Top Resume Trends of 2012

By: Nicole Spears

Top Resume Trends 2012

The top 5 resume trends of late and whether or not you should adopt them


Landing your dream job, earning respect in your field, building your professional reputation-it all truly comes down to one thing: a strong resume. That’s a lot of weight resting on one (or, in certain cases, two) simple piece of paper, be it heavy ply or not.


All the fuss over what’s in and what’s out for resume trends may seem silly at times. But, in fast-paced industry of communication, people are always creating new ways to stand out from the competition. It is no coincidence that many of these methods for separating ourselves result in the latest resume trends, what’s that thing people always say about first impressions? They last. I don’t know about you, but I sure do not want my resume showing up in last year’s threadbare fashions.


So, get ready to dust off those resumes ladies and gents. To ensure that yours is up to date, we present the top five resume trends of 2012. And what’s more? We’ve brought in resident PR expert and ImPRessions professional advisor, M.J. Clark, to decipher what’s hot and what’s not in the world of resume couture.



1. Objective Statements

Once seen as a necessary component of every proper resume, objective statements are now a controversial topic. When used correctly, this section pinpoints the position or knowledge that you are pursuing. However, if someone is reviewing your resume, it’s likely that they already know what position you are interested in. On top of that-the experience and education details given in a resume can render this section unnecessary.


M.J. says: Leave it out. It doesn’t help you sell yourself, and it only wastes space. Your objective should be to get a specific job at my company. That’s why you sent me your resume, right? I know that. You know that. So it’s unnecessary.


2.  Quantifiable Results

Broadly speaking, numbers kind of stink for us communication people. However, countless professionals now stress the importance of having quantifiable experience present on your resume. This not only clarifies the magnitude of your past experience, but it displays your ability to evaluate-a key strength in PR that not everyone can boast upon. Besides, things these days like Facebook Analytics can make numbers pretty fun.


M.J. says: Use the numbers if you have them. You will get more quantifiable results as you get more experience, so don’t worry if you don’t have them out of the gate. Think about quantifying results when you are putting together a plan for a client, so you will be sure to have them for the client and yourself when you’re done.


3. Visual Appeal

In this world of integrated communication, we know that presentation is (almost) everything. Ever since we turned in our first typed papers in elementary school we learned that we could boost the grade potential of a paper that was nicely formatted and neatly stapled. The key to getting visually creative on a resume is to make sure that the design elements enhance the content and organization of the document, and never take away from it. But with so many fonts, colors, and alignments (oh my!) this can be a hard balance to achieve.


M.J. says: Unless you are applying to an art museum or graphic design firm, keep your resume conservative. No cloud paper, neon paper, colored fonts or photographs, please. The rule I follow is don’t do anything that someone might not like. Everyone is okay with a black font on white or cream colored paper. Remember, your goal is to get an interview. Don’t give them any reason to put your resume in the “no” pile.


4. GPA

Out of all of the resume trends of late, the most diverse advice comes a propos de GPA. While the rule of thumb for quite some time has been to display a GPA of 3.0 or higher on your resume, some sources now say that it is irrelevant no matter what it’s stature. Still others recommend putting the relevant GPA for each area of study. This is one resume trend sure to leave your head spinning!


M.J. says: Don’t bother to list your GPA. Professionals want to make sure you have a college degree. They are not micro-analyzing your grades. They just want to know you have the basics down. You will learn much, much more once they hire you. And you will never stop learning (I hope!).


5. QR Codes

When QR codes first became popular, their lure was undeniable. How technologically advanced it made one seem to have that trendy little box in the corner of your resume, sending the reader swiftly off to peruse your Linked In profile! However, unless using a QR code to steer a reader to a digital portfolio or unique website, this trend may be a sold-out and unnecessary feature.


M.J. says: Don’t make your resume more complicated than it has to be. Most PR pros find the QR technology interesting, but they don’t use it regularly. I think it wastes precious resume space. If you are sending an electronic copy of your resume, I would list the hyperlinked URL to your portfolio or website. As an interviewer, I would definitely click that link and check it out. But if you’ve handed me a paper copy, I’m probably not going to take the time to type it in and pull it up. (Just keeping it real.)

A Love for Columbus and Public Relations

By Sara Lowenstein



As a Columbus native, I am proud of the place I call home. This year is especially exciting as Columbus celebrates its Bicentennial birthday. 

This summer I have participated in the Bicentennial by interning at one of Columbus’s premiere community programs: Leadership Columbus, a non-profit organization designed to educate and inspire emerging and existing leaders. As one of the top five ranked community leadership programs in the country, the 2,500 plus alumni comprise a multitude of platforms including local government, arts, health care, businesses, non-profits and more.

During these last few weeks, my experience with Leadership Columbus has not only increased my passion for Columbus but it has also allowed my PR skills and enthusiasm to grow.  

As the LC intern, I am always meeting new people. From city officials to TV anchors and newspaper reporters to up-and-coming entrepreneurs and more, my stack of business cards has doubled. I have even gotten the chance to meet some local celebrities such as Ryan Vesler, owner of Homage: a vintage t-shirt shop with tees unique to Ohio and Jeni Britton Bauer, founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream and 2004 Leadership Columbus graduate.

Through these experiences, I have been able to enhance my networking skills. I see each new person I meet as a potential opportunity one day, no matter how unrelated they may be to the PR world. My goal continues to not only make memorable first impressions but more importantly form relationships with these contacts: a fundamental to making it in our industry.

 This internship has also allowed me to attend events and meetings with other Columbus supporters who also look forward to Columbus’s exciting future. One of my favorites was a luncheon hosted by the Columbus Metropolitan Club – a weekly discussion with local residents on topics of civic and public interest. The club meeting I attended featured newly appointed Kim Jacobs, Columbus’s first female police chief.

My specific goal as being the LC intern has been to help create a Leadership Columbus Program designed for college students specifically aimed at attracting young and talented graduates to Columbus. I believe in the “Columbus Swagger” – a phrase coined by Columbus’s Mayor Michael Coleman – and want college students alike to appreciate our capital city. Columbus is a smart and open city with a bright and progressive future: we are one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in country, our zoo, public library and COSI (science center) are all ranked #1, we are a foodie town loved by critics from all over and we have hip, lively neighborhoods, such as the Short North, that add to the vibrant Columbus atmosphere.

The summer of 2012 will be remembered as not only one of my favorites but also as part of Columbus’s 200th birthday.


5 Tips for Staying Connected and Updated this Summer

By: Ashleigh Mavros

Just because you didn’t land your dream internship or you wanted to work to save money this summer doesn’t mean you can’t return in the fall with a better insight into the PR world. This is your golden opportunity to get ahead with some simple tasks that you haven’t had the time for or quite frankly haven’t crossed your mind. Stay on top of your game and make the following your list of to-do’s before your summer vacation is over.

Connect. Now is the time to pull out the stack of business cards and a list of contact information to get in touch with the connections you’ve made over the year. Something as simple as sending an email to let them know what you’ve been up to or asking a burning question you may have is sufficient. Even better, if you’re in town try to meet for coffee. “To me, it’s not so much about the initial outreach; rather, I’m more likely to remember a student who ‘checks in’ every once in a while,” said Experience Columbus Marketing Coordinator Sandi Combs. Dig back through all your contact information from PRSSA speakers, past internship advisors, and connections made at networking events and start building that connection base.

Blogs. Since you’re out of class you may feel disconnected to any news and information relating to the industry; it’s time to head to an online blog to get your daily dose of PR. A favorite among professionals and students alike is which features useful articles on topics ranging from social media, crisis planning and marketing.  Other blogs to keep an eye on include and By checking in weekly with a favorite PR-related blog, you won’t feel like you’ve been hiding under a rock come fall.


Informational Interviews.  “The biggest thing is making a connection in the professional world. And if an opportunity comes up for an internship or entry-level job in my office, it’s nice to have a few students who I know might be good candidates for that role,” said Andy Dearth of Live Nation on opportunities that one day may come from informational interviews.  Set up an interview with a firm or business you might be interested in, especially one in which you already have a connection. Do some research before the interview, have a list of questions prepared and look at the interview as a learning experience and a networking opportunity that will give you incredible insight.


Books. Yes, it’s summer and you don’t want to even think about picking up anything remotely similar to a text book. However, if you have any interest in the ever-changing roles that social media and technology play in PR, you won’t be able to put these two books down. Likeable Social Media by David Kerpen explores every vital social platform in today’s society including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and more. The emphasis on the two way connection and discussion with an audience through social media makes you double think the way of the past of throwing information at an audience. David Meerman Scott returns with an updated version of his original book, The New Rules of Marketing and PR. Scott details how traditional media has changed, especially in the case of no longer needing the middle man of media to deliver your message.


Update. You’ve got another year under your belt so it’s time to update that resume, portfolio, and online sites such as LinkedIn with all your accomplishments from this past year. Make sure your social networking sites, professional sites and resume all correlate with the same updated information. You can even add your upcoming positions or roles to get a head start. No doubt you have clips or design pieces to add to your portfolio; keep adding to material you already have or get everything together to finally start a portfolio.

No internship? No problem. Stay on top of your game this summer and you’ll be back in the fall with the experience as if you had never skipped a beat.