How to create a stand-out CV for your first job in PR
Published: 11 Sep 2017 By Laura Sullivan
Laura Sullivan at TopCV, the largest CV-writing service in the world, shares her advice on how to ensure your PR CV captures the attention of your dream employer.
If you fancy yourself a job in the world of public relations (PR), you may be aware that it’s a highly competitive industry.
But there are entry-level jobs out there in this industry that could be perfect for you. If you want a strong chance of landing your first job in PR, you must craft your CV in a certain way, as a one-size-fits-all approach won’t get you very far.
Check out the following expert insights to create a stand-out CV for your first job in the PR and communications industry.
Pick out relevant skills and abilities
It isn’t essential to have a degree in PR, communications or marketing to gain your first job in this industry. Since you’re applying for an entry-level role, employers don’t expect you to know it all just yet. Therefore, you can get away with making connections between your current skill set and the skills listed in the job spec, even if your experience isn’t completely PR-specific.
Common skills and attributes required in a PR role include: Excellent written and verbal communication skills; the ability to work in a fast-paced environment under pressure; a creative mind; experience with social media.
To be sure you’re listing the right abilities, you must reference the job description and see what’s required. Highlight the relevant skills and you’ll show precisely why you should be hired.
Create an attention-grabbing personal profile
Now that you’re familiar with the skills you need to include, you need to start peppering them through your CV.
The first place to start is your personal profile. This section sits at the top of your CV, just under your name, phone number, email and LinkedIn URL – yes, a LinkedIn profile link is a must since in the PR world, you need to be as visible and contactable as possible.
Your profile consists of three simple things: who you are, what you can offer the employer and your career goals. For example, you’re a psychology graduate with a 2:1 degree looking to start an exciting, fast-paced career in PR etc. Make sure you include keywords from the job description in your profile, too, like “fast-paced”.
Treat your profile as your personal pitch. In your new PR role, you’ll be expected to pitch your latest releases to publications left, right and centre. Therefore, your personal profile needs to pitch your talent perfectly, to prove your ability and make the sell to prospective employers.
Consider the structure of your education and experience
Typically, work experience or a career summary section is listed before education on a CV. However, since you’re applying for an entry-level role, you can play around with the structure to showcase your strongest attributes.
If you feel your education showcases most of the skills required and is therefore stronger than your work experience, place this under your personal profile. Then detail key modules and where you’ve picked up relevant skills. For example, managing multiple coursework and exam deadlines at once proves time management skills and the ability to work under pressure.
However, if you’ve had a part-time job, voluntary experience or an internship in the related industry, it would be best to list this ahead of your education.
Be as clear and concise as possible
In PR, you need to be as clear and to-the-point as possible. Therefore, your CV must reflect this. Your CV should be no longer that two pages and must include clear headings and concise bullet points.
We understand that you may be tempted to treat your CV and application as a PR stunt – for example, by printing your CV onto a t-shirt if the job’s in the fashion industry. By all means go for it, but ensure that your CV is relevant, easily understandable and all-round spot on before you get caught up in gimmicks.
TopCV offers a range of CV-writing services including expertly-written and keyword-optimised CVs, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles. It is currently offering a free CV review to help you land your perfect PR job.