PRSSA National Affiliation: resume building

By Nicole Bersani, CEO

Every month or so, the leaders in various PRSSA Nationally Affiliated student-run firms from around the country gather to talk about ways to make their firm better. The most recent call on Tuesday, Feb. 21 covered resume building with organizer, Jessica Noonan, PRSSA National Vice President of Professional Development, and  guest, Joe Clarkson, PRSSA National VP of Internships/Job Services. Both gave great advice that I would like to share with the rest of our members…

  • While some students might not have agency internship experience but want to intern or work at agencies, joining a student-run firm is a great way to showcase your experiences and display that you have work that could mirror agency experience (via Jessica). In ImPRessions for example, members can work on various accounts throughout their four years at Ohio University — some even work on more than one per year.
  • “There is no real magic formula for resumes.” -Joe. Try to demonstrate specifics such as using the number of media outlets that covered your client during a certain release, the amount of money you raised in fundraising for your client’s event or the increase in retweets, mentions, etc. while you did social media for your client.
  • Avoid being vague (via Joe). You might not have all the specific information/results from your client about the work you did, but try to gather as much information you can, ask your client if they can share their results and/or approve the results you have.
  • Be specific but also explain — don’t assume everyone knows what you’re talking about on your resume (via Joe). On my resume, I have it listed as “ImPRessions, PRSSA Nationally Affiliated student-run firm, CEO.” Because I also mention my involvement in PRSSA, I mention that organization in a separate line as “Public Relations Student Society of America, Hugh M. Culbertson Chapter, Executive Board Member” and therefore do not need to write out PRSSA twice. Also, make sure to label that you are an account associate, account executive or account supervisor for Express, Cardinal Health, etc. and not ImPRessions unless you are on the internal account. For example, Sam Barlett is the account supervisor for the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, College Book Store and ButtOut Ohio accounts in ImPRessions. If you have a sub-title such as social media coordinator, graphic designer, etc. then make sure to make that clear as well but also mention that role was while you were an account associate.
  • Highlight key terms and content (via Joe). Key words such as “team,” “community,” and “leader” are good examples of words to add. Also, any certain names of companies, events and software programs can be excellent key terms. Check also the company’s website that you are applying to — copy words they mention in their mission statement and on the application if it’s applicable to your resume.

If you ever need help with how to display your ImPRessions work on your resume, please do not hesitate to contact me at, our firm at, stop in our office hours on Wednesdays or reach out to our professional adviser, M.J. Clark at Also, more resume tips specific to ImPRessions members can also be found in our 2011-2012 Brand Standards Manual.

If you ever have any questions for Jessica, Joe or anyone else on the PRSSA Naitonal Committee, their contact information can be found on the PRSSA National website.

Members, alumni, professors…any additional tips you recommend?

Leveraging Your LinkedIn Presence

By M.J. Clark, APR

Did you know that people with more than twenty LinkedIn connections are thirty-four times more likely to be approached with a job opportunity than people with less than five?

LinkedIn is a powerful tool to increase your visibility and lead you to job openings, and yet it seems to me that students underutilize this tool. LinkedIn is an online network of more than 8.5 million experienced professionals from around the world representing 130 industries. Here are a couple of tips to help you get more mileage out of your LinkedIn participation.

  1. Add Connections. By adding connections, you increase the likelihood that people will see your profile first when they’re searching for someone to hire. In addition to better search results, people want to work with people who are connected to their industry and have mutual friends who know and trust them.
  2. Improve your Google PageRank. LinkedIn allows you to make your profile information available for search engines to index. Since LinkedIn profiles receive a fairly high PageRank in Google, this is a good way to influence what people see when they search for you. To do this, create a public profile and select “Full View.” Instead of using the default URL, customize your public profile’s URL to be your actual name. To strengthen the visibility of this page in search engines, use this link in when you comment in a blog, post an article, or have other online interactions.
  3. Think about reference checks. Companies often use LinkedIn to verify reference information on a candidate, so be sure your profile is truthful. In addition, have you ever thought of using LinkedIn to find the people you’re meeting with? Knowing that you went to the same school, both play the piano, or share acquaintances is helpful in building rapport during the small talk that often starts the interview. With LinkedIn you have a way to scope out the company, the person with whom you will interviewing, and possibly people who used to hold the position for which you are applying in advance of the initial meeting.
  4. Increase the relevancy of your job search. Use LinkedIn’s advanced search to find people with educational and work/internship experience like yours to see where they work. For example, a PR student might use search keywords such as “Social Media,” “Media Relations,” “Event Planning,” “InDesign,” and “communications” to find out where other PR graduates with these skills work.

There are so many tools available to students that will help allow you to identify jobs and gather information in this tough economy. Sometimes it can be difficult to know what to use and how to use it. I hope these tips go far in helping your leverage your LinkedIn presence.

#AskOUrPRos Twitter chat a success

It was @OUImPRessions’ first ever Twitter chat with PR professionals and students from @ScrippsPRSSA to @CentralOhioPRSSA and beyond. Great thanks to @mjclark, our professional adviser, for helping us host the event and spreading the word. And of course, thank everyone who participated in the Corporate vs. Agency #AskOUrPRos Twitter chat!

Join us February 29 at 7:30 p.m. EST for our next #AskOUrPRos chat!

Please check out our Twitter chat review below. Students and pros, what was your favorite part?