How and why it might be a good idea to structure your resume like a press release

The ongoing grind of the job hunt often inspires the desire to send out resumes that catch people’s attention. For creatives that might include a catchy tagline or clever wordplay. For graphic artists, that could feature a stunning design at the top of the page that says more about your talents than a list of happy clients. But what about people who need to use words alone to describe their skills and abilities? Structuring your resume like a press release might be the energy boost your career desperately needs.

Why a press release?

Press releases — like resumes — often have to limit themselves to capturing someone’s attention immediately and presenting all information in a catchy way … all in under a page. Sound familiar? If you’re looking for a job in communications, structuring your resume like a press release is a clever idea as it would stand out among ones that are more typical, said Ann Magnin, founder of NYC PR agency Ann Magnin, Inc.[1]

And if you’re looking for inspiration, Magnin said: “Its format and language could mimic a release announcing a new hire or promotion, sort of cheeky, but also a way to illustrate that you’re a perfect match for the company.” But don’t settle for sending the same press release to every company. Research your target and include specific elements that make it clear you know the company. Meanwhile, Magnin thinks you can be creative depending on your target “A resume written like a press release can include a visual component to further elevate it; perhaps it can even be interactive!”

It worked for her

In 2005, new college graduate Sarah Usher, who currently works as Director of Communications for AGW Group[2] was trying to set herself apart from other new graduates. At that point, “We were still mailing our resumes to prospective employers, so I wrote an actual press release to act as my cover letter – the release was announcing I’d been hired by the company I was applying for complete with a quote from the CEO and all.”

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