8 Steps to a Killer PR Resume


You wouldn't believe some of the resumes that have crossed my desk over the years...from people looking for jobs in public relations, communications and marketing, where writing skills and communications skills are critical.

It is staggering how many of these resumes are dull, ungrammatical, laden with typos and clearly factually incorrect.

In many cases, it takes me less than five seconds to put a resume into the “no” pile.

Here are just a few tips and observation for any communications pro to keep in mind when looking for that first job or looking to move up the ladder:

  1. Specifics: Don’t tell me you are a savvy PR pro. Show me. Include specific things you’ve accomplished for clients or brands. Provide links to articles, videos, presentations, etc.

  2. Social media: A PR pro cannot survive without a deep understanding of social media platforms. Show your fluency with links to your blog, your Twitter handle, your LinkedIn page and your Pinterest account.

  3. Wow me in your opening summary/objectives statement: Think of this as your elevator pitch. Give a clear statement of who you are, what you can do and how valuable you can be to the lucky company that hires you.

  4. Customize: If you really want to work for my company, get that message through. Sure you said it in your cover letter, but if I see it in your resume (and not just a cut-and-paste job), I will take notice. No potential employer wants to feel like you’ve sent out 50 of these (even if you have).

  5. Write it well and write it carefully: Typos, grammatical errors, and poor choices of words are all deal breakers.

  6. Don’t overwhelm me with length: Assume your resume was picked out of a pile of hundreds. Marshall the most important arguments in your favor, emphasize them, and keep the extraneous stuff to a minimum. I’ve seen resumes from professionals with over 10 years of experience that include awards won in high school. Unless you were the champion in the Scripps National Spelling Bee (which would impress the hell out of me), I’m much more interested in what you’ve accomplished in your professional life.

  7. Make it pleasing to the eye: I know my eyes glaze over looking at resume after resume. Make yours jump out at me with design elements that demonstrate your style and your creativity.


Oh yeah, number 8. Don't lie. Do I really have to explain this?

Jon Gelberg is the editorial director of PR News. You can follow him on Twitter @jon_gelberg. 

 

 

 

 




1 Comment

Deals of the Week

Get $150 Off PR News' Social Media Summit with Taste of Tech

prn_ms_175x135_ep

Unlike other conferences, you’ll be immersed in the strategies and tactics that you can apply right away to your work as a communicator. You’ll learn what it takes to compete for attention, engagement and positive brand awareness across an array of social media networks.

Use code “150off” at checkout.

Get $50 off PR News' Digital PR & Social Media Guidebook

DigitalPRSocialMedia_PrintDigital_vol6

This guidebook has one essential purpose: helping you maximize your communications effectiveness in the digital world. The articles in this guidebook produced both by the PR News staff and more than fifty communications industry thought leaders, focus on most every facet of digital PR and social media.

Use code “DIGITAL6” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription

Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

  • Anne Pelczar

    Fantastic advice! People often seem to loose common sense when it comes to applying to jobs. Nervousness takes over and everything else goes out the window. And of course barely anyone thinks that there’s research involved in how to do it right. That’s where you think PR people should have an easier time because they should know that just about EVERYTHING we do starts with research… but not so either. Some do. Kudos to them. Thanks for publishing these tips. Well taken!