How to write an effective public relations resume?

As a public relations professional, you know how important it's to pitch the right way. The same goes for your resume when you want to score a job. 

The public relations industry is all about one-page resumes. In the end, PR professionals should be able to provide all important information in a clear and concise way.

That means you need to focus on the most important information in your resume content.

In fact, it's quite similar to writing a press release. You choose the angle that matters for your audience — in this case, the hiring managers. Then you start with an attention grabbing statement — your resume summary. This one is supposed to sum up who you are and persuade them to read the rest of your resume — just like a lead paragraph in your press release. 

Then you craft strong body paragraphs with supporting details, using bullet points for a better readability. And just like in a press release, you should also use numbers and notable stats throughout the whole resume to grab the reader's attention. Only this time, you're talking about your work achievements.

To make sure your public relations resume is flawless, follow these 3 tips:

1. Pitch yourself with a public relations resume summary

As a PR person, you’ve probably written dozens of press releases. Therefore, you know how important it's to catch the attention of the reader from the get-go.

As already noted, the best possible way to catch the attention of a hiring manager is to start your resume with a great resume summary. It allows you to emphasize your key skills and achievements and show that you're the right fit for the job.

Moreover, a well-written resume summary will show them you're an excellent communicator and writer — and that's something recruiters want to see in a resume of a PR person.

In the first sentence of your PR resume summary, say who you are and how many years of experience you have. Then mention your key skills and achievements in the PR field — while trying to translate them into specific numbers. 

Public relations professional profile example

An award-winning PR professional with over 6 years of experience in marketing and corporate public relations. Pitched more than 100 press releases and secured over 10 articles a month in top media outlets. As a result, it helped increase clients’ annual sales by up to 30%.

However, don't forget to tailor your PR resume summary to the specific job ad and mention things that are relevant to what the employer's looking for.

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2. Mention your best public relations skills

PR-related resume keywords are crucial if you want to show both the recruiter and the ATS that you're the right fit for the job — they will both scan your resume content for such keywords.

Generally, skills for a PR resume usually include PR hard skills, social media skills and soft skills.

Here are some PR-specific hard skills that you can include

  • Press kits
  • Press releases
  • Presentations
  • Media relations
  • Public speaking
  • Event coordination
  • Crisis communication
  • Copywriting
  • Editing
  • Drafting pitches
  • Relationship Management
  • Budgeting
  • PR Software (e.g. MuckRack)
  • AP style
  • Journalism
  • PR Measurement

PR people also usually have social media skills, such as: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Posting, Social media analysis, Engagement marketing, Influencing.

If you also want to add some PR soft skills, you can include

Communication skills
Team leadership
Time management
People skills

And how to add these keywords in your resume? Just analyze the job description and see what skills the employer is looking for. Then match them with yours and highlight those skills in your resume.

Apart from including these PR-relevant skills in a separate skills section, you should also incorporate them throughout your whole resume to support your claims. 

Here are a few examples how to mention PR skills in your work experience description

  • Led all public relations efforts resulting in over 150 articles placed in top media outlets.
  • Coordinated interviews with national and international media outlets during COVID-19 pandemic, including CNN, Today Show, MSNBC and Fox News.
  • Managed multiple PR annual budgets ranging from $30,000 to $100,000.

3. Add custom PR resume sections

A public relations resume should, of course, include all the standard sections like resume summary, work experience, skills and education. But you should also include PR-specific sections that will set you apart from other candidates.

Here are some ideas for custom PR resume sections:

  • Public relations certifications
  • Memberships in professional associations 
  • PR campaigns
  • PR awards
  • PR training and participation in conferences
  • PR clients that you've represented

You can even include links to articles, videos, presentations, or to your portfolio where you gather all this information.

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Published on Feb. 3, 2022

A journalist by trade, a writer by fate. Nikoleta went from writing for media outlets to exploring the world of content creation with Kickresume and helping people get closer to the job of their dreams. Her insights and career guides have been published by The Female Lead, College Recruiter, and ISIC, among others. When she’s not writing or (enthusiastically) pestering people with questions, you can find her traveling or sipping on a cup of coffee.

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