Written by Jasmine Arant, Account Executive of APWA Team
Resumes are necessary in many different aspects of life once one begins college. Not only are they needed when applying for a job during or after college, but also to use at networking events, get into higher-level classes and other schools. Here are some simple tricks and tips to make your resume more appealing.
1. Quantify Whenever Possible
With the rise of social media and technology-based media outlets, it is important to quantify your accomplishments on your resume. Simply writing that you increased likes on a Facebook page is not nearly as intriguing as quantifying that achievement with a number. For example, you could write, “Increased Facebook page likes by 1,000 in two months.” This type of specificity and quantification can increase a potential employer’s interest in your abilities. These small but specific details help you stand out on a piece of paper.
2. Use Action Verbs to Describe Your Duties or Achievements
It can often be difficult to put your responsibilities or experiences into words on a resume. Summing up an achievement or a daily process with a short bullet point is not as simple as it sounds. However, starting every responsibility, achievement or experience with an action verb can increase interest in your accomplishments. Instead of writing “wrote press releases,” you can make it more interesting by using an action verb such as “composed” or “created.” A full list of great action verbs can be found here.
3. Use a Clean and Simple Design
Studies show that although it is important to be creative and innovative in your public relations career, a clean and simple resume design is best received in the public relations profession. As public relations a fast-moving industry, it is important that professionals who read your resume can quickly see your accomplishments and important skills, uninhibited by a complicated or distracting design. This entails choosing a clean and legible font and a simple layout organized by categories. While using a black and white color scheme is often recommended, including a splash of color to show your personality is also beneficial.
4. Know How to Validate Your Experiences
Not everyone has a specific public relations position to include on his or her resume. In turn, it is important to think about how to make seemingly irrelevant work experiences relevant to the industry. Public relations is largely about being able to connect with audiences and the public in general. If you had a retail position, you can point out that you gained knowledge regarding certain brands and the types of customers who use purchase them. You can also include how you worked with the general public on a daily basis by helping people find an item that works for them. If you worked in the restaurant industry, you can mention how you gained knowledge surrounding the food industry while adhering to customer’s needs, which is similar to a client relationship. These seemingly irrelevant work experiences can be valuable when applying for public relations jobs, especially in certain industries like food and beverage or fashion.
5. Include Useful Networking Information
Since resumes are brief, it is not possible to include everything about yourself on one piece of paper. For this reason, it is critical to include other ways professionals can further their relationship with you. An example might be including your LinkedIn profile, Twitter handle or online portfolio link. It is important to clearly identify these sources with your other relevant contact information.
Jasmine is a senior graduating a year early from the University of Oregon. She is a public relations major with a minor in Spanish, which she will complete in Spain this summer. In addition to her role as a firm editor and an account supervisor within Allen Hall Public Relations, Jasmine also runs the social media accounts and handles media relations for a Vancouver, Washington, event company called Energy Events. In her spare time, Jasmine enjoys running and working with kids at Moss Street Children’s Center. After college, Jasmine hopes to work at an agency specializing in health and fitness or crisis communications on the West Coast.
Connect with Jasmine on Twitter!