Why PR pros should use CP Style on resumes

If you’re a public relations (PR) or communication professional in Canada, you likely use Canadian Press (CP) Style when writing and editing media materials or other communication tools.

But you might not automatically default to using CP Style when writing and editing your resume. If you haven’t considered it, there are a few reasons why you need to!

In this post, I’ll briefly talk about what CP Style is, when communicators typically use it, and why you should follow it on your resume.

What’s CP Style?

The Canadian Press, a news gathering co-operative financed by Canada‚Äôs daily newspaper industry, created its style guide for Canadian media to use to ensure that spelling, capitalization, numbers, punctuation and other elements of writing are consistent across all publications. It’s also used as the style guide of other Canadian organizations, academic institutions and companies.

Please note that communication professionals in other regions, industries or countries may abide by other style guides. Other examples include the Chicago Manual of Style, which is used by American journalists, and Modern Language Association (MLA) Style, which is often used in scholarly writing. Whichever you use, it’s important to select the style guide that’s appropriate for you.

When do communicators use CP Style?

Communication professionals use CP Style when engaging with journalists in news releases, media alerts, fact sheets and pitches. This ensures that the writing in these media relations tools aligns with journalists’ styles, helping to make their jobs easier if they want to cover an idea in a story.

Further, CP Style is also used by communication pros as a style “bible” for writing and editing as part of pretty much all other communications activities, like internal, external, social media and digital communications.

Like many of you (I’m sure), I’ve been writing using CP Style for so many years in my career that I now have its rules, guidelines and nuances memorized. I try to use them as often as possible, unless an organization’s or industry’s standard trumps it.

Why use CP Style on your resume?

Even if you use CP Style, or another common style guide that’s appropriate based on your industry or region, on a daily basis at work, you might have never thought about using it on your resume, in a cover letter or in other job search communications materials, including emails.

For PR and communication pros, using CP Style in these documents is important. Here’s why:

Hiring managers who have worked or who are currently working in communications, or others involved in the process of making a hire (like a future boss or colleagues), are likely well-versed in CP Style themselves. Therefore, they’ll quickly recognize when CP Style is used on a resume.

This is a prime opportunity to showcase to a potential employer that you thoroughly understand CP Style and that you’re comfortable using it.

This can help the potential employer to rest assured that they wouldn’t have to train you on the fundamentals of CP Style as part of your onboarding if you were hired.

Lastly, using CP Style in your resume might also help the potential employer deduce that you have strong writing and editing skills, as well as a keen eye for detail.

CP Stylebook online version

For more information about CP Style, click here to get the Stylebook and Caps and Spelling. I’d also recommend bookmarking this short overview that contains frequently-used elements of the style guide.

After reading this post, will you double-check your resume to ensure it reflects CP Style? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Image credit: Pexels.com; The Canadian Press.

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