Sunday, June 13, 2010

time to update your resume

everyone knows the current economy makes it tough, if not virtually impossible
to find a job upon graduation.

I've heard from more than a few recent graduates that they are struggling to get hired, and
are unsure what to do about it.

during the P.R. trip to New York this March, I asked one of the hiring directors at MKG Productions what they looked for in new hires, and in hiring interns.

He said, "Be creative with your resume."

Be honest everyone--how many of you think that by taking the time to create a resume and cover letter in a Microsoft Word document template is going to get you hired?

I know we've all been guilty of this, and most of us still are. But in an economy that is making it less than comfortable to graduate, you need to be doing more.

"A template resume can be spotted a million miles away," said Bonnie Vieira, Director of Client Services at j. simms agency. "You may as well tell them you don't care, and aren't creative."

Harsh. But true.

Especially in the fields of advertising or public relations, your competitive counterparts that are looking to get hired are doing more than you. Although it may not seem like much, the content of a resume is just as important, if not more so, than its design.

Elizabeth Jenkins, fellow P.R. grad from BYU, recently updated her personal blog (which you should all have) with a link to her "professional portfolio" blog.

She has taken it upon herself to upload her working portfolio to a blog she keeps online.

Generally speaking, all resumes should be kept to one page. Especially if you are recently graduated, there is no reason to have a lengthy resume.
(no matter how talented you think you are)

The resume should present all of your information clearly, concisely, and in a way that makes your experience relevant to the position you're applying for.
(this goes for cover letters too. do NOT use templates, and tailor the letter to the company you're applying to.)

All resumes should include:

  • Contact Information: Full name, address, phone, (a Twitter account is always a good idea, especially for PR)
  • Education (start with your highest education first, gpa is optional)
  • Skills (include all skills that are job-related, try to use action verbs)
  • Experience (always list most recent experience first, and make sure the verbs are correct in their past/present tense)
  • Activities (campus activities, memberships)
  • Personal (honors/awards, certificates, etc.)
And most of all, be creative, and appropriate to your job field.
These resumes would not work for someone applying for an accountant position.

I'm definitely not the bees-knees here, but I did update mine awhile ago following the advice from Peter St. John at MKG. Now we'll see if I get hired.


  1. I love your resume. You have inspired me to give mine a summer spruce-up.

  2. you should know this post changed me. in my future is now in your thought-provoking hands.

    my resume is now ridiculous, and i blame you. thanks dear.