A public relations specialist is someone who acts as a spokesperson for an individual, a group of individuals or a type of organization. The objective is to create a favorable presence for the clients you represent even in not-so-positive situations. You are also tasked with building awareness and interest around your clients. Part of your responsibilities include creating and sending press releases to journalists. In addition, you would find places to put stories either in print media, broadcast media or online. Press releases are usually written in a news style format. To get started, this course gives you the tools needed to understand the rules of branding, public relations and social media. If this sounds like the position for you, read on to learn how to craft your public relations resume.
Skills and Background
To get hired as a public relations specialist, you would need at least a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications or public relations. Many have a strong background in the liberal arts. However, it also helps to take courses around psychology, advertising, business and public speaking. You need to understand your client as well as their line of work. In addition, many companies want you to have some experience in the industry they represent.
For example, this could be finance, government or even the arts. You might also consider striving for accreditation through the Public Relations Society of America. It will certainly boost your resume. In addition, it helps to have a background as a speechwriter, writer or public coordinator. Also, many of the large public relations firms are located in big cities such as New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles. Check out this blog for an in-depth look at a life in public relations.
On a day-to-day basis, you might work both inside and outside of your office promoting your client’s desires. You might plan and present news conferences or even arrange speaking engagements. There might also be meetings, conventions and fundraisers you need to plan. So, an exacting attention to detail with a keen ability to multi-task are required. You might also regularly speak with the media on behalf of your client, so you have to set up interviews or public statements. Most people fear speaking in front of others.If this sounds like you, you can master public speaking with confidence today.
The average starting salary can be around $39,000 annually. On the other hand, PR Directors can make up to the low six figures or more. This depends on your experience. You can also make even more if you start your own public relations firm. According to the U.S. Department of Labor , employment is expected to grow 24 percent by 2018.
Emphasize Your Strengths
So, now you should be excited about landing your first public relations job. The first step is to summarize your strengths. Think of how you might benefit the company you are applying to. Keep it concise, and place your professional summary right up front. Hiring managers get anywhere from hundreds to thousands of resumes. Their first goal is to weed out all of the candidates who are not a match. Believe it or not, many people submit resumes randomly hoping to get a bite.
Do not be one of those people because if you do score an interview, it will show. Also, show that your resume is tailored to your potential employer. Do not create a one-size-fits-all resume. List your professional experience and highlight your background with expected keywords such as, press kits, account management, presentations, editing, public speaking, electronic press kits, media relations and event level. Make sure your experience matches the need of the job listing.
Write About Results
Companies hire results-oriented candidates. They do not care about your responsibilities. They want to know what you have accomplished. Determine a way to accurately answer these questions, “What did you do for your clients? Did you help them achieve goals? What awards have you received? Did you receive an inordinate amount of ‘responses’ for your clients?”
Use numbers to quantify your achievements. To illustrate, use percentages and dollar amounts. This shows your eye for business. It also shows that you take work seriously and expect others to do the same. To build up your confidence, try this course on interviews, networking and resumes.
Submit Writing Samples
While you don’t want to submit a novel, locate a section where you can add URL’s to some of your writing work. Writing is a large part of the job. Communicating effectively is essential. Even if your writing is not always printed, you still need to send emails to the media and associates in order to set up events. You need to show that you can organize your thoughts and words successfully to get the outcome your client wants. If you need help submitting press releases, this course teaches all you need to know about press release marketing.
Think Twice About Gimmicks
Although these can be fun, you should be cautious when deciding whether or not you should use them. Keep the company culture in mind before proceeding. Some specialists may format their resume to look like a press release. That shows their skill with writing press releases in addition to submitting their resume. However, that might not always win with the employer. You might even want to include images or web sites you have worked on. Again, keep your recipient in mind. If the company is more conservative, keep your resume conservative. On the other hand, if they have more of a creative, startup feel, you might be more at ease for experimentation.
Discuss Industry Experience
Recruiters will want to know what clients you have represented and what industries you have worked for, as well. Their goal is to see if they have a need for your experience, and if you are a good fit with their organization. Tell them if you have a lot of experience with blogs or perhaps the healthcare industry.
Set the Length
Again, you do not want to submit a novel, even if you feel you have enough experience to do so. As a rule of thumb, if you have five or fewer years of experience, your work can be summarized in one page. If you have at least 10 years experience, you still want to keep it to two pages. The important thing is to keep your resume accurate and convey your unique voice throughout. In the end, they are hiring a person. Sometimes, companies don’t always hire the most qualified, but the person they feel stands to grow the most, so sell yourself!