Unless you have worked in the public sector or closely with it, it can be difficult to understand quite how different private and public sector worlds can be. The complex web of stakeholders and interests to negotiate with, the politics and machinations of processes and protocols, through to the transformation of commercial objectives into community or national interest ones.
Diverse organisations with a common purpose
If you have worked in a PR agency then it is likely that you will have worked with both public and private sector clients and therefore have a good understanding of the different climates and contexts. Within the public sector there are worlds within worlds. For instance, there are vast differences between say the NHS, a central government department and a local parish council. However, one thing binds them all – and that is their existence to serve the public.
Read the person specification
The first thing to do before even approaching your CV is to read the person specification of the job you are applying for. Ensure you align how you position yourself to the person specification and provide demonstrable examples of how, where and when you have demonstrated what the employer or agency is looking for. If the employer is open to applications from a variety of backgrounds it may not be necessary to overtly focus the CV.
Professional profile and key skills
Look at the personal attributes and qualities within the person specification and include similar words within the professional profile section of your CV. This is important as it is the first part that will get read and you can therefore show empathy with the organisation. Include relevant key phrases and words either separately in a key skills section or sprinkle liberally throughout your CV.
Showcase your relevant achievements
If you have relevant public sector PR experience then this should be highlighted clearly within your career history. Whether through accounts you have managed or directly through your employer, present your achievements in a compelling but succinct fashion. Focus on the campaign or project outputs and try to support these with facts and figures as this will always add credibility and a sense of concreteness to them.