Starting out and standing out

I’ve been very, very lucky throughout my career to study under some really smart people. But more than smart, they were generous. They took young flacks like me under their wings and taught us how to do PR right. They are a big part of the reason I try hard to pass down what I’ve learned to those just starting out in this profession.

I’ve been an annual speaker at Rutgers and Trenton State (the college, not the penitentiary). And at the end of each talk, I make an offer to the students: send me your resume and I’ll comment on it before you send it off into the big, bad hiring world. It’s a way to help those who take advantage of the offer to stand out in a highly competitive and crowded field.

This past week, Nicholas Intelisano reached out to interview me for a class project. He’s a student at Southern New Hampshire University taking my friend Jon Boroshok’s communications class (a decorated professor at that). The interview touched on what it was like starting out in the industry. Great questions and an engaging conversation. And, like always, I told Nick to send me his resume.

He did. And it was a good one. Straightforward, clean, relevant background that showed me he wanted into this profession…despite what I told him I went through when I entered it 😉

Nicholas Intelisano resume

But there was something in Nick’s resume that made me wonder if it wouldn’t also work in a more creative, personal format. Yes, he’d still need the straight forward resume to submit to the HR and keyword bots, but…what about trying something like this:

“My name is Nick Intelisano. I’m about to graduate from the prestigious SNHU school of communications this May — on the good side of the Dean’s list (and President’s list), not the Animal House side.

Come May, I’d like to turn my vast years of experience as a professional PR intern into a full-time, ramen-flush gig. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate. What I really want is a foot in the door to start what I hope will be a long and successful career in PR. That’s where you come in.

Over the past two years, I’ve gotten my feet wet at places like Regan Communications, Millennium Integrated Marketing and The Good Men Project. I’ve had hands on experience pitching stories, building social media calendars, monitoring and fetching multiple gallons of coffee (I waited tables to help pay for college, so that last one wasn’t that foreign). I’ve coached 4-6 year old children in pee wee soccer, so I’m well-prepared for the rigors of client relations. I’ve seen things. Things I won’t soon forget. Things that will come in handy should you give me a shot.

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram? What self-respecting PR rookie isn’t steeply versed in navigating those communities? How about the requisite Microsoft Office skills and a dollop of Adobe Illusatrator? I’ve got them, too. Nouns and verbs? You can check out how I’ve used them as a staff writer for the Penmen Press student newspaper on my blog. Leadership? Bam! Founding member of the SNHU chapter of the PRSSA (though I’m less of a Bam! and more of hey-we-started-something-cool leader).

If you’re looking for someone who wants into this business badly, I’m your guy. And I’m reachable at”

So I ask you, my PR friends, any advice to give Nick as he tries to break into our ranks? Sound off in the comments.

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