First of all, we would like to say a big Tonic well done to anyone who has just graduated from University! The last few months have probably been a bit of a blur as you packed up your life as a student and embarked on your first steps into the world of work. However, the biggest task is still ahead – getting your first step on the career ladder.
If you’re thinking of working in PR we should warn you, competition is fierce, and it can be daunting to know where to start. Therefore we’ve devised our top tips for how to put yourself in the best possible position when it comes to getting your foot in the door as a PR professional.
- Get some relevant work experience on your CV
You may have a first class honours degree from one of the best universities in the country, but on a PR agency planet, experience rules. Sure, having a great degree in a relevant subject is a good starting point, but if you don’t have any experience within the industry you’ll be falling behind lots of other candidates.
You may be a little averse to working for free now you’re a graduate, but if it means you’re getting some great experience it’ll be worth its weight in gold.
- Get together a portfolio
Once you’ve gained some experience, make sure you hold on to any examples of work you may have done. Having a portfolio to take to an interview is a great way of showcasing your skills. Make sure you also keep track of published work so you can show a potential employer your skills in practice and not just on paper. It will prove you have previous experience, and offers something extra to set you apart from the crowd.
- Do your research
No two PR companies are the same and each will have their own niche. You’ll probably be applying to several different companies at once, but taking your time to research them all individually will pay off.
Always find out the name of who you want your email to reach instead of using To Whom It May Concern or Dear Sir/Madam. It’ll demonstrate you’ve got some initiative and didn’t just send a generic email.
- Clean up your social media accounts
Public relations is all about communicating, and social media plays an important part . Don’t be naïve and think that employers won’t look you up on social media when you apply for a job. It’ll probably be one of the first things they look at once they’ve read your email, so make sure it’ll give a good first impression. Know which posts you’re linked to are publicly accessible, and if in doubt keep your social media channels professional, without sacrificing your personality.
- Be persistent
Don’t just send one email and expect a reply. Obviously there is a fine line between being a pain and being persistent, but if you receive no response, don’t feel slighted, just try again in a few months if you’re still interested. It’s important to keep your name out there -you never know when a company might be looking to recruit or offer some work experience.