Public relations is all about presentation and perfection. Your resume serves as a writing sample, not just a reflection of your employment history. One typo or grammatical error negates your credibility as an artist of public influence through the written word. PRSA Blogger Richard Spector offers a trove of tips to whip your resume into a perfect one-page resume that will get your foot in the door.
1. Brainstorm: Take a piece of scratch paper and make a list of accomplishments. This process may take a few days but it will prove to be useful when crafting that one-page biography.
2. Feedback: Invite a second pair of eyes to review the resume and check for grammar and formatting mistakes. Make sure to not take any feedback personally, their job is to help you draft a resume to retain the limited attention span of a very harried and overworked recruiter.
3. Brag a little: You have three sentences or four bullets to capture the attention of a recruiter. Make sure to include clear and succinct talents you posses in relation to the job you are applying for. Devote the most thought into this part of your resume — it’s that important.
4. Be Brief: Keep each thought to only one sentence. If it’s longer, it’s too long.
5. The Proof is in the Pudding: What did you accomplish? It’s not enough to say that you pitched stories to the media. Where did you land those stories?
6. Research the Possibilities: Do some groundwork on the types of jobs you’d like to apply for before meeting with your friends. What keywords are employers using? Are there certain keywords all the job descriptions have in common? Make sure you incorporate these keywords into your resume along with your action verbs.
7. Divide and Conquer: Depending on where you are in your career, you should have at least four different resumes – and that’s just the beginning. After sitting with one of my friends, we determined she had enough qualifications to tailor her resumes as an office manager, executive assistant, nutritionist, art and antiques curator and bookkeeper. Considering the diversity of public relations industries and the various skills required, having many versions allows you to highlight key information for targeted jobs.
8. Rest and Reshare: Like any good writing piece, there comes a point where you have to step away from it and have a day or two of breathing space.
9. Irrevocable Damage: What’s the best way to anger a recruiter? Apply to a job that’s not relevant. One job seeker applied to so many jobs through the same recruiter (whether relevant of not) that they crashed the system every time their name came up. As a result, the resume had to be red-flagged from being opened by the recruiter. You’re much better off applying for 100 relevant jobs than 5,000 irrelevant ones.
10. Rejuvenate: You’re going to need all the strength you can muster in your job hunt. Getting enough sleep sounds like common sense – but it’s more important than you can imagine. You’ll be grilled on your resume and asked to elaborate on each point. Be sure you can explain every skill set listed on your resume. Practice with your friends and stay alert.
Consider these tips when crafting your next resume and land your dream job!