As a public relations (PR) officer, you will be responsible for building and maintaining the organisation’s brand, image and public perception through media, social media or self-produced communications such as news articles, press releases and social media posts.
There is high competition for this job so it’s essential that you have an impressive CV that stands out from the crowd to secure a job in this industry.
The guide below gives you all the necessary information, tips and examples to write your perfect public relations officer CV and secure more job interviews.
I am a highly confident, motivated and energetic Public Relations Officer with a passion for working with the public in a fast-paced working environment. My previous experience in various marketing roles has developed a number of my skills including, but not limited to, writing for the press, social media marketing, speaking in public and communication skills, customer service and engagement and organisational skills.
Freelance Journalist at University Newspaper, ‘The Tab’
1st Class degree in Public Relations
Class Representative and Peer Mentor, Bournemouth University
2012 – 2015
BA (Hons) Public Relations
Grade achieved: [1:1]
Public Relations, Media and Society
Brand and Reputation Management
PR Campaigns and Strategies
Media and Digital Management
Customer Engagement Principles
2010 – 2012 Results: English Literature: A Psychology: A Politics: B
William Sixth Form College
2003 – 2010 Results: 11 GCSEs at Grades A*-C.
William High School
May 2016 – Present
Public Relations Officer Reed Insurance
Main duties performed:
Planning, updating and organising new Public Relations strategies
Increasing the exposure for the organisation’s products and services
Working with members of senior management to discuss new brand ideas, prepare speeches, addressing critical issues, organising events, etc.
Researching and preparing press releases for local and national press
Coordinating in-house documentation including internet sources and magazines
Coordinating and preparing photo opportunities for marketing purposes
Organising events internally, including conferences, exhibitions and press tours
Operating the organisation’s social media accounts and, when necessary, updating relevant announcements and information
Liaising with external agencies on a regular basis; PR, photography, print, etc.
Ensuring that all communication meets the standards laid out by the organisation for branding, tone of voice, factuality and confidentiality.
Organising and executing social media competitions and prize draws
Identifying new areas for business expansion
First point of contact for media and press enquiries
Ensuring that all campaigns run are completed on time and within budget
Budget monitoring and signing off invoices
Assisting with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) of content
Distribution of written content across various online and physical channels
Writing reports on the progress of campaigns/strategies and reporting back with the findings to the Senior Management or Board of Directors
Jan 2015 – Apr 2016
Communications Assistant Airbus Operations Ltd
Main duties performed:
Supporting the community relations team when needed, especially with regards to events and the production of marketing material
Producing press-related documents including briefings and releases
Providing support to senior management with regards to research and the delivery of critical information to staff and other stakeholders
Conducting market research and competitor analysis
Liaising with third-party organisations to produce marketing materials
Writing case studies regarding successful clients
Assisting the internal communication team admin duties
CIPR Crisis (Response) Communication Diploma
Proficient writing skills with a successful track-record of writing attractive and professional blog posts, website articles, press releases, advertisements, emails, newspaper stories and newsletter entries.
Able to work with people of all levels of seniority in a professional manner
Extensive experience in planning and executing successful Marketing and PR
Able to work in a high-pressured, fast-paced working environment
Fast typing speed of 69 wpm (words per minute) with 99% accuracy
Excellent knowledge of Gorkana and other PR packages
I have a keen interest in learning new skills including languages, and I currently speak fluent French, German and Spanish. My other hobbies include socialising with friends and family, participating in running marathons and following current affairs.
Adopt a standard CV structure: Unconventional CV structures catch employers off guard and make it harder for them to find the information that they are looking for. This will most likely result in your CV being rejected, especially as surveys have shown that employers only tend to spend around 30 seconds reading each CV! Instead, you should adopt a CV layout/structure that they are familiar with; write your personal/contact details at the top, followed by your personal profile, achievements, employment, education, qualifications, skills, hobbies and interests. There is some slight flexibility in swapping the education/employment sections, depending on which one is stronger.
Make your CV professional, clear and easy to read: As a public relations officer, you are expected to produce high-quality PR content that will enhance the image of the organisation in the eyes of the public. Imagine if the employers get the impression that you are struggling with presenting a small document (i.e. your CV) in a clear and easy-to-read manner so how about if they hire you and you have to produce hundreds of PR statements, articles and reports to a high standard? It’s essential that your CV gives a positive impression of you to the employer! To improve the scannability and readability of your CV, use short sentences, columns, lists, bullet points and subheadings.
Choose an appropriate font: There are literally hundreds of fonts to choose from for your CV but only a small number are appropriate. Unsuitable fonts include fancy, handwriting and comic fonts. The best CV fonts that you can use include Lucida Sans, Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, Cambria, Georgia, Calibri, Tahoma, Garamond and Times New Roman. Click on the link above to see previews of these fonts.
Use a subtle colour scheme and minimal design features: When it comes to writing your CV, less is more. Just like putting on a little bit of perfume or aftershave is pleasant, putting on too much is off-putting. Guidelines for using colour on a CV.
Limit the length of your CV to 2 A4 pages: Employers get tens or hundreds of applications per job opening so they only spend around 30 seconds reading each CV. If your CV appears too long-winded, crammed with information or unfocused, it will be automatically rejected. You should limit the length of your CV to 2 A4 pages and omit any irrelevant, outdated and unnecessary information.
Never use graphics, images, company logos, icons and photos on your CV.
Note: Don’t write “CV” or “Curriculum vitae” at the top of your CV. Instead, your name – enlarged and written in bold – should be the main heading of your CV. This will make it easier for employers to identify the author/owner of the CV at a glance.
Next, you need to craft a well-written personal profile statement, a brief paragraph that informs the employer about your personal characteristics, skills, abilities and work experience.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a profile is “a short description of someone’s life, work, character, etc.”
Keep it brief and to the point (no more than 4-5 sentences).
Focus on your key strengths and achievements (and give examples).
Tailor your profile to the needs of the give and the employer (i.e. give reasons on what makes you the perfect candidate for the job).
I am an experienced and talented PR officer with more than four years of experience in the PR and communications industry. I started my career as a copywriter, in charge of writing compelling marketing and promotional materials for print, web, mobile, video, and social media uses. I was promoted to my current role after nine months on the job. I have excellent organisational skills, enabling me to manage my time and multiple projects simultaneously. My expertise includes maintaining customer relations, devising branding strategies and writing press releases.
In this section, you should list some of your key achievements that will portray you as a strong candidate for the job.
Employer surveys have shown that applicants with achievement-focused CVs are three times more likely to be shortlisted for an interview compared to duties-focused CVs!
Tailor your CV to each job: The closer your CV matches the requirements of the job the greater your chances of being invited for a job interview. An effective way to tailor your CV to the job you are applying for is by looking at the job’s personal specifications and identify all the essential and desirable requirements of the job and then mention those skills, abilities and requirements on your CV. Remember to use the same key phrases and terminology as the one used in the job advert.
Proofread your CV: Your CV needs to be impeccable because a big part of your job will involve planning, writing and publishing written content. Any mistake, whether big or small, could cost you the job so you should always proofread your CV to identify and correct any spelling and grammar mistakes. Ideally, you should also let a family member, friend or careers advisor proofread your CV too.
Include a cover letter with your application: PR professionals are in the business of influencing and building relationships so employers expect you to know how to connect with audiences. Sending a personalised, one-page cover letter with your application will give a nice boost to your application and increase your chances of being shortlisted for an interview.
Include a link to your LinkedIn profile: You should include a link to your LinkedIn profile in the “Personal details” section at the top of your CV, especially if you’re active on the platform and have many connections and professional recommendations.
Written by Sobhan Mohmand Sobhan is a qualified Careers Advisor and Professional CV Writer with over 10 years of experience in helping job seekers get a job. He is a Member of the Careers Development Institute (CDI) and is listed on the official UK Register of Career Development Professionals. He holds a Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development (QCF).
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