Do you want to apply for a Communications Specialist position to help you get closer to your career goals? Applying for jobs on Seek, LinkedIn, and other job boards can be a time-consuming process, however, to streamline the process, you can ensure your resume writing helps you to stand out from the crowd, and your online profile helps you to get an interview!
If a recruiter or hiring manager are looking for a Communications Specialist, they are searching for specific transferable skills. With less than ten people being interviewed for the job and hundreds of people, just like you, applying, The Perfect Resume team have created Resume Writing Tips to help you stand out from the others.
What do recruiters look for in a Communications Specialist resume or an online profile?Tailoring your resume to a Communications Specialist position is mandatory today to ensure that your application will pass Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). In doing so, your resume will be read by the prospective employer. Then, fingers crossed, you will be shortlisted as a potential candidate and be called for not one, but multiple job interviews!
Firstly, before you apply to be a Communications Specialist, you need to be acquainted with what a Communications Specialist does!
Communications Specialists handle the internal and external of a company.
Hiring Managers are looking for a creative and meticulous Communications Specialist to assist in drafting media statements, answering media inquiries, compiling publications, planning events and press conferences.
To be successful as a Communications Specialist, you should have knowledge of necessary Marketing and Communications procedures, be open to learning, and have strong communication skills. Ultimately, a quality Communications Specialist should be able to achieve effective communication strategies, engaging branding programs, and ensure consistent messaging across all communication channels.
Knowing this, your resume and online profile should include the hard and soft skills that the recruiter or hiring manager is looking for in a candidate.
The Communications Specialist position description template will also contain pivotal information about what the candidate will need to do daily. Such as:
• Develop and implement a communication strategy that includes media outreach and social media content creation.
• Research and write press releases, and content for the company website, infographics, blogs and newsletters.
• Acquire and maintain a detailed knowledge of the company’s policies, principles and strategies, and to keep up-to-date with relevant developments.
• Arrange and coordinate press conferences, and plan events.
• Facilitate the resolution of disputes with external role-players.
• Adhere to the company’s style guide, ensuring that we produce high-quality and error-free copy.
• Work with key internal role-players to brainstorm content ideas, in line with the company’s strategy and in support of various brand initiatives.
• Support and evaluate results of communication campaigns with the team.
• Build and maintain relationships with journalists and key external role-players.
The Communications Specialist position description will also have some requirements and personal attributes that you will need to demonstrate in your resume to ensure your potential employer will take your application seriously:
• Bachelors degree in Communications, Journalism, Public Relations or a related field.
• A minimum of 2 years experience in communications strategy development.
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
• Works well under pressure and meets tight deadlines.
• Highly computer literate with capability in email, MS Office and related business and communication tools.
• Content writing experience for all media platforms.
• Proven social media and networking expertise.
• Strategic and creative mindset.
• Meticulous attention to detail.
You may also want to do some industry research to find out what other companies want in their Communications Specialists. This will give you an indication of how to tailor your resume for the requirements they are looking for but have not included in the job description.
- Your profile
- Your skills list
- Your experiences (if you have not already tailored your resume to this position)
The next step to do is to tailor your cover letter for the application!
The Perfect Resume team writes a tailored cover letter in a systematic, proven approach. This method lets the organisation know what you can offer, why it would be in their best interest to hire you and how inviting you into their team would add value to their organisation. All while correlating these aspects with the attributes of the role they need to fill.
You must give them a compelling reason to invite you for an interview!
Depending on the role, a more professional approach may be required. Some positions may call for statements to be backed by real-life examples, rather than just speaking hypothetically. Illustrating your points with specific, relevant examples from your own experience will dramatically increase their impact.
Tips for writing an engaging cover letter
Stop Thinking A Cover Letter Doesn't Matter!
You would be surprised how many people think they can send off the CV on its own without a cover letter. Some recruiters don't read cover letters, some base their hiring decision on them. Why take a chance at all?
Stick to one page only!
Unless there is an explicit instruction to the contrary, you should aim to keep your letters short and sweet. Never lose sight of the fact that your cover letter is not intended to take the place of your CV; it is meant as an introduction, therefore, most cover letters shouldn't exceed one A4 page in length. A handful of paragraphs usually are more than enough to whet the recruiter's appetite and entice them to read your resume.
Quit spamming everyone with a generic cover letter
It is astonishing how many people use a generic cover letter and the same resume for every single application. It stands to reason that every job and every organisation is different, and every cover letter should, therefore, be subtly different. A carefully targeted message can easily mean the difference between success and failure. In the same way, your resume should be tailored to each application; it is even more important to tailor your cover letter.
If you are someone who sends the same cover letter to everyone, you only need to change a few minor details such as the organisation's name, hiring manager's name and role purpose to ensure the cover letter is tailored to them.
Focus on what the employer wants from you, not what you have done in your career so far.
Snippets from your resume are OK, such as letting them know what you currently do for a job and how the skills obtained in the role transfer to the new position. Additionally, mentioning your education and other certifications may be essential. What you should avoid is repeating slabs of text as it will reduce the recruiter/hiring manager's time spent reading your resume.
A cover letter is an opportunity to draw the reader's attention to some of your key selling points, such as skills, experiences, and achievements. It would help if you did so in a way that makes it clear how these will be of interest and potential benefit to the reader.
When you apply for a position, they already have a copy of your CV. Therefore, your cover letter should complement it, not repeat it.
Your cover letter should introduce your CV, not replace it!
Nobody wants to read the same thing twice.
Nobody wants to read the same thing twice.
Avoid going off on different tangents, instead, use a simple, structured format.
You only have one page of content to get a clear message across to the reader, therefore, it is essential to structure your cover letter logically. Like all the best stories, the perfect cover letters have a strong and clearly defined beginning, middle, and end. Capture their attention, make an impact, maintain their interest, and finish with a persuasive closing paragraph. If you don't structure your cover letter carefully, you will end up rambling, and the impact of your cover letter will be diluted.
I this, I that, I the other, me, me, me!
The word "I" is often overused in cover letters. Unlike a resume, a cover letter should, of course, be written in the first person. If you start every sentence with "I", then it can make for tedious reading. You also risk conveying an impression of arrogance and egocentrism.
It might not be easy to cut down the use of "I"; however, you should try to do so. Look at each sentence that begins with "I" and see whether you can rephrase it. For example, you may be able to turn round a sentence so that it starts with "You" or "Your" which is ideal. In doing so, you shift the focus on the reader and not yourself.
Adopt a marketing trick by having a clear ""call to action"" at the end of your cover letter!
You can't exactly demand a response from the reader; however, you need to do everything in your power to encourage one. The key to ending your cover letter in a positive, upbeat manner is to use a marketing tip, known as a "call to action."
A call to action is a written or verbal statement in an advert or other promotional material that is specifically designed to motivate the audience to take a specific action. For example, "pick up the phone and place an order" or "call now while stocks last."
The right call to action message in your cover letter is to ask for an interview by calling you on the correct phone number or email address. After all, that is why you are writing a cover letter in the first place!
Proofread your cover letter for linguistic errors
Research has shown that 90% of resumes and cover letters that The Perfect Resume team review contains spelling or grammatical errors. It might seem obvious to run a grammar and spelling check. It also might be hard to believe that people send out letters with mistakes in them. But believe me, it happens all the time. Therefore, if you can make sure your cover letter is error-free, you will immediately be at an advantage.
In conclusion, a cover letter is a companion document that doesn't rewrite your CV or replace it. It adds a more profound element to your application.
Research has indicated that you could improve your chances of landing an interview by 40%, therefore, if you are going to the trouble of sending off your resume, then it is always worth taking a little bit longer to construct a brilliant cover letter to go with it!
If you need some help tailoring your resume for a particular role and you're not sure what to include, or what not to have, feel free to reach out to The Perfect Resume team at the following email address: email@example.com. We can do a resume review for you for FREE!