Surprisingly, one of the hardest things I’ve had to master as a PR professional isn’t something I do as part of my day-to-day job – it’s writing a resume. Luckily, I’ve only had to do this a few times in my life, but as your career develops, it’s important to consistently update your resume – whether you’re job hunting or not – with your latest and greatest achievements so it’s always current. So it got me thinking, what makes for a really great PR resume? Here’s what I came up with:

  1. The proof is in the numbers. PR is ultimately supposed to help a businesses’ bottom line so potential employers want to see what kind of impact you’ll have. Quantifiable results highlight what you can bring to the table to help them increase revenue/get users/attract new customers/whatever their goal is. For example, instead of saying you managed a media campaign for a global product launch, try “Managed strategic media campaign around XX’s global product launch, which resulted in 5.5 million impressions and $10 million in sales.” If you’re early in your career and don’t have these types of numbers share, include anecdotal information to show value such as a creative pitch idea that garnered interest with a new publication, or a creative social campaign that really excited a client.
  2. Get creative with the style & layout. Anyone can submit a regular old Word doc, but one way to stand out is to have a cool layout or elements that really jump out at a recruiter. PR calls for creativity and we’re seeing design become more integrated into what we do, so this is another way to demonstrate your ability to get creative and create something that’s visually stunning. It also makes you (and your resume) more memorable.
  3. Formatting is key. Along the same vain as No. 2, how you format your resume is important. Bullet points are your best friends – use them. Be clear, concise. Avoid jargon and buzzwords (i.e., why say “utilize” when you can say “use”). Try to keep bullet points to one line if you can. Don’t use the same verbs over and over again.
  4. Proof read. This should go without saying but there’s nothing that will get your resume tossed out quicker than obvious typos. You’re in PR for Pete’s sake.
  5. Match the job descriptions. If a job description calls out certain tasks/responsibilities, try to use the same wording in your resume to align with job descriptions. This shows how well-matched your experience is with what’s required at this new position.
  6. Play to your strengths and the things you love to do. If social media is not your favorite part of your job – and something you want to do less of in your next role – minimize how much you talk about it in your resume. If you highlight all the amazing things you’ve done for clients on social media, your next employer will likely expect the same thing. That’s not to say you’ll avoid doing social media forever, but they may rely on someone else to do more of that work. Highlight the stuff you’re good at and love to do so you can continue it throughout your career.

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