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How to freshen up your CV to land your dream job in PR

In PR, the CV remains an important part of trying to find a new job- but it’s important to have a CV that stands out from the crowd. Whether you’re a seasoned PR professional, or a newbie looking to start your career, a strong resume can help open doors and get you that interview.

According to 2015 research by Glassdoor, corporate jobs attract roughly 250 CVs. From there, four to six candidates interview - and only one actually lands it

Make a good Impression

First impressions are everything. Your CV should highlight the key reasons why you would be a good fit for the job, and - at the very least - give your future employer a reason to consider you.

Some of our top CV-crafting tips include making sure that your resume is:

  • Visually appealing
  • Easy to read (use a readable font and adequate font size)
  • Laid out well
  • Contains the most important information only.

Remember: keep it simple and straightforward. Your cover letter (which you should definitely always include in your application) can go into a little more detail, but you should save waxing lyrical for the interview.

The way that you present yourself matters. Think of your CV as your personal branding document.

Avoid using words “creative” and “innovative”

The words “creative” and “innovative” are often overused, which is something of an oxymoron!

Overused words that often end up being clichés will not set you apart from other candidates. So, get creative!

Words to consider include:

  • Resourceful
  • Imaginative
  • Innovative.

Feeling stuck? This helpful document with a list of “power phrases” that could help.

Choose unique words and phrases that describe who you are, not only as a product manager but also as a person.

Separate duties and responsibilities

Arguably, the most important part of your CV is your experience and achievements. This is the part that the recruiter or employer will really be paying close attention to.

Make sure you keep your previous PR duties and responsibilities in a separate section from your achievements to truly stand out.

Using stats where you can will also help quantify exactly how you were successful in previous roles. Eg, “While project managing this campaign, there was an increase of 30% more traffic to the client’s website over six months.”

Create a strong CV summary

Your CV summary is the first thing a recruiter or potential employer will read, so make it count.

A CV summary should be just two to three sentences. You can include your previous roles and years of experience, your top achievements, and your desired career goals.

Be sure to mention:

  • Your job title and years of experience
  • A couple of your core responsibilities or achievements
  • What goal you’re working towards.

Adapt your CV to different jobs

Your CV is not a “one size fits all” document. Not tailoring your resume to specific employers and jobs may make it seem generic, and will give the impression that you’re not really interested.

Only focus on the skills and experience that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Important skills PRs need

In PR, there are certain skills that are more highly sought after. Including these keywords will satisfy the criteria that the recruiter or employer has in mind.

PR recruiters and employers look for:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Strong writing ability
  • Crisis management skills.

Make sure you only include skills that are relevant to the job and PR and highlight examples of these at play where you can.

Key action words to include

Using active voice as well as action words will help make your CV stand out. Commonly used action words for a PR CV include:

  • Developed
  • Implemented
  • Executed
  • Managed
  • Coordinated.

As you can see, these are all words that show that you had autonomy. If you’re looking for a leadership role, this is especially important to highlight.

The Bottom Line

The key takeaways are:

  • Make sure your communication is succinct and on point to make a good first impression
  • Don’t use cliché words or phrases
  • Make sure your responsibilities and achievements are clearly separated out
  • Ensure that your CV summary tells the story of you in a nutshell
  • Your CV should always be tailored for the specific job you’re applying for
  • Highlight PR-specific skills, and use action words when describing your work experience and achievements.

When it comes to crafting a CV, there’s a lot to think about. By implementing the tips discussed in this article, you’ll stand the best chance of landing your dream PR role. Happy job hunting!

Written by Andrei Kurtuy, co-founder and CCO of Novoresume.com

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