The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped how everyone communicates about everything. But, a new crop of young adults will graduate soon and be looking for their first marketing/public relations positions. Here are five resume tips that can help you land that first position. Some of these tips may seem obvious, but we probably look at 1,200 – 1,500 resumes per year and quite a few make basic mistakes we hope you avoid.
Acknowledge that COVID-19 has changed the employment landscape
This can be something as simple as 1-2 lines in your cover email stating you understand the landscape has changed, but hope that the organization is still considering hiring.
Typos = Delete
We are in a business where work quality is critically important. If you’re writing a press release for a client and you interpose two numbers on an important performance metric for their product, it’s a disaster. It’s the same with your resume, it should be your best foot forward. If we find a typo even in the most promising resume, we hit “Delete.”
Have you tried using Grammarly?
Include your name in your resume title
When you submit your resume, especially for a position where a company or agency has run an ad, put yourself in the position of the person who will review your resume. He/she is probably reviewing tens if not hundreds of resumes. Make it easy for us to separate yours from the others. Don’t title it “Resume,” title it something helpful like “Tim Johnson, AE Resume.”
Tell your whole story
Your resume tells your life story to date, make sure you include all of your experiences. When I was applying for my first agency job, I had to get over the obvious hump of not having any previous agency experience. One enlightened agency president called me in and eventually hired me. He saw that I’d started a business in college and said he wanted someone with a “spark.” Who knew, I’d almost left that off because I was trying to keep my resume to one page. Also, if you have a gap in your resume, fill it in with what you did. If you traveled the world, that’s awesome. If you took time off to raise a child, that’s also awesome. But leaving a gap raises questions and employers often don’t have time for questions and will just move on to another resume.
Clean up your social media
If a potential employer is interested in you, they will look at your social media pages. Because much of our work today is social media related, we will look at how you manage your social pages. We’d hope to see a pretty complete LinkedIn page with several posts and some articles, for example. On the more personal pages, consider cleaning up your photos. A glass of wine here and there is fine, but you appearing drunk in most of your photos is not a good look.
We were all grads once, if you have a question about your resume or your job search strategy, please let us know!