March 14, 2016
Public relations is a booming industry. In fact, Yahoo! reports that employment for public relations specialists is projected to grow by 23% between 2010 and 2020. But, even though the time is right for young professionals hoping to break into the industry, there are still a few crucial steps to keep in mind before and throughout the interview process. Here are a few of my tips for aspiring PR pros:
- Participate in internships while you are still in college. I can’t stress this enough. It is great that you received an A+ on your Marketing Campaigns 101 test, but the bottom line is experience trumps a high GPA. Public relations agencies want to employ a budding professional who has more to offer than college essays. This leads into my next suggestion.
- At your internship, take on as much as you can. Experience, as I’ve stated, is key. Try your hand at as many skills as possible: press release-writing; pitching; blogging; event coordination; social media; advertising – whatever is available, try to learn about it. The more you can offer in your next role, the better!
- Whatever you do, DON’T misspell something on your resume. Trust me, just don’t do it. Public relations involves writing all day, every day. Professionalism is a top priority, so if employers see a mistake on your resume, it’s almost a guarantee that it will be shuffled to the bottom of the pile.
- Be ready to show examples of your work. Those internships I mentioned? Save the press release you wrote, social media campaign you launched or anything you had a hand in. Compile it into either an online, or paper, portfolio and share it with the employer. As they ask you questions, it will be easy to reference an example of a time you accomplished a similar task.
- Express that you are willing to accept criticism in order to improve. This is critical because young public relations professionals still have a lot to learn, and will take a lot of criticism. Not because their work is bad, necessarily, but because the field is constantly evolving and PR pros need to evolve with it. Employers will appreciate that you truly value their expertise (because they have a lot more of it than you do) and want to develop your skills.
- Follow up! You want the job, right? Show employers that you are willing to go the extra mile to grab their attention. Leverage social media, email and good ol’ fashioned snail mail to express your interest in the position. These are all great ways to stand out and show you are a candidate that is not to be ignored (this also shows you will also be tenacious with reporters too).
Above all else, be enthusiastic! Public relations is an incredibly rewarding career, so if it is something you want, give it your all. Interested in working with us? Aria is currently seeking candidates for a Senior Account Executive position. If you have 3-5 years of PR experience and an interest in healthcare, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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