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Your Public Relations Resume Must Include These Skills… Or Else

May 20, 2019

Or else recruiters will not read the rest of your resume.

The goal of writing a resume is to get a job, right? However, a career in PR is hard to come by because public relations job descriptions assume that you’re a jack-of-all-trades.

Narrowing your wide range of talents into a focused set of skills is difficult, so we did the hard work for you, plus we explain why you need to include these skills. 

Whether you’re in school deciding if public relations is the path for you, or if you’re on the hunt for a new job in PR, this article will explain the skills you need for the job you want.

Public relations resume skills explained

Your public relations resume has to stand out from other applicants in a pile of resumes. Not only that but on that one sheet of paper you have to prove to the recruiter that you’re ready to take on the plethora of tasks that come with being a PR professional. 

From building long-lasting relationships with information gatekeepers to pulling all-nighters because your company ran into a PR crisis, becoming successful in PR begins with by creatively, yet concisely communicating your skills on your public relations resume.

SKILLS FOR YOUR PUBLIC RELATIONS RESUME

Networking

Showing that you’ve had success building and maintaining professional relationships is a key component of your public relations resume. Many others applying for the same position will only highlight what they’ve written, but if you can prove you’re a pro at networking, you’ll rise to the top.

Networking is extremely important because your job as a PR pro is to get the right messages heard. The best way to do this is through gaining earned media as it is most trusted by the public. The only way to gain earned media— networking.

Journalists, reporters, bloggers, and other information gatekeepers are more likely to cover the story of someone they know, rather than a random PR pro who cold calls them.

Overall, whether you call it negotiating, relationship-building, or networking, be sure to highlight this skill on your public relations resume.

Written communication

Every person applying for a public relations job will list that they’re skilled at writing. And that’s because it’s the bread and butter of PR.


Here’s a list of all of the things you may write as a public relations professional:

  • Press releases
  • Blog posts
  • Magazine articles
  • Media pitches
  • Internal and external presentations  
  • Website copy
  • Social media copy
  • Press conferences
  • Press kits
  • Media kits

Right there are ten different functions of a public relations pro that require writing skills. Needless to say, include it on your resume and explain specific instances where you’ve excelled in writing.

Tip: Proofread your resume, have your friends proofread your resume, have your family proofread your resume — make anyone and everyone read over your public relations resume. If you say you’re a good writer and it’s littered with grammatical errors, you won’t hear back.

Critical thinking

Being quick on your feet with critical thinking will make your life in public relations a lot less stressful. Within public relations, there are often time crisis’ that require you to quickly and calmly respond. 

A PR crisis can make or break your career, so showing that you’ve overcome a crisis through critical thinking or that you’ve drafted crisis management plans will prove you’re ready for the position for which you’re applying.

Public relations pros are experts at critical thinking. Not only do they use it while facing a crisis, but they also use it when brainstorming campaigns, training the C-suite, and social media management.

Tip: Don’t use all your brain power on social media management. Instead, get to know social media management software to make your life easier as a PR pro. 

See the Easiest-to-Use Social Media Management Software →

Research

In order to service your client successfully, you must have the ability to research multiple areas of a business. Learning about what the competitors are doing, the latest market trends, and new media opportunities adds to your credibility.

Since there is a wide variety of field in which public relations professionals work, applicants must show that they have the skills needed to quickly grasp what their company does and it’s marketing needs.

Cultural awareness

The industry itself has the word public in it, meaning people as a whole. You cannot communicate with the general public if you’re not culturally aware.

Standards and expectations among groups that are different from yours vary, and you don’t want to say something that will ultimately offend someone or an entire cultural group.

Though it takes time to learn the ins and outs of cross-cultural communication, this skill will set you apart from the rest. The first step is taking a look inwardly to determine your own cultural beliefs, then research what others believe.

Get 30+ public relations resources, FREE.    Explore →

Public relations resume sample

There are hundreds of ways to write, format, and design a public relations resume. Below, you’ll see the basics that you should include if you want to guarantee your resume gets read.

Public relations resume sample

One step closer

Once you’ve completed your public relations resume, you’re one step closer to your dream job. Make sure you highlight your skills in both a bulleted list and through your explanations of your previous experiences. All of these pieces will work together to help you cut through the crowd and rise to the top as a public relations rockstar.

There are many levels within public relations, with public relations manager being among the top. Find out what the public relations manager job description requires so you can cultivate those skills before you apply.

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