

On the other hand, resumes are a one-page document that details everything a recruiter would need to know, without the added detail.

Since a supporting cover letter dives into the nitty gritty of your experience, a resume only covers top-level information. This makes them more to-the-point than a CV.

And, because the goal isn’t to explain your experience (it’s to make you stand out), they’re highly customizable. Feel free to let your creative juices flow and experiment with every aspect of your document!

5 Tips for Writing an Attention-Grabbing Resume

Did you know that recruiters only spend six seconds reviewing a resume? (That’s less than the precious seconds you spend making your morning coffee.)

You can stand out from the crowd of resumes on a recruiter’s pile by:

1. Include hard-hitting stats.

Grab the recruiter’s attention by using hard-hitting stats in your resume template, and relate them to your skills. Not only does this look more impressive, but it proves you do have the skills you’re listing — especially if you’ve got great results from them before.

These statistics can be used in your experience section. Take a look at the below example. Which looks more impressive to you?

  1. Redesigned the company’s website.
  2. Executed a complete redesign of the company’s website, which saw an uplift of 30% on-site conversions just two weeks after implementation.

Option B hits you hard and gives the wow factor, right?

2. Ditch the fluff.

A surefire way to make sure your resume gets tossed into the trash is to fill it with fluff. Remember, we only have a few seconds to win-over a recruiter with our resume.

The most common form of “fluff” on a resume template is overused skills that anyone is likely to have — such proficiency with Microsoft Word. That’s a skill most people learn in school, so it’s not going to set you apart from your competition.

It’s also important to remember that recruiters care for what you did that made an impact, not always what you coordinated or strategized. So, ditch the “managed a team of two people” and use “executed an entire rebrand for the company, directing a team of two to increase subscribers on the site by 50%” instead.

And, if you’re including non-relevant positions in the experience section of your resume outline, show how those skills translate to this job. That way, you’re proving you have cross-functional skills that relate to the role you’re applying for.

3. Make it fun.

Many job-seekers struggle to liven-up their resume without going overboard. The line can be fine between a sense of humor and immaturity in the workplace, after all.

However, you can liven-up your resume template (and demand your recruiter’s attention) by adding humor in the stories, facts, and information you share.

Boring resumes they’ve seen hundreds of times before aren’t going to make an impact. Creative resume templates that allow your personality to shine through, will.

4. Don’t overcomplicate it

A unique layout can make your resume stand out, but don’t go crazy (to the point where it’s too complicated to understand). Although it sounds obvious, it’s an easy mistake to make … especially when you’re experimenting with fonts, colors, and formats.

You can get a great understanding of how easy your resume is to read — without the risk of finding out from recruiters — by asking family and friends to review it.

Do they look overwhelmed when they first lay eyes on it? Are they asking questions like, “what does this mean?” or “where can I find your experience?”. If so, it’s probably too complex.

5. Use resume action words.

The words you’re using on a resume should be powerful. And, although any fluff should already be ditched by this point, a few simple tweaks to the start of your sentences could be all it needs to reach perfection.

You can do this by using action words, which give the wow factor to your resume template.

So, if you catch yourself writing “managed”, “was responsible for”, or “helped” to kick off a new sentence, replace it with “executed”, “trained”, or “directed”.

Free Resume Templates

Looking for a done-for-you template where you can cut and paste your own information? Luckily for you, we have a list of resume templates that’ll help you get noticed in a stack of others.

However, if you’d prefer resume samples that can be used directly from your document software, here are a few to keep your eye on:

Resume Templates for Word

Microsoft Word offers tons of templates to build your resume.

Simply open a new Word doc and type “resume” in the template search box:


Our favorites include:

Resume (Modern Design)

This resume template is simple, but it covers everything you’ll need to include in your document.

Plus, with the option to add an image and the simple color choice, you can’t go far wrong:


Crisp and Clean Resume

This template was professionally designed by, and has a unique layout that’s easy to customize.

There’s also free matching cover letter template that you can use in conjunction with this resume template:


Creative Resume

Also designed by, this Microsoft Word resume template uses fun patterns and icons to make your document stand out:


Google Docs Resume Templates

If Google Docs is your software of choice, you’re able to pick from five resume templates.

Once you’ve created a Google account (or signed into your own), head to Google Docs and hit “Template Gallery”.

Scroll down to see the Google Docs resume templates:


Our favorites are:


This one has got you covered if you’re looking for a modern, single-column resume template:



This resume template for Google Docs uses a two-column format. It’s easy to read, but uses very little color:


Modern Writer

Looking for a resume template you can use for writing roles? This Google Docs option uses a unique typewriter-style font that’s bound to set you apart:


Creative Resume Templates

Applying for a role where creativity is important? Graphic design, marketing, or branding industries might be looking for creative resumes that really go above and beyond to make an impact.

Luckily for you, you have complete control over every aspect of your resume template. You don’t always have to list your points in a boring black and white document. In fact, there are various other resume formats that allow you to show your creativity.

Our favorite? Infographic resumes.

Infographic resumes turn a boring one-page document into an exciting resume in image-form.

They’re fantastic for online applications because internet readers pay close attention to information in images. People spend more time looking at images than they do text when reading on the web, making it a simple way to make sure your resume doesn’t get lost in the sea of browser tabs that a recruiter has open.

However, infographic resumes come with a warning: Always check that online applications allow image uploads. Many sites only allow document files to be uploaded, so it could be a total waste of time if you create an infographic resume and can’t send it to the company!

Although they take longer to create and still need to be customized for each job you’re applying for, they’re a guaranteed way to make an impact and help your resume stand out.

Resume Builder Tools

The resume template tools we’ve listed here are bound to set you off on the right foot.

But, if you’re wishing to go above and beyond with your document, we recommend using these resume builder tools:

  • Canva: Create your own infographic-style resumes using a professionally-designed template, or build your own from scratch. Then, download your infographic resume as PNG, JPEG, or as a PDF.
  • Resume Genius: Choose from 20+ resume templates and get your final version personally reviewed by a resume expert. It’s great for people who’re too shy to ask family and friends for feedback!
  • Visual CV: Go against the norm and create an online resume instead of a document or image-based one. Once built, you can add a link to your online resume from your personal website.
  • Resume Coach: This site offers lots of pre-made resume templates to choose from, varying in format, color, and style. Plus, they’re exclusive to this site — you won’t find the same ones on another site. There’s no need to worry about selecting a common, overused template.


Great job. You’ve just created a resume template that’s bound to land your dream job!

When adding details to this document, remember to be unique and look into the application requirements for each one.

You’ll soon stand out from the crowd, be invited to interview, and maybe even land your dream job.

4 Management Styles to Strive For, And 4 to Avoid

Growing up, a few of my baseball coaches were some of the most ruthless and demanding people I’ve ever met. They used fear to push my team to our physical and emotional limits, intimidated us with cruel ultimatums, and didn’t really seem to care about us as people. They did everything they could to win — and punished us when we didn’t.

When I started doing internships in college, I expected my managers to be just like my coaches. Since businesses actually have to make money, and not just win a few games, I was scared to mess up.

But at the end of my last internship, I realized I’ve never really felt afraid to fail in the working world because my managers were the complete opposite of my coaches. They were patient, understanding, and, most of all, nice. It seemed like they cared about me just as much as they cared about their job, even though there’s a lot more at stake in the office than on a high school baseball field.

Although my managers have treated me well, there are still managers out there who are just like some of my baseball coaches: fear-mongering, intimidating, and mean. These tactics might produce short-term results, but, in the long-term, all they lead to are unhappy employees, underwhelming results, and a high-turnover rate.

You don’t want to be a jerk at work, especially if you’re a manager, so check out this overview of the best management styles to adopt — and the worst ones to avoid.

1. Visionary

A visionary manager communicates a purpose and direction that her employees believe in, which convinces her team to work hard to execute her vision.

After setting their team’s vision and overarching strategy, visionary managers usually let their employees get to work on their own terms, as long as they’re productive. Managers will only check in on their team to make sure they’re on the right track or to share new insights.

This gives their employees a great sense of autonomy, which all managers need to provide — self-direction is a basic psychological need.When humans work on tasks that they have more control over, they feel more satisfied and motivated to complete them. Setting their employees’ inner motives determine the direction of their work is the best way for managers to boost their team’s engagement in the office.

Visionary managers are also known to be firm yet fair. Their vision is usually set in place, but they’re always open to listening to their employees’ ideas and willing to change their plan if a great idea is presented.

To better execute their vision, visionary managers give a lot of feedback to their employees about their performance and praise them when their performance meets or exceeds expectations.

This type of management style is hard to pull off, though. It’s crucial that you sell your employees on the purpose of your vision before you expect them to execute it. If you don’t, they won’t be inspired to turn your vision into a reality.

2. Democratic

In democratic management, majority rules. Managers let their employees participate in the decision-making process because they value their team’s diversity of ideas, and understand that people are the key to a team’s success.

Democratic managers ultimately approve of all decisions, but since their employees are so involved in the decision-making process, their team has a lot of influence in their manager’s decision.

Employees are so heavily involved in the decision-making process because managers know it makes their team feel valued, boosts their morale, and forges a healthy, trusting relationship between the two. It also makes it easier for managers to convince their employees to buy into a team’s vision — after all, they’re executing a plan that they’ve created together.

Most employees love this type of management style — it entrusts them with a lot of responsibility and real work, which lets them use their skills to their full potential.

But when executed poorly, a democratic management style can be inefficient. Managers who keep mulling over a decision even after consulting their whole team about it can slow down progress. And if you want your employees to feel like they’re all leaders of your team, you need to make sure they’re helping you make progress. Or else they might start thinking you’re just making empty promises.

3. Transformational

Transformational managers’ are innovators. They usually believe change and growth is the only way to stay ahead of the curve, so they push their employees past their comfort zone, making them realize they’re more capable than they originally thought. This motivates employees to keep raising the bar, leading to improved team performance.

Employees led by transformational managers are usually more dedicated and happy — their managers constantly challenge them and motivate them with the idea that they can reach their potential if they just keep pushing themselves. These managers are also right by their employees’ side, doing whatever they can to help them get better and succeed.

These teams are innovative, so they can adapt to drastic industry changes. But they can also risk moving too fast and spreading themselves thin. Constantly challenging the status-quo is crucial for innovation and staying ahead of the curve, but, as a manager of people, it’s important to know how far you can push each of your employees before they start burning out.

4. Coaching

Just like a sports coach, a coaching manager strives to improve their employees’ long-term professional development. They have a passion for teaching and watching their employees grow. And they’re more willing to deal with their employees’ short-term failures, as long they learn and get better because of them.

Coaching managers motivate their employees with professional development opportunities, like a promotion or more responsibility — these rewards make employees hungry for knowledge, and their steady development improves the team’s performance.

By constantly teaching their employees new things and offering career opportunities, coaches can build strong bonds with their employees. But doing this could also create a cutthroat environment that’s toxic for their team’s relations.

As a coach, your have two main focuses: overseeing your employees’ individual development and bringing your team together. The best teams are the most united teams, and an employee experiences the most professional growth when both their coach and teammates invest in their development.

1. Autocratic

Autocratic management is the most top-down approach to management — employees at the top of the hierarchy hold all the power, making decisions without collaborating or informing their subordinates. And after they tell them what to do, they expect immediate acceptance and execution, with no questions asked.

If one of their employees doesn’t follow orders, they’lll punish them by chewing them out or threatening their job. They’ll even publically humiliate them in front of their peers, if they really want to make a statement to their team. Fear, guilt, and shame are an autocratic manager’s main weapon of motivation.

Autocratic managers are also the ultimate micromanagers — they police their employees every move to make sure they’re obedient, allowing little to no flexibility at work. Employees do what they’re told, and managers don’t want to hear their feedback. They see their conduct as a means to end for great financial success.

But teams and companies led by autocratic managers usually don’t reach great financial success because they can’t innovate. The same, few minds call the shots, leading to groupthink and a stagnant ideation process — if they won’t let their employees, who have much different perspectives than them, share their new and possibly breakthrough ideas, then they’ll only leverage the same strategies that they’ve always been comfortable with.

The autocratic management style allows managers to make decisions extremely fast, but employees hate working under it. It’s also one of the most ineffective management styles: underdeveloped employees feel overwhelmed — they won’t get any help — and the most skilled employees can’t let their talents shine in such a rigid environment. Everyone’s professional growth is stunted.

Another problem with autocratic managers is that they don’t even try to convince their employees to buy in to their vision. They just force them to do it. But what they don’t understand is that even though coercion might work in the short-term, it won’t last in the long-term. No one likes to be controlled. And if people don’t know why they’re supporting the company’s vision, morale will plummet, leading to low-quality work and a high turnover rate.

The only time this management style is effective is when the organization experiences a crisis situation and needs to make important decisions — fast.

2. Servant

Servant managers put people first and tasks second. They prioritize their employees’ well-being over their team’s results, so they can foster a harmonious relationship with their employees and keep them as happy as possible. They do everything they can to support and encourage their team, and, in return, they expect their employees to be motivated to work hard.

But since servant managers don’t prioritize performance and avoid confronting their employees, even when they do a lackluster job, there’s no pressure to succeed. This can make employees complacent, leading to average or even sub-par work.

Servant managers also might spend too much time on team bonding rather than work, which could frustrate employees who are goal-oriented. They’ll feel like they can’t perform to their full potential because they have to spend a bunch of time doing trust falls.

3. Laissez-faire

Laissez-faire managers monitor their team’s activities, but they’re completely hands-off — they expect their team to perform up to a certain level even though they don’t proactively help or check in with their employees.

Employees led by laissez-faire managers hold all the decision-making authority, working on whatever they want with minimal to no intervention — which is a nice perk. They can also seek their manager’s guidance when they need help.

But most of the time, the team barely has any guidance or vision. Employees might feel pulled in every direction, so they can’t accomplish anything worthwhile. This is the least desirable and effective management style because without any guidance or vision, most employees feel neglected.

4. Transactional

Transactional managers use incentives and rewards — like bonuses and stock options — to motivate their employees to carry out their commands. Their motto is “If you do this for me, I’ll do this for you.”

But psychological research tells us that extrinsic motivation, like financial rewards, wears off in the long-term and even diminishes your employee’s intrinsic motivation to succeed at work.

After a while, rewarding intrinsically-motivated employees with external incentives triggers a self-perception loop — employees will base their attitudes about their motivation at work off their behavior at work — making them think they were motivated to succeed because their manager rewarded them with some stock options and not because they had a passion for the team’s mission.

Intrinsic motivation is a stronger motivator than extrinsic motivation because the former is a better indicator for producing quality work, while the latter is a better indicator for producing a higher quantity of work.


Management is one of the hardest jobs in the working world. There’s a reason why we’ve all had at least one terrible boss. But, hopefully, this blog post helped you identify themanagement traitsyou should keep and the ones you should adopt.

How to Write a Marketing Resume Hiring Managers Will Notice [Free 2018 Templates + Samples]

It’s ironic, but despite knowing how to sell products and services, so many marketers have a hard time selling themselves. It can often be difficult to turn the spotlight inward, but creating a standout resume is a skill all marketers need to perfect if they want to grow their career.

If you’re a marketer whose resume could use a little polish, don’t worry. With just a few resources and some actionable tips from hiring managers themselves, we’ll help you create a truly impressive marketing resume that’s sure to stand out to recruiters.Download our 10 free marketing resume templates here. 

These free resume templates feature sample copy for 10 of the most popular marketing positions. Take a look at them, and then use the advice below to customize your resume and make it rise above the rest in the stack.

How to Write a Standout Marketing Resume

Know Your Target

You never start a marketing campaign without knowing who you want to reach. That’s because once you know your target audience, it’s easier for the other decisions to fall into place.

The same logic applies to your resume. If you know who will read it and what’s important to them, you can shape your message accordingly. To do this, you need to think about the type of job and company you’re hoping to work for.

Ask yourself questions like: Is the job purely in inbound marketing, or will it require both traditional and digital work? Will you be a specialist or a generalist? Who is the employer — an agency with a buzzing digital marketing team in place already, or a small company looking to leverage the power of social media to grow their sales? Or maybe it’s a marketing department within a large and established corporation?

Once you’ve outlined what’s most important to the company and job you’re applying for, you can carefully target your resume to them. You’ll know what skills or traits to highlight, what keywords to use, and which parts of your background will be most interesting to the hiring manager. (For clues about which skills different marketing roles typically require, read this blog post on marketing job descriptions. You can borrow phrasing from those for your own resume.)

Define Your Unique Value Proposition

You have a unique blend of skills, characteristics, and experiences that make you different from every marketer. To create a truly effective resume, you need to define exactly what this unique blend is — we’ll call this your value proposition.

To develop your own value proposition, think about what separates you from other marketers. Is it your in-depth knowledge of marketing analytics? Your ability to write irresistible headlines? Perhaps it’s your talent for creating compelling videos? Or maybe you have an impressive record of using social media to drive sales growth? Whatever it is, you can use it to set your resume apart from the crowd.

To a large extent, your value proposition depends on the type of positions and companies you’re targeting. Large and small companies often look for completely different skill sets, as do companies in different industries. So as you think about what makes you uniquely valuable, and how that aligns with the jobs you’re applying to.

Determine Your Messaging Strategy

It’s crucial to determine your messaging strategy — before you write a single word of your resume. That’s what you do when you’re running a marketing campaign, isn’t it? Here are some of the things to think about:

  • What is the best structure for your resume in order to highlight your value proposition?
  • Which keywords will your ideal employer be looking for?
  • How can you give real world examples of your value proposition in action? (Think about campaigns you’ve run, social media successes, ideas you developed, etc.)
  • What is the best layout and design to reinforce your message?

All these decisions should be made before you start writing, and they should all be made with your target audience in mind. That way you can be sure that when potential employers read your resume, it will immediately strike a chord.

If you want an example of great messaging in a resume, check out the digital marketing executive resume sample among our free downloadable resume templates. Look at the progression of roles and key accomplishments in those roles — it tells his career story while also making him look exceptionally qualified.


Make Sure Your Resume Gets Seen

If you don’t already have a connection at the company you’re applying to, you’ll most likely need to apply through a computer system. This process is what makes it so critical to upload it in a format that allows all recipients to read it as intended, like a PDF. That way, none of the original formatting or spacing is lost in translation, making it really yucky to read from a recruiter’s perspective. Although they’ll still have access to your resume, confusing formatting might distract them from the content.

Many common applications have similar save or export options that let you ultimately save as a PDF. The most common are Microsoft Word and iWork Pages:

  • Microsoft Word: Choose File > Save as Adobe PDF
  • iWork Pages: Choose File > Export to > PDF

Once you send in your resume, the computer service will do is scan it for relevant keywords that have been programmed in advance by the recruiter. Then, the system will either “pass” or “fail” you, depending on how many keywords and phrases are included in your resume that match what the recruiter’s looking for.

Don’t worry: Even if you “fail,” it doesn’t mean your resume won’t ever get seen by a real human. But it doesn’t look great, either — so try to foresee which keywords the recruiter will be looking for by making a note of all of the skills you have that are relevant to the job description.

Keywords to include might be the names of the social media sites you use, analytics or CRM systems you know, and software programs or SAAS systems you’re familiar with. Make sure you’ve included these terms as seamlessly as possible throughout your resume (where relevant), and add any outliers at the very bottom under a “Technical Skills” or “Digital Marketing Skills” section.

9 Things Hiring Managers Are Looking For in Your Marketing Resume

Sure, computers may be used in the initial screening process, but it’s humans — with real feelings, pet peeves, hobbies, relationships, experiences, and backgrounds — who are ultimately reading and evaluating our resumes.

They’re also the ones who get annoyed when we don’t put our employment record in chronological order; who just don’t feel like reading paragraph-long job descriptions; and who get excited when you went to the same college as them. So to get a sense of what really matters on a marketing resume, I asked some hiring experts what they actually care about when they scan resumes, and here’s the inside scoop on the tips they shared with me. (By the way, don’t miss out on what they said about cover letters at the end.)

1) Length

Limit your resumes to one page if you can. It takes hiring managers six seconds to decide whether they like your resume or not. If they do, they’ll keep reading. If they don’t … well, it’s on to the next. So, chances are, they won’t even get to page two.

In some cases, bleeding onto another page is OK, especially if you have a lot of really relevant experience. But if you have to do that, just don’t exceed two pages. Remember, recruiters can always look at your LinkedIn profile for the full story. (Because you’ve completed your business profile on LinkedIn, right?)

2) Formatting

Formatting speaks to the way candidates collect their thoughts and organize their ideas. As HubSpot’s VP of Sales Productivity and Enablement Andrew Quinn explains it, “A candidate’s resume is their ad to me. How are they structuring this ad so I get a clear picture of what they’re capable of?”

There’s a fine line, though, warns HubSpot Team Development Manager Emily MacIntyre. “If you stray too far from normal formatting, it’s hard to read and understand your resume. Don’t get so creative that your resume becomes difficult to digest.”

Below is a snippet from a 2-page resume with great formatting that’s easy to read. If you like the format and want to use it as your own, you can find it among our free downloadable resume templates here under “Digital Marketing Strategist.”


Here’s another one, this time a one-page resume from a student seeking an internship. If you like the format and want to use it as your own, you can find it among our free downloadable resume templates here under “Inbound Marketing Intern.”


To explore other resume formats, download our free resume templates.

The creatives among you might be asking, “What about infographic resumes?” Here’s the general consensus: Don’t make an infographic resume. Every hiring manager I spoke with advised sticking to the classic resume form instead of infographics or other formats.

“Infographic resumes are impossible to understand,” says MacIntyre. “We appreciate creativity, except when it’s overkill and hard to follow. Keep it simple. Everyone appreciates a simple resume. If you’re a designer, showcase your creativity with a cool portfolio website in addition to your simple resume.”

Below is an example of a creative format that’s still easy to read and understand. It was made using the Apple desktop app iWork Pages, which can be exported as a PDF so none of that beautiful formatting gets messed up in translation.


3) Writing Quality

Hiring managers throw away resumes with spelling errors — but writing quality goes beyond just simple spelling mistakes. Writing and presenting data in meaningful ways is a critical skill for any position, from blogging to engineering.

Are the details you want hiring managers to know about you easy to consume? Do you use concise sentences to convey your performance and accomplishments? Are your verb tenses consistent (except for current positions)? Is your language overflowing with buzzwords, or does it sound natural? Are you making sure to use first-person without using “I” or “my”? (See #11 in this blog post to understand why that’s not okay.)

“Formatting, spelling, syntax, and structure are all evidence of attention to detail,” Quinn told me. “This is important for any job, but especially if you’re applying to a job where attention to detail matters.” If you’re applying for a writing position, this is even more important.

4) Location

Hiring managers want to know if you’ll need to relocate. If you already live near the company’s office, great! If you would need to relocate, then it gets a little more complicated. Technically, hiring managers can’t legally ask you directly where you live — but omitting location will raise eyebrows. Even P.O. boxes are a little iffy.

If you do need to relocate, you should still include your current, out-of-town address on your resume, but be prepared to answer relocation status questions in an interview. If the company doesn’t offer relocation packages, will you be able to afford taking the job and moving anyway? If not, you may be wasting time.

5) College/Graduate School and Major/Concentration

Which is more important: Where you went to school, or what you studied?

It depends on the job you’re applying for. In most cases, your degree should make sense for the role. Hiring managers are looking for the tie-in; what’s relevant about what a candidate’s done in school. That doesn’t mean only marketing majors can apply to marketing jobs — marketing teams might hire someone who came out of creative studies like liberal arts, graphic design, or writing. An engineering team, on the other hand, probably won’t hire someone without a computer science degree.

It also depends on how successful you were at the school you attended. While there are some hiring managers who only give interviews to graduates of top-tier schools, most say it helps to go to a top-tier school, but it’s certainly not a deal-breaker if you went to a lower-tier school or community college. A community college graduate with a 4.0 GPA could be more attractive than an Ivy League graduate with a 2.0.


Speaking of GPA — when to take it off your resume is subjective. If your GPA was below a 3.0, consider removing it altogether. If it’s higher than that, the Andrew says, “The benchmark is five to seven years after graduation, which is when candidates tend have a solid track record of employment. If you did well in school but had lackluster job prospects following graduation because of, say, a bad economy, you could definitely leave it on longer.”


It goes both ways, he explained: If you had great jobs and accomplishments following graduation but didn’t have a good GPA, consider removing your GPA earlier.

Three to five years after college or graduate school graduation, you can move your “Education” section to the bottom of your resume — unless you connected with someone through an alumni network or if you know an executive there also went to your school.

Want to take your marketing education to the next level and make your resume even more appealing to potential employers? Become a certified inbound marketing professional with HubSpot’s free marketing certification. Get started here.

6) Companies and Titles

Hiring managers will look at where you’ve worked before (do they recognize the company names or know anyone who works there?) and your titles at those companies.

“If you’re applying for a sales position at a software company like HubSpot, we’re looking for experience selling software,” David Fernandez, Recruiting Team Lead at HubSpot, told me. “If you’re applying for a services position, we’re looking for customer-facing experience.”


Yes, people tweak their titles at previous companies to more closely match the positions they’re applying for. If you do this, your “new” title should be close enough to what you really did that if someone were to call and check a reference, they wouldn’t be dumbfounded. Maybe “Clerk to the Surgical Waiting Room” becomes “Customer Service Clerk.” Also, make sure to change your titles on LinkedIn, too — hiring managers will check for consistency on LinkedIn, Fernandez said.

7) Top Few Bullet Points in Each Section

Each position you’ve had should be accompanied by no more than five to six bullet points. Remember, these hiring managers are scanning your resumes really quickly, so you want to make it easy for them to find and digest the relevant information by consolidating the most important points and putting them first. Paragraphs are a big no-no.

Luckily, you work in a profession where everything can be measured and analyzed, which means it’s relatively easy to tell an impressive story of success. Think about all the ways your work can be quantified through hard data and then fill your resume with action-packed bullet points that convey the value you’ve added.

Focus on accomplishments first before responsibilities and duties. If you had a senior management role, include the number of people you managed.

Also, include goals and metrics that hiring managers can use to compare you against other candidates, and make sure those metrics make sense so you don’t confuse the hiring manager. Run the metrics by your mom. I’m serious. If they make sense to her, then they’re all set. If not, then you weren’t clear enough and you need to tweak the language.

Examples might be increasing social media engagement, improving SEO ROI, driving increased web traffic, reducing bounce rates, boosting landing page conversions, etc. Once you have a list of your results, choose the best four or five and turn these into bullet points like these:

  • Drove 37% improvement in newsletter clickthrough rates by rewriting sales copy.
  • Grew ecommerce sales 23% in just 6 months by redesigning and A/B testing all landing pages.

Here’s a more detailed example:


If you want more examples of actionable data points, download these free resume templates.

8) Dates of Employment

Hiring managers look for job hopping and large gaps in employment, which are both red flags. Job hopping is a sign of failure to commit, a quality no one wants at their company. A word of advice: You should try to stay at every job for at least a year, preferably two or more years. Otherwise, it’s a red flag.

And if you took longer than six months off of work, MacIntyre suggests you explain the gap on your resume. If it’s something like teaching or the Peace Corps that you can describe like a job, then you can insert it into your resume just as you would any other position:


If it’s something like traveling abroad or taking time off for family or personal reasons, you can simply add it in italics of parenthesis. “Travelled abroad.” “Took time off for family.” “Took time off for personal reasons.” Hiring managers just want to see a rational explanation — that you were doing something productive with your time.

9) Interests and Hobbies

Whether you include interests and hobbies on your resume depends on the company and the job. If you’re applying for a creative role, hobbies like photography and painting could be interesting to an employer. If you’re hiring for an accounting role, then a hobby like skydiving wouldn’t be good to include — hiring managers might categorize you as a risk-taker, and do they really want a risk-taker managing their money?

“Think about the conclusions someone could draw from your hobbies relative to the role you’re hiring for,” Quinn advises. “Do they enhance or detract from the image you’re trying to convey? If you know the culture embraces unique individuals that have a broad background and set of interests, then it could be useful information. But conservative organizations probably don’t care what you do in your free time — in fact, they could interpret outside hobbies as distractions.”

Companies with cultures like HubSpot’s want their employees to have some personality and invest in outside interests. So if you’re applying to join that kind of culture, an “Interests” or “Hobbies” section could benefit you. “They’re great conversation starters,” says MacIntyre. “‘You’re a skier? Me too! Which mountain do you go to?’ It creates common ground for conversation and helps us assess culture fit.”

Before including or omitting this section on your resume, gain some intelligence about the company’s environment and culture. (And check out HubSpot’s culture code if you haven’t already.)

Spend Less Time on These …

Personal Statements/Objectives

In fact, we recommend skipping these altogether. Frankly, they’re irrelevant — not to mention way too easy to screw up. I’ve spoken with HubSpot recruiters about numerous times where candidates put the name of another local company on there — huge mistake.

Instead, replace it with a “Skills” or “Key Skills” section at the top of your resume, in column format, that highlights the top six to nine skills applicable to the role you’re applying for. Be sure to change these skills for each job and use the job description as a guideline.

Don’t plagiarize the job description by any means, but you can pull out key phrases. For example, in the example below, one of the listed skills is “Deep understanding of the consumer lifecycle.” That’s because the job description asked for exactly that: a deep understanding of the consumer lifecycle and customer journey.


Pro Tip: Although you should leave this section off your resume, you should have something in the ‘Summary’ section of your LinkedIn profile. Focus this section on specific skills and achievements. It’s a good place to put a link to your portfolio, blog, SlideShare presentations, or examples of work you’ve created like open-source code.

Use that space to talk about specific achievements from previous roles, awards you’ve won, or projects you’ve worked on. The information and skills on here should be applicable to where you’re headed in your career, not irrelevant past skills. (When I first heard this tip, I immediately took “emergency medicine” off of mine.)

Cover Letters

Cover letters vary in importance, depending on industry, and even on individual company. Here at HubSpot, we phased out requiring one — and instead ask candidates thoughtful questions during our application and interview process. Many companies that require you to write a cover letter will read it, but they’ll focus mostly on your resume.

With this in mind, include important details on your resume, like gaps in employment, rather than relying on your cover letter — which may never get read — to explain it. And reallocate those hours you plan to spend writing and perfecting your cover letter to writing and rewriting your resume. Your resume is the most important tool in the first stage of the application process, so spend a lot of time on it and ask multiple people to critique it.

It’s Just Like Marketing

As a marketer, you have a talent for communication and a solid understanding of what makes people buy. The good news is that by applying this knowledge to your own resume, you can easily stand out from the crowd.

Want more? Read How to Write a Marketing Resume Hiring Managers Will Notice [Free 2018 Templates + Samples].

Need to revamp your resume? Get started by downloading and customizing these free marketing resume templates.

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