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HR=Humans Represent: A Personal Press Release

Move over cover letters – how about attaching a personal press release to your next resumé submission? I was thinking about it, and it occurred to me that a cover letter is pretty darn close to being a press release (or at least people should be writing theirs like one to stand out from the crowd)! Simply stated, a press release, also known as a news release – is a written statement to the media that announces events, staff promotions, awards, new products and services, sales accomplishments, etc. Reporters are more likely to consider a story idea if they receive a press release. In the employment world, a resumé is also a statement – a brief written account of personal, educational, and professional qualifications and experience. Recruiters (much like reporters) are more likely to consider the idea of hiring a job candidate if they receive a cover letter. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Stop and consider it for a moment, especially if you’re a job seeker who hasn’t looked at job hunting from a public relations standpoint. You should be, and this might just help you to begin marketing yourself more effectively. There’s basically 5 steps to writing a press release, and I say why not incorporate these into your cover letter? So hop to it, what have you got to lose:

  1. The headline = Your lead sentence. Brief and to the point, it should grab the reader. What are the key words of your “personal press release”? Extract the most important keywords and frame a logical attention-getting statement. Just like key words get you better visibility in search engines, using them in your opening statement will allow the recruiter to get the idea of your cover letter content.
  2. The press release body copy = Expanding on your lead sentence.The next one to two sentences expands upon the first sentence of your cover letter to form your first paragraph. These sentences should sum up your personal press release, and further content will elaborate on it. Remember, journalists, recruiters (or other readers for that matter) won’t read an entire press release/resumé if the start of the document doesn’t generate interest.
  3. The 5 W’s & the H = Actual facts (events, products/services, targets/goals, plans/projects)What is the actual news about you? Why this is news? The purpose behind the news. The items, dates and things related to the news you would like to convey about you! The more newsworthy you make your personal press release copy, the better the chances of it being selected.
  4. Include information about the company=Your contact information Just like a journalist, a recruiter who picks up your personal press release would like to be able to locate your personal information from this section. Make it easy for the recruiter; be sure to include your mailing address, email address and home/cellular phone numbers. You want them to investigate further, right??
  5. Signal the end of the press release with three # symbols = Close the letter Be sure to sign the cover letter, and type your name below the signature.

There you have it five easy steps! You are in fact marketing yourself for a job when you send your resumé, so why not do a little public relations with your cover letter? Look out world, make way for the personal press release!

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Stephen Peteritas

I always struggle with this part of the job application process. With a press release or cover letter you do want to standout but I also feel at the same time you want to blend in. I think in a lot of cases doing something completely off the wall really segments the reader of your application and that’s not always a good thing. I agree though that a little more creativity should be given to cover letters though.

Margaret Brindzak

I love this new twist and as a person that has to read so many of these I love the idea and I think it would grab my attention.

Stacy Surla

Step 3 is particularly good! We tend to just list the facts – and just add more facts as our careers go along. Instead, it makes great sense to focus on the audience for our resumes and consider “Which news? Why this news for this employer?”