Are you aggressively seeking a PR position at the moment? Here is some advice to help your efforts.
1. Never send your résumé and cover letter to the HR department.
In this economy, human resources departments are already inundated with more résumés than they can handle. Even if you are qualified, you can still get passed over. Instead, try sending your résumé and a personalized cover letter directly to the CEO. The CEO is the most important person in the company and an important person to have on your side. If you impress the CEO, he or she will forward your résumé to HR, helping you stand out and change how the HR department will view you during the interview.
However, if you can’t reach the CEO (or if he or she is in a different state), you’re best bet is to contact the top manager of the company at whatever location you are applying to. The most important thing is to make a direct connection with upper management as they are the ones who offer the best chance of offering you a job.
2. Stop sending Word résumés as a file attachment.
Sometimes they get caught in email spam filters. You’re better off pasting your résumé in the base of the email so it can be read from a smartphone.
3. Cover letters should be brief (two short paragraphs at most) and personalized.
Be specific in the cover let. Tell the company what you’d like to do for them and what exactly you offer. Present your big ideas. The more detailed you are, the more you’ll stand out. If takes you more time to crank out letters, so be it. Generic cover letters than land on our desks always find the garbage bin.
4. Create a Web résumé through WordPress.
It’s free, and it will make you stand out from thousands of other job seekers. Your Web résumé should have these tabs: home, résumé, testimonials, contact.
As far as testimonials go, ask your previous managers and/or co-workers for a statement that’s about a paragraph in length. If a CEO or HR person goes to your Web résumé and sees four to six solid letters of endorsement, you’ll impress them and saved them a huge
step in checking your references. A Web résumé is also fantastic because you can easily paste the link in a brief cover letter. We can’t stress the effect this can have on your job efforts.
5. Write a hand written thank you card after the interview.
It’s a real nice touch.
6. Don’t take it personally if a company doesn’t hire you.
Brush it off and move on. If, during the interview, you presented yourself
honestly and gave them every reason in the world why hiring you would be a
great decision, there's little else you could do. Feel good you got the
interview and pivot off the experience and confidence of nearly landing a
7. Go into business for yourself.
Can’t find a job, but know you have amazing skills and the ability to provide excellent service? Start your own business. It’ll be one of the scariest and most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have.
We wish you all well in your searches. Good luck and be relentless.
Mark Goldman & Ryan McCormick are co-founders of Goldman McCormick, an
NYC-based media relations agency that specializes in legal PR. Mark and
Ryan are former National TV and radio producers.