Your resume is your shop window; it’s a potential employer’s chance to learn enough about you to want to give you an interview for the Public Relations job of your dreams. For a PR vacancy, it’s particularly important that you demonstrate how you can exceed the recruiter’s needs and show them that you are undoubtedly the best applicant.
Preparation is key
Before you put anything down on paper, do some research; even if you already work in the PR sector.
- A good PR company, even a small one, will have a website. Study their mission statement and make sure you understand as much as you can about the company, where they’re going and where they’ve been.
- It’s vital that you tailor your resume for each position you are applying for; a generic resume gives the impression that you can’t be bothered.
Public Relations resume dos and don’ts
- Don’t just tell the recruiter that you’re a savvy, slick PR operator; show them. Give quantifiable examples of specific pieces of work you’ve carried out for clients or brands and provide links to presentations, videos, articles and blogs that you’ve worked on.
- These days, it’s absolutely key that a good PR pro has a thorough understanding of the most popular social media platforms. You can demonstrate your fluency in this area by including links to your blog, your Twitter account, your Pinterest account and your LinkedIn page. If you can show that you already have a following and a great network of industry contacts, you’re half way there.
- When writing your opening summary or objectives statement, make it punchy and dynamic. It should be clear to the reader who you are, what you have to offer and just how much value you can add to the company that recruits you.
- The importance of customising your resume cannot be overstressed. You are trying to convince the employer that it’s their organisation you want to work for and a cut-and-paste job just won’t do that.
- Never lie; everything on your resume can be checked and referenced and it will be. If in doubt, leave it out.
The Public Relations industry is highly dynamic and potentially very lucrative. It is therefore an extremely popular career choice for graduates and consequently the competition for jobs is strong. It’s probable that your resume will be just one of hundreds received for every position that you apply for so it’s vital that yours stands out for the right reasons.
- Recruiters do not have the time to wade through pages and pages of waffle; they really aren’t interested in what you did 10 years ago. Focus on your most recent relevant jobs or experiences, including applicable voluntary work. Your resume should be succinct and run to a maximum of two pages.
- The document itself should look professional and clean. Don’t be tempted to go overboard with fancy fonts and colours; stick to black type and white or cream paper of a decent weight and quality. Remember, you can use links to your previous work to demonstrate what you can do creatively.
Always proof read your whole application at least twice yourself and ask someone else to look over it for you too. Typos, grammatical errors and poor layout are an absolute deal-breaker and will land your resume straight in the “no” pile.
- Remember to include your professional email address, telephone numbers and full home address.
This section is where you really have the chance to shine. Keep it short and to the point, using bullet points for maximum impact. Include things like:
- Your career progression to date
- Any professional industry qualifications you have gained and if this is your first job, any particular educational highlights of note
- Public Relations industry accomplishments (remember to include relevant links)
- Details of any relevant computer software packages you are particularly skilled in using
Your resume is your shop window; it’s your chance to show the recruiter that they absolutely have to meet you. Spend time and effort in researching the PR firm you are applying to join; although this might seem an onerous task, it will be worth it when you get that call to interview.