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The Do's and Don'ts of Résumé Writing

Posted: November 7, 2012 at 2:50 P.M.
by Memorie Bailey

Reality has set in, and the job hunt awaits. As excited as I am about beginning my career in PR, writing my résumé has been quite a daunting task. How am I supposed to fit my experience onto one page? What should I include or not include? Does my GPA even matter?

We spend many tedious hours making sure each phrase shows that we are the most qualified for the job. It’s extremely stressful to think about how this carefully crafted, single piece of paper that you worked so hard to put together could be tossed in the trash.

So, how do we avoid getting our résumé canned?

Each employer looks for different qualities in an employee, so it’s important to know what to do and what not to do as you create your résumé. As a future PR pro in the process of formulating my own résumé, there are a few things I’ve learned about the Do’s and Don’ts of résumé writing:

Do. . .

Show off your writing expertise: As PR pros, we have to be strategic and concise writers. Use your résumé as a chance to show off your PR writing skills. Make sure you use correct AP style and check for grammatical errors. Make each word or phrase count.

Cater to the company: Highlight the experience that will catch the specific employer’s eye. List relevant activities and experience that pertain to the job you are seeking, while still showing that you are a well-rounded professional.

Emphasize other unique skills: Like I just mentioned, it’s important to be well-rounded. Make sure to include other skills like design, social media, analytics, video editing, marketing and Web design. These are the skills that will set you apart from your competitors.

Don’t. . .

Use clichés: Keep in mind you’re trying to prove that you are the best candidate for the job. Make sure you choose descriptive words and phrases that distinguish you from others who may be applying for the same position.

Share irrelevant information: A résumé is not the place to list your hobbies and extra-curricular activities. Too much information can turn off a prospective employer. Only list information that is strategic to landing you the job.

Over-design: Even if you are applying for a design position, make sure your résumé still highlights your experience and skills. It’s okay to have some modest design elements, but show off your design expertise with samples in a portfolio.

So, as you face the tedious and stressful task of composing a résumé, keep these things in mind and be confident in your final product.


  1. Post comment

    Thanks for this! Great tips that I think everyone needs to know when resume writing. Is it important to also put your goals and objectives on the resume? I’ve seen some with and some without. Thanks!


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