You need to demonstrate your value when applying and interviewing for a communications job

Over the last year, I’ve hired four new positions: a communications specialist, a marketing specialist, a digital content strategist and a project and event assistant. All positions paid well with excellent benefits and time off, so I thought the hiring process would be easy.

I was wrong.

After screening more than 300 resumes and interviewing 40, I realized that there was a recurring common theme: only a handful of candidates could articulate the value they added to their organizations.

Most resumes stated things such as, “Wrote press releases and developed press kits.” Or, “Designed company brochures and newsletters.”

These are TASKS that you should be doing in your role. What are your accomplishments? What makes you better than the other candidates?

If you are vying for a communications position, yet you can’t promote yourself and the value you add to an organization, you need to rethink what you’re actually doing in your current job.

You should be asking yourself, “Am I¬†adding measurable value to your organization?”

Demonstrating value

We’re all great at something, so use your resume and cover letter to show off your skills.

If you are a phenomenal designer, consider creating an infographic resume with highlights such as, “Developed the visual brand for 10 organizations in two years.”

If you are a PR maven, include your biggest hits like, “Secured front page placement in USA Today.”

Are you a rising digital marketing star? Outline how the campaign you developed led to a 1,241% increase in your client’s web traffic.

Side note about web portfolios and personal websites: if you do them, do them well. Don’t make it difficult for potential employers to access by creating passwords or using long, forgettable URLs.

Communications positions are always under scrutiny. Many co-workers and administrators within organizations don’t understand the value of our roles…trust me, I know.

Over the last 18 years, I’ve survived several rounds of layoffs and downsizing efforts, and every single time, I was told that it was because of the value I brought to the company. You know how I demonstrated that?

Through show-and-tell.

If you aren’t evaluating your efforts, you better get on it. You need to understand if your tactics are working, first of all, or else you are just spinning the hamster wheel.

Once you have a solid understanding of how you have impacted the company, you can easily articulate why you would be the perfect hire.