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.

8 Tips To Help Grow Your Blog

Whether you write a personal blog, contribute to a business blog or are thinking of starting one (definitely do it!) – we’ve got eight top tips that’ll help you grow your online presence and audience.

  1. Do more of what makes you happy – ok so we might have stolen this inspirational quote, but it’s pretty apt when it comes to blogging too. If you reckon a blog about trains will be super successful, but you actually hate trains, writing about it will be a bit of a chore and your readers will probably be able to tell. So write about what you love. Chances are there’s an audience out there, and usually, the more niche the better!
  1. Become a regular – as your blog starts to develop, it’s likely that you’ll get readers that return for updates. If you’re posting sporadically and go months without a peep, they probably won’t come back and your traffic will drop. It’s worth noting that search engines will pick up that you’re not regularly updating your content and they’ll push you down in their rankings.
  1. Be social & get involved – create accounts on social media (especially Twitter!) and use them to promote your posts. Whatever you’re blogging about, there’ll usually be a community of similar bloggers that host weekly/monthly hashtagged chats on Twitter.
  1. Remember to alt tag your images – visuals are such a massive aspect of blogs, and without getting too technical, alt tagging your photos can help to make them appear higher on a Google image search.

How to alt tag your snaps

Once you’ve uploaded your image, switch to the html tab and you’ll find this snippet of code:

<img src=”IMAGE LINK HERE” alt=”image description”>

So, if your image is a cat dressed as a dinosaur, your html will look like this

<img src=”IMAGE LINK HERE” alt=”tabby cat in fancy dress costume dressed in dinosaur outfit”>

The more accurate the description, the higher your image will rank on image search, and more people will click through. Win!

  1. Remember to meta – a meta tag is the little bit of text that shows under your website on search engines that tells the user what they’re about to click on. Here’s an example of a website that has used a meta tag, and one that hasn’t:

If these showed up in your search results, you could easily see that the first link will take you to a page where you can hire a van or car, and bag yourself an exclusive offer. Thinking of clicking the second link? It’s a little confusing. Will you see a post on Greece? Something about fruit picking? Who knows…

How to include meta data

The two main blogging platforms are Blogger and WordPress, and both now have the option in post settings to include a meta description or ‘post description’.

  1. Title your posts – as you’ll have read in our SEO post, titles are important. They’re a bit of a divided opinion when it comes to blogging, some people are keen to use whacky and interesting titles but this doesn’t tell the reader (or Google!) what you’re post is about on the search engine results pages (SERPS).
  1. Use Google analytics – Google’s analytics platform might sound a bit frightening, but you can choose how in depth you want to go with it. If you install it onto your blog, you can find out handy bits of information like:

– Which blog posts are getting the most traffic

– How long people are staying on your page (bounce rate)

– Traffic source – where people are clicking to find your blog

– Search keywords – what people are typing into Google to find your blog. Prepare to see some odd results though!

  1. Be patient – unless you’re Zoella, your audience isn’t likely to grow by thousands overnight. So point number one rears its head again – if you’re writing about what you love there’s no pressure!