“You have 15 seconds.”– Kevin Brett

Super public relations professional Kevin Brett visited my public relations class a few days ago to school all of us on our resumes and cover letters.   His main point? To make sure we know we have 15 seconds to gain the attention of the employer we are courting. Here are a few pointers for your resume and cover letter:

  • Show them what makes you stand out.
  • Get the attention of eyeballs and search engines. Chances are your bosses will Google you;make sure you know what they are going to see.
  • Try applying to hiring managers instead of just applying online.
  • Get to the point.
  • Think search engine terms. Speak the company’s language.
  • Do your research. Know what the company stands for, what it offers and what its public relations team is doing.
  • Network, talk to other people than the hiring manager. It’s all about who you know.
  • Why do you want this job? Be able to answer that question.
  • What do you bring to the table? Know what your value is and how you can improve the company.
  • Copy your cover letter in a contact e-mail. It already says everything you want to.


Things to keep in mind with your resume:

  • Sweat the details.
  • Triple check…then check again.
  • Do not rely on abc check to do all the work.
  • Lead paragraphs with active verbs (e.g. develop, participate).
  • Start with your professional background, then go into your education.
  • Include your e-mail, LinkedIn and blog.
  • Show results for what you have done, include numbers. Qualitative details are best.

A few search engine optimization, SEO, words to look for:

  • Message Development
  • Social Media
  • Employee Communications
  • Crisis Communications
  • Investor Relations
  • Analyst Relations
  • Media Training
  • Multimedia Skills
  • Presentation Skills

These are just a few words of wisdom to keep in mind when looking for a job. Good luck, and go get ’em!