5 Resume Tips from Jon Pushkin, APR
Last Thursday I took a trip to Denver and sat down with Jon Pushkin from Pushkin PR for a helpful informational interview. After talking about the Denver PR market, and different companies in the area, we talked about resumes and portfolios. Jon sees multiple resumes come across his desk on a weekly basis. Here’s 5 tips from Jon on how to make your own resume and cover letter stand out among the many:
1. Do your homework: Before sending a company or a professional your cover letter do your homework and check out their website, blog or any social media they are on. Find a way to connect instead of sending a general cover letter that you send out to everyone. Saying something along the lines of, “I’m interested in this client of yours because it’s similar to the work I’ve done on so and so..” will make your cover letter much more personal.
2. Talk about your extracurricular activities: Your resume should include more than just what school you went to, what your major was and when you plan on graduating. Any outside activities (like a sorority or fraternity, PRSSA, volunteer work) makes your resume stand out more. If you’ve traveled abroad make sure this is also included on your resume and talk about your oversea experiences.
3. Show how you’ve actually been active: If you are in any of the activities I mentioned above show what you’ve done and how this applies to the line of work you’d like to get in to. Just because you have a membership in PRSSA doesn’t mean you are more qualified then someone who isn’t a member. Explain how these organizations have benefited you and explain what you’ve done in them and what you’ve learned from them.
4. Show that you have interest in the world around you: Include information about what news you read and from what news outlets you get your news from. If you can’t include it in your resume because it doesn’t fit anywhere include this information on your cover letter. Jon said it’s a rare occurrence to find a young professional that shows that they stay up-to-date on news, but it’s appreciated when he does see it. Whether you watch CNN every night, or have a subscription to the New York Times, talk about it.
5. Have an easily accessed portfolio: Many of us in PRSSA know the importance of a portfolio. It’s beneficial to take to interviews and it shows the work you’ve done. But, when sending out a cover letter or a resume online, you can’t show your tangible portfolio. So, create one online. Your online portfolio can either be a link to a PDF file, or to your blog, or to an actual website of your own. Either way, show off what you’ve done so far in your PR field.