Times are tough. Companies aren’t hiring. New graduates are trying to land that “dream” job or at this point, any job at all. Here are a few resume tips for those “newbies” trying to break into the PR world.
1. Address the name of the person in the cover letter
Hiring managers do not necessarily want to be known as “sir” or “madam,” and even worse “to whom it may concern.” Do your research. Pick up the phone and find out who is doing the hiring. Yes, there are some recruiters that make it their mission to stay unknown, but make sure YOU try.
2. Be Consistent
Everyone has a certain style or specific format that they’d rather use on their resume, which is fine. The bottom line is that the same format needs to be used throughout the entire resume. If you’d rather abbreviate the months, then do it consistently. If you like circle bullet points better than diamond bullet points, then pick one and stick with it.
3. Not a time to be Pinocchio
You are trying to break into the PR business, but there’s a difference between enhancing your resume and flat out lying. One thing to remember is that the PR world is really (REALLY) small. With social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, it’s even smaller. Don’t lie because you will eventually get caught.
4. PROOF PROOF PROOF
Make sure your mother’s brother’s wife’s niece reads it. You don’t want to have an unnecessary comma or period hanging around.
5. Don’t tell me you’re an effective communicator. Show me.
The cover letter and resume are your chances to show the employer that you know how to communicate. Yes, even the resume can tell the recruiter that you know how to communicate by your word choice and action verbs.
6. Follow directions
Be thorough when applying for a job. Some companies just want a resume while others require 3 writing samples, a resume in a PDF format and a cover letter in the body of the email. Give them what they want. If you can’t follow this simple task, it’s apparent that you won’t be able to follow directions in the workplace.
7. Keep it short
Time is of the essence. Recruiters really don’t have the time or desire to sift through a four-page resume. Unless you’ve worked with Prince William and Kate and it somehow relates to the job position, don’t bother sharing. Employers don’t need your life story; so, don’t say what you accomplished in high school.
It’s best to save your resume in a PDF to retain formatting and prevent editing, unless the employer requests something else. Make sure the file name includes your first and last name. Companies receive hundreds of resumes and need to be able to quickly identify yours. Also, it should not read “Juliet Swanson vs.1.” It should read something like “Juliet Swanson_Resume.”
9. Learn how you’re “linked” in the PR world
It’s much easier to get your resume seen if you know someone on the inside. Research your LinkedIn account and see if there’s someone who is connected to the company you’re interested in. A personal recommendation gets your resume moved to the top of the stack.
10. Get your resume “tailored”
Not every single PR/marketing/advertising job is the same and neither should the resume you send out to each job. Different job positions require different skills and responsibilities. Make sure you highlight the right ones according to each job description. It shows recruiters you understand what they are looking for in an employee.