School of Communication

Resumes & Self Marketing

Step 1: Write a Successful Resume

A resume is an opportunity for you to showcase and summarize your work experience and skills to a prospective employer. Resume formats vary, but you want to give employers a good understanding of your qualities within 30 seconds. Readability is key. Don’t clutter your resume, don’t overuse bold and underline elements.

It should begin with your formal name and contact information, such as an address, phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Next, you list your objective. The rest of the resume has sections describing your education, experience related to the prospective job, other work experience, skills related to the position and honors and awards. List the most up-to-date and relevant information first. Finally, you will need to create a separate references page. You will want to list about three references, who are previous employers and professors who know your work. And most importantly, be absolutely sure your resume is error-free.

For more resume tips, visit the Career Services website.

For resume examples, see the link below.

Communications Resume Examples (PDF)

Step 2: Prepare a Stellar Cover Letter

A cover letter is a business letter that introduces your resume. The cover letter should be customized to each company/position and should reflect any special skills or knowledge you possess related to the job. Employers can detect generic cover letters and will not be impressed. You must research the company and position description to write a strong cover letter.

For more info regarding cover letters, visit the Career Services website.

Step 3: Submit an Excellent Portfolio or Reel

Portfolios

Portfolios are organized collections of images (e.g., graphic design examples, Web design work, photography), writing samples (clips), information, awards and acknowledgements that reflect your professional skills, experiences and accomplishments. Portfolios can either be online on a Web site or blog or kept in a professional binder. Portfolios should be organized by skill, intuitive to the viewer and easy to explain during a job interview or networking opportunity. Many online portfolios contain professional reels (see below) to illustrate skill in media production or performance.

Please review the below resources for more information on portfolios:

Creative Hotlist (www.creativehotlist.com) – Search under “People”/”Search by Category” to view professional online portfolios of graphic designers, art directors, producers, filmmakers, editors, writers and more.

"Creating a Winning Portfolio" - PRSSA (http://www.prssa.org/internships/resources.aspx?Id=8)

“PR Portfolios: Putting your best work forward in the new year - PRSA (http://www.prsa.org/supportfiles/news/viewNews.cfm?pNewsID=1527)

“Newspaper Clips: How Many Should You Include in Your Application? (http://www.journalismjobs.com/career_advice.cfm#4)

Reels

Professional reels consist of samples of media production and performance works such as editing, DVD authoring, motion graphics, audio editing, reporting, animation and anchoring. Reels can either be online (e.g., Web site or blog) or on DVD or tape. Reels should illustrate your best work and always have your contact info at the beginning and end.

Please review the below resources for more information on reels:

“How to Create a Demo Reel” - Pixar (http://www.pixar.com/careers/Creating-a-Demo-Reel)

Media Job Pod (http://www.mediajobpod.org/) – Broadcast and new media professionals give advice about what makes a good reel.

Creative Hotlist (http://www.creativehotlist.com) – Search under “People”/”Search by Category” to view professional online portfolios of graphic designers, art directors, producers, filmmakers, editors, writers, and more.

“Demo Reel Faux Paus” – Ask.com (http://animation.about.com/od/careertips/a/baddemoreel.htm)

TV News Resume Tapes – RTNDA
(http://www.rtnda.org/pages/media_items/starting-out-in-news40.php?id=40)

TV News Resume Tapes – NewsLab
(http://www.newslab.org/resources/resumetapes.htm)