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.
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.
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).
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.
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.