New Resume Do’s and Don’ts for Early Pros
By Sandy Charet
DO put together a resume that lists your internships and any other work where industry exposure or use of communication skills were important. Proofread it and have someone else proof it so you’re sure it has no typos or grammatical errors.
DO send your resume to various PR firms (a great learning environment to start your PR career) even if they’re not listing any openings.
DO have an open mind and be willing to check out different opportunities – remember that you don’t know everything yet and it’s great to get lots of interviewing experience. Always do your best.
DO your research before any interview. Check out who you’re meeting with on LinkedIn, read current articles about the company and /or their industry, go through the job description so you understand what they’re looking for and DO get your questions ready. Ask not only about the job and the company but ask how you’d grow in the role and in the company. Ask how you can measure your success in the role. Asking good questions shows you’re smart and interested.
DO Prepare answers that are likely to be asked: What are you looking for, what are your goals, why do you want to work for this company, tell me about yourself, etc.
DON’T write a long cover letter. Rather, find a nice balance between professionalism and enthusiasm. Just say what’s important that’s not in the resume and why you’re a good choice for the job. Also, any way to give a little flavor of who you are would be good.
DON’T be close minded. This is your opportunity to explore other areas that could be very exciting and rewarding. Working with smart people who will mentor you is more important than you think at this point.
DON’T add a lot of unrelated stuff on the resume. Listing a 2 week project where you organized an event and managed its publicity is more valuable on the resume than a summer long job at Abercrombie. You don’t need to go back to every job you had during and before college if it’s not relevant to your career.
DON’T lose heart! There is a lot of noise out there and a lot of competition. But there is a lot of opportunity too! So get that resume out and don’t be shy!
DON’T be lazy. If you haven’t landed the job yet, keep yourself busy – even if it’s on a pro bono basis – doing PR for a non profit, a relative’s business or a community event. Put it on the resume.
Sandy Charet is the President of Charet & Associates, a search firm that specializes in PR and communications. Sandy has been placing mid to senior level communicators for over 25 years.