As a graduate, the world of PR can offer an exciting, busy and rewarding career.
How you approach writing your CV – and the structure or format you choose – will depend mainly on the amount, if any, of relevant experience you have. If you have some related PR or marketing experience, then a reverse chronological format is almost certainly the best format. This is the standard format of CV that most people use where the work history starts with the most recent experience and works backwards in time from there. With little or no PR experience, you might adopt a skills or competency based CV.
With a skills based CV you will have an expanded skills section just after the professional profile. Here you should list 4 or 5 of the skills that are most relevant for a career in PR. For example, these could be along the lines of project management, creative writing, stakeholder engagement, understanding business issues or social media management. The important thing is to align the skills to the role you are applying for and use examples to illustrate.
This format helps to demonstrate your skills are transferable. So you can use examples from University, non-PR related work or other interests or activities.
Qualifications are most important in the early stages of your career, so if you have a relevant degree or can show how elements of your degree are related to the skills needed in PR then these should be highlighted. As a graduate, very often your recent university experience may be your greatest strength. So highlight projects you have worked on, presentations you’ve made and any societies or extra-curricular responsibilities undertaken that show you played an active and productive role at university.
Not surprisingly a substantial part of PR work is now carried out online. So whilst being active with friends on Facebook isn’t really going to score you points, managing organisational or group/interest social media accounts is definitely worth highlighting. As is any web, blog or email management work. You must demonstrate the successes you’ve had so include facts and figures to provide concrete evidence of how you’ve increased user engagement.
So, there are essentially two formats to consider for your CV, and the most appropriate for you will depend on your individual circumstances. Whichever you choose, it is essential you can clearly demonstrate the core skills needed for a career in PR. Your CV is a vitally important document in kick starting your career so take the time to get it right and you could be on well on your way to a fun and rewarding career.
This article is written by Neville Rose, Director of CV Writers. CV Writers are the official CV writing partner to PR Week Jobs.