One of the problems with writing a CV is that it can be difficult to be detailed enough about your current role. The job you’re doing at the moment, particularly if you’ve been doing it for several years, is what’s going to get you your next job so it’s important you let future employers know exactly what you do so they can get a good picture of what you’re capable of.
keep a log of everything you do on a daily basis
One way to make sure you’re selling your experience well is to keep a log of everything you do on a daily basis over a two week period. You’ll be amazed how many things you do that you’d never think to add to your CV.
Once you’ve got that far, it’s time to make a list of all your responsibilities. Let’s take a typical PR account director. On their CV it’s likely they’ll have all the following:
- Account management and client liaison
- Team management
- New business pitching
- Building strong relationships with journalists
Nothing wrong with that, you might think, it tells you what they do. Now let’s look at a more detailed version:
- Account management. Clients include London Pride, Thorpe Park, Space Invader crisps, The Ivy, Oxford Landing wines and The London Eye.
- Client liaison. Weekly client reports, quarterly client updates and lead on the client relationships.
- Team management. Currently managing a team of three account managers, two senior account executives, an account executive and several interns. I also sit on the agency’s HR management committee and am particularly keen on developing entry-level practitioners by offering mentoring and support.
- New business pitching. In the last twelve months I’ve pitched for ten clients, including developing the marketing materials and delivering the presentation pitch, and won nine of those pitches.
- Building strong relationships with journalists and media including the Evening Standard, Metro, The Guardian, The One Show and This Morning.
See the difference when you add the detail? Employers immediately know which sectors you’ve got relevant experience in, how strong your journalist relationships are, the size of team you’re managing and what your client relationship responsibilities are. It’s a much clearer picture of your experience and gives you room to really expand on what your strongest skills are.
highlight the skills that are most relevant for a PR position.
If you’ve no previous PR experience what should you do then? Have a look at all the jobs and volunteering experience you’ve had in the past and try to highlight the skills that are most relevant for a PR position. Writing, strong organisational skills, an eye for detail, being a team player and a good knowledge of current affairs are key skills to be able to demonstrate. For example:
- Previously managed a team of six bar staff in a pub during busy football games.
- In my data entry role it was incredibly important that the data was entered accurately. It required a good eye for detail and the ability to focus.
- I wrote marketing leaflets for my local pizza parlour and regularly updated their website