Selling Yourself: How to Write Public Relations Resumes
A Good Resume Makes a Good First Impression
Your resume is a vital part of your job hunting toolkit. A resume is often the first chance you have of getting an employer’s attention, so you should take special care when writing yours. This article details some guidelines that will help you prepare public relations resumes that make a good impression from the get-go.
The Basics: The Structure of Your Resume
A resume should include sections for your contact details, a briefly stated objective or profile, your major achievements and skills, work experience, educational history, and extra activities that might have helped polish skills pertinent to the PR business. Tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for: keep the design simple if you’re submitting to a conservative organization, and use creative photos and website links for employers who are looking for that sort of thing (but always keep it uncluttered and readable). When writing, use language that shows your knowledge of public relations, but not to the point that your resume becomes saturated with jargon.
Show Your Strengths and Focus on Results
Start off your public relations resumes with a short objective or profile. This is what employers will see first, so use it to draw attention to your skills and experience as targeted to the job you want. When you get to your Major Skills and Achievements section, use action verbs (“led,” “developed,” and “managed” are some good ones) and keywords. Also, talk about measurable quantities, like increases in sales, percentages or returns on investments – numbers will make people take you seriously. As to your work experience, don’t simply mention the agencies you worked for: name the clients you handled and the results you got for them. Results count for a lot in public relations, more so than the responsibilities you had on a job, so mention the goals you helped achieve at work and any awards that your work might have garnered.
Keywords for Public Relations Resumes
Keywords are what employers will look for when they scan through a stack of resumes. For public relations, some of the phrases like “agency experience,” “media relations,” “press kits,” “event coordination,” and “client profitability” are attractive as they reflect skills useful and necessary in the business. If you’re responding to an advertisement, keywords may have been dropped there, and it would do you good to use them to your advantage.