Will this idea help a PR student improve her CV/resume?

Over the years I’ve helped several PR students to improve their CVs (and portfolios). Some of them have even found jobs, hopefully my advice was a help rather than a hindrance.

Leeds Metropolitan University student Alexandra Pullin has just blogged about "My rubbish CV". She’s already been to LMU’s placement office for advice and says that "2 hours later my CV was covered in pen. Apparently nothing was right and none of my achievements clear… I reckon I now have the makings of a killer CV now."

This started me thinking about blogging PR students, the wider PR community and social media. Mega-blogging PR student Stephen "PR Blogger" Davies has already secured an excellent placement thanks to his blogging exploits.

My crazy(?) idea is that Alexandra could use a free Web 2.0 tool such as Writely to ask for help from the blogging PR community to improve her CV. After all a lot of us are on, or have been on, the receiving end of these things. We’ve a good idea what we like, and what we don’t. Although we probably (certainly!) don’t all agree.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to try a collaborative CV? I wonder if Alexandra wants to try it? Or maybe one of the other blogging PR students. Writely is an online word processor that allows people to collaborate on producing a document. I think it’s probably faster and easier to get to grips with than a wiki. Who knows until we try?

It would be great if Alexandra tried this. And even better if some of the big agency bloggers such as Richard Edelman and Morgan McLintic were to add their thoughts. It’s in all our interests to support the training and development of better PR graduates.

P.S. I know I have lots of American readers and you guys do things differently but your input would probably be useful for Alexandra as well. All you need to know is that a CV is a resume.


About Stuart Bruce

International communications consultant and PR trainer specialising in online public affairs, digital corporate communications, online PR and social media; frequent national media commentator and conference speaker.
  • http://www.wagesofspin.blogspot.com Alexandra Pullin

    Wow what a brilliant idea I didn't even know you could do things like that!

    I have therefore straight away set up my CV as it is now – with the changes on as suggested to me by the placements office – on writely. the address is
    http://www.writely.com/View.aspx?docid=bd7nrkd2tg9r

    Let me know if this does not work. I'm rather excited about this and i'm sure that there shall be some excellent advice! I have removed my addresses and phone numbers however but if anyone wants to email me about the CV my address is on it.

    Alex

  • http://www.morganmclintic.com Morgan McLintic

    Hi Stuart – apols for coming late to this, just got back from a trip to Asia. I think this is a good idea – certainly a good way for career advisors to directly feed back to students about their resumes, or for peer review.

    Amy – I took a quick look at your resume here but I didn't edit it since I don't have permission. Broadly though I'd put the most important info at the top which is your experience, rather than your contact details. You've probably got about 30 seconds to 1 minute to impress, so cut straight to what you are looking for and why you're right for that role. Get the fact you've done those internships up front. That's one of the main things agencies will be looking for at graduate level. Hope that helps – good luck.

    Morgan

  • http://www.rainierpr.co.uk/blog/ Stephen Waddington

    Great idea Stuart. One thing I’ve noticed when interviewing potential employees is that many have easily enough intelligence and drive to succeed in the world of PR. Some have fantastic personalities which I am sure would do well. However, looking at their CV they sometimes do not always underline the relevant experiences which would give them the edge over other candidates. In many respects, I think this is down to the diverse quality of help for graduates and the fact that PR is still a relatively unknown profession to careers advisors. If absolutely anyone tried hard enough, they could provide decent examples of teamwork, writing and communication. It will be interesting to see how this experiment goes and I for one am happy to contribute