As the chief "receiver of all resumes" at Maccabee Public Relations, a strategic public relations and online marketing agency based here in Minneapolis, I've seen some really outstanding resumes cross my desk over the years. (In fact, I'm receiving resumes for a job opening we have right now.) Finding excellent talent at Maccabee is crucial to our success, so when I see a compelling, typo-free resume, that job candidate quickly rises to the top of our interview list.
For young professionals seeking their first public relations positions out of college, here are five secrets that could persuade an agency hiring manager to look twice at your resume – and you as a potential employee.
Resume Secret #1: Show your real-world experienceThink beyond your classroom experience and highlight the real-world PR problem solving skills you exercised during internships, volunteering, part-time work or freelance gigs. Illustrate them by quantifying the results you achieved rather than just the tasks you performed.
Resume Secret #2: Highlight the depth and breadth of your internshipsNowadays it's commonplace for entry-level PR job seekers to have not one, not two, but more than three internships on their resumes. While the number of internships is important, make sure to also chronicle the quality of your internship by listing skills and knowledge you acquired, and how you applied them.
Resume Secret #3: Exhibit your ability to hit the ground runningIn your resume, address your past PR projects and cite the results you achieved. Convince your potential agency employer that you're a high quality worker who is able to contribute from the first day on the job.
Resume Secret #4: Avoid a distracting, over-designed resumeAim for a clean, one (or, if need be, two) page layout that employs wise use of white space. Focus on vital information and only use design elements when they support at-a-glance viewing.
Resume Secret #5: Incorporate your social media profilesRecognize that potential employers already are looking for your presence on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, so proactively include links to your online profiles on your resume.
Of course, everyone you know will be ready to give you advice on the best way to prepare your resume. The options are endless and there’s no single "right" choice. Just know that your document is going to receive only a few seconds’ initial inspection, so make that precious time count by putting your best writing and presentation skills to work!
A version of this post first appeared on MaccaPR.com. For more resume advice, see the full post, "One PR Agency’s Secrets for Top-Performing Resumes."