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You are Here: Home > Resumes > Resume and Letter Center > Sample Resumes > Sample Resume for a Public Relations Career Change - Critique

Sample Resume for a Public Relations Career Change - Critique

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About this Sample Resume Critique

In this sample resume critique, the certified professional resume writer at ResumeEdge explains the process of creating the client's "after" resume from the client's "before" resume.Sample Resume

So that you may easily compare them to judge the quality of ResumeEdge's work, both the "before" and "after" sample resumes are linked below. They are also linked from the Sample Resumes page.Sample Resume

Sample Resume Critique

Dear Ms. Lee,

In keeping with your stated purpose to use this resume to enter the public relations field, I chose a modern format which has elegance and flair.

Because the eye moves naturally from the left to the right, I placed your contact information in the upper right corner, where it will be seen immediately following your name. This asymmetrical organization creates a dynamic visual tension which will make your resume stand out, a necessity when your resume is competing with hundreds of others.

The industry standard for someone with your level of experience is one page, to which I adhered.

You very intelligently began your resume with a bulleted list of your hard-won skills and qualifications. I merely condensed the list into a brief summary presented in paragraph form, highlighting your impressive marketing and sales competencies, as well as the interpersonal and communication skills which contributed to your success.

I decided against including your knowledge of the German language in this summary because I was unsure what you meant by “working knowledge.” If your German is good enough that you would be able to develop and maintain a business relationship with a German-speaking client (speaking on the phone, writing e-mails, etc., all in German), then I would recommend including it. If not, best leave it out lest you mislead a potential employer into thinking that you are fluent.

You mentioned in your additional instructions to me that you were concerned about your unusual career path. Given that there are no real gaps in your history--only the fact that you advanced relatively far in the work world before returning to school to earn your BS and MBA--I decided that a straightforward, reverse-chronological format was the best approach.

Accordingly, I began with your most recent accomplishment (your MBA), and worked backwards from there. Although your career accomplishments are impressive, placing them first might create confusion. Organizing the resume in this reverse-chronological format will forestall any questions that a hiring manager might have; every year is clearly accounted for.

You will note that I omitted your Associate's degree. Your much more recent educational credits are more impressive and far more important from the perspective of a hiring manager. Including a degree in a relatively unrelated field which was earned more than 25 years ago would only distract attention from your more pertinent, timely, and impressive accomplishments.

Next, I presented your professional experience. In presenting this information I reworded your bullet points for maximum impact.

For example, in one of your bullet points you wrote:

“Consistently exceeded sales quotas, in addition to collaborating with team colleagues to win multiple regional sales competitions.”

I rewrote this point to read:

“Exceeded sales quotas consistently; collaborated with colleagues to win multiple regional sales competitions.”

Notice how beginning the sentence with the strong verb “exceeded” as opposed to the adverb “consistently” enhances the vigor and impact of your claim. Also, using a semi-colon permits the omission of the filler transition “in addition to.” These subtle changes add force and energy to your resume, giving your resume a psychological edge when competing for the attention of a hiring manager.

In another of your bullet points, you wrote:

“Consulted with corporate and leisure travel customers to determine destinations, modes of transportation, travel dates, financial considerations, accommodations, and corporate meeting planning.”

I rewrote this point to read:

“Consulted with clients to determine and meet their needs concerning destinations, modes of transportation, travel dates, financial constraints, accommodations, and activity itineraries.”

By emphasizing that your consulting work depended upon your willingness and ability to meet your clients' needs, you connect this experience to your claim (in the qualifications summary) that you can coordinate clients' needs with sales objectives, thus integrating it into the overall argument which your resume sets forth, namely, that you are the most qualified person for this job.

There is an avenue where your resume could still be improved. First, you mention that some of your travel consulting clients were Fortune 500 organizations. If any of these organizations are at all well-known, name them. Identifying important ex-clients whose names are likely to be recognized will add an extra gleam of prestige to your resume.

Each decision to highlight and condense data was in keeping with industry guidelines and standards set forth by the Professional Association of Resume Writers (PARW).

With your superior skills and this resume, I feel you have an excellent chance at reaching your stated goals. The best of luck. Editor
Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)

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