As a public relations professional, you’ll be tasked with helping clients establish and promote their brands – so you should probably be pretty good at doing that for yourself, too. When you’re creating a résumé for a PR job, it’s not enough to deliver one that includes your education, work experience and hobbies, and is grammatically correct. In addition, that information has to have an added sparkle that shows you understand the biz.
See also: How to Become a Public Relations Specialist
1. Think visually
As a PR professional, you know that marketing, promotion and public relations are about much more than just words – and your résumé should reflect that. While you don’t necessarily need to adopt a totally out-there graphic-style résumé, you should consider adding some additional flair beyond the standard résumé format. Use a font for your name that speaks to your personal brand. Add color in strategic locations. Arrange the blocks of text in a magazine or website format. In other words, make sure your résumé has visual appeal.
2. Start off with a brand statement
You’ll probably have to work on a brand statement or two for your future employers – so there’s no better time to show your prowess in that department than in the opening lines of your résumé. People often start with an "executive summary" at the top of their résumés which provides a "snapshot of your special industry" as well as your competencies and expertise, suggests the Public Relations Society of America. But instead of simply typing "Executive Summary" to start off that section, why not call it a "Brand Statement?" Under the heading, describe yourself and what makes your personal brand unique.
3. Write like a whiz
Public relations professionals need to be able to write, write, write – and do it really well. Don’t make the mistake of making the language in your résumé bland and boring. Sure, it may be boring to list the details of that summer filing job you had, but you’re a word whiz, so you’ll need to find some way to jazz it up.
4. Talk about results
When you’re discussing jobs you’ve held – or in the absence of lots of work experience, projects you’ve worked on – don’t just talk about the job duties. Instead, talk about the outcomes. What were the results of you managing that PR campaign for that small non-profit? How many new followers did you gain from your PR campaign? By how much did sales increase? Hiring managers will want to see that you’re concerned not just with doing the job, but in delivering results, too.
5. Tailor the content
You’ve probably heard it once or twice, but it warrants repeating: you need to speak directly to the employer and the company to which you’re applying. Look closely at the competencies or tasks you’ll need to do in the new job, and then be sure to include those somewhere in your résumé. That is, of course, so long as you actually have those skills.
Beyond the bells and whistles and the visually appealing techniques you employ to create that outstanding PR résumé, there are two more things you need: honesty and integrity. Don’t think that you need to dress your résumé up or to add details that simply aren’t true. That’s a sure way to back yourself into a corner when you actually land the job!