Unexpected PR Resume Must-Haves

Applying for an internship or entry level job in public relations can be intimidating.  The three of us know from first hand experience.  We’ve given you a couple ways to get ahead in the job search here, here, and here.  But when you send your resume off to join the sea of applicants, how can you be sure yours stands out among the rest?

Here are a couple of not-so-obvious skills every budding PR girl should have on her resume:

Senior Thesis or Major Focus – Adding a major topic focus or a line on your senior thesis is a great idea, especially if you didn’t major in public relations or your school didn’t offer the major.  This is also a great conversation starter in an interview.  For example, I majored in American Studies, which to most translates to a bland “Liberal Arts major.”  In my resume, I call out that my courses concentrated on Cultural Communication in the United States and my senior thesis was on “Media and the Mormon Religion.”  All of the sudden, my major becomes a lot more relevant and interesting.

Experience with Cision, Factiva, Burrelles Luce, Critical Mention, etc – Though this may seem like an obvious skill for PR girls to have, employers will take a sigh of relief if they see you are already comfortable with media tools like Cision, Factiva and Critical Mention.  Be sure to call out if you’ve worked with any press release vendors like PR Newswire or Businesswire as well.

Unique Activities in the Arts or Event Planning – PR pros as a group have an interest in beautiful things. Clients look to us to have good taste and a “special eye.”  This includes restaurants, the ballet, music concerts, and organized events.  Especially if you are going into entertainment or fashion PR, it is important to mention any background you may have in the arts.  Any event planning experience you may have, whether it be through a sorority or your dance troupe’s annual food drive is also of interest to a potential employer.  Organizing a bake sale at your mom’s house ten years running doesn’t count.

ANY kind of Social Media Experience – If you are confident in your personal Twitter account – as in you keep up with it regularly, share thoughtful information and never post inappropriate content – go ahead and add it to your resume header with your email.  Add any social media courses and programs to the activities or experience section of your resume.  Your new job may not hand you the corporate Twitter account to handle, but employers are always looking for fresh perspectives on social media.  Higher-ups are still getting the hang of the social media space, and they look to the younger crowd to teach them new tricks (because more often than not, we are the client’s target audience).

images via chicagonow.com

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