How to write a standout CV for a job in PR

It’s no secret that public relations is a tough industry to break into, which is why we’ve put together some of our top tips for creating the perfect CV to help you stand out from the crowd and get your foot in the door.

Your CV is your chance to really sell yourself to an employer so it’s worth spending a decent amount of time getting it just right.

Rob Webb, Director at Webb Associates Public Relations, says: “PR is such a competitive market to break into. Employers are looking for more than just a relevant degree or qualification. At Webb Associates we like to see that our candidates have a real passion for the industry.

“My advice would be to get some relevant work experience – even if it means volunteering somewhere – and make sure that you emphasise it on your CV.”

Your CV is your one opportunity to present yourself to your future employer so be sure to shout about your fantastic achievements – your CV is no place to be modest.

Social media

If you have a blog or social media feed about something that you’re passionate about, show it off – it doesn’t matter what the topic is, as long as you’re enthusiastic.

Apart from showing potential employers your natural writing style, it also shows them how you engage with the world online – and with the growth of online platforms showing no sign of slowing, having excellent social media skills is very desirable in public relations.

Tailor your cover letter

Show that you’ve done some research into the company before you apply. It’s very easy to copy and paste the same cover letter for each application but this is really obvious and likely to send your application straight to the junk folder.

Do a bit of research and use your cover letter to explain why you are the perfect only candidate they should consider for the job.

The job description tells you a lot about who the company are looking for, so this is a great place to start; make sure you tailor you specific skills to the requirements of the role. Once you’ve done this, it would be worth looking into who their clients are and put forward points as to why you’d be ideally suited to working on these accounts.

Present yourself

Remember that your CV is a marketing job more than anything else. Really take all the opportunities you can to emphasise the positives you can offer and why your experience would benefit the company.

Include a link to your online profile, especially Linkedin, Facebook and your blog (if you don’t have a blog now would be a good time to start one).

Fibs…

Don’t lie on you CV. When you get to the interview stage it will be much harder to explain your experience if you’ve made half of it up. Stick to what you know and the skills that you have. If you don’t have a particular skillset that an employer is looking for, explain how you will achieve this experience in the coming months/years.

Finally…

Check for any spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes. These are a big no no in PR. Attention to detail is imperative to thrive in the industry, so if your CV is riddled with spelling mistakes, your application won’t go very far.

Have a quick march through May – it’s National Walking Month!

May is National Walking Month, and here at Webb Associates we’re once again going that extra mile – but this time, on foot!

As every dog owner knows, walking works best when it’s taken as part of your everyday life, rather than making it a big, but very occasional, production involving rucksacks, boots and Kendal Mint Cake.

Some of the staff here make a real effort to walk to work every day – for health, for fitness and, OK if we’re being honest, because the parking isn’t great.

Our copywriter Sharna, for example, walks 2.8 miles a day to work and back, or 14 miles a week. That’s about four hours walking every week.

“It doesn’t feel like that much, because there are plenty of pauses at road crossings in the town,” she says. “But if you’re going to start exercising, you need to start walking.

“It helps with health and fitness and it helps you think as well. And I like to people watch – I smile and nod and say ‘hello’ to other regular walkers along the way.”

Amazing what you might find...

Walking to work is a great way to exercise without thinking too hard about it. Even if it’s impractical to walk the whole way to work, you can park your car further away from the office (and somewhere cheaper?) or get off the bus a stop early to get in your 20 minute walk.

You could even pack the walk into your lunch hour. The UK charity for everyday walking, www.livingstreets.org, suggests setting up a Food Exclusion Zone (FEZ) around your workplace, and making sure you walk for at least 20 minutes when buying your lunch.

Or after work, if you haven’t decided what to have for the evening meal, just walk to the local shops and back.

Even if you’re one of the increasing number of people who work from home, you can walk to work!  Start your 9am day by leaving the house at 8.40am for that 20‑minute circular walk. Yes, it’s a bit eccentric. But it really will help you make that difficult shift from ‘leisure home’ to ‘working home’

Walk the children to school, walk to the pub (no nominated driver needed) walk to the restaurant, walk with your boyfriend/girlfriend (romantic), walk to a friend’s house and back, walk WITH a friend.

Walk with a purpose if it helps – whether it’s to the Post Office to return the internet shoes, or to the newsagents to buy milk and the local paper.

Walk in all but the foulest weathers, because – honestly – no one ever died from drizzle.

And walk whenever you can – and not just in May. Because walking isn’t just good for your body, it’s good for your mind. It makes your thoughts blossom.

People have always known this – 150 years ago the philosopher Nietzsche said “all truly great thoughts are conceived by walking” – but it’s something we’ve half-forgotten. So walk to make yourself clever!

And then, by the time the weekend comes, if the family does fancy a serious walk with a capital ‘W’, and you hear the distant rustle of an OS map, you’re not filled with dread, because – without even meaning to – you’ve done all the necessary training.