Graduating from college and entering “the real world” is just as exciting as it is daunting. For many, the most anxiety-producing part is the job hunt. For those who want to pursue a career at a public relations agency, you will want to get experience in the field as soon as you can after graduation. Breaking into the job market can be hard, especially if you are a recent graduate. But have no fear! If you follow these steps you will go from broke & hungry to employed & grinding in no time!
Build Your Portfolio
Every public relations agency that you will be applying to and interviewing at will want to see some kind of writing sample. Building a portfolio that showcases your strong and versatile writing skills will set you apart from other candidates. This portfolio can include academic work like essays, projects, or big reports as well as sample pitches and press releases and even some personal writing. Just make sure that your work is proofread-to-death, because no one likes a punctuation-challenged PR professional.
Use Past Experience as a Springboard
One good connection is worth 100 job applications. Reach out to past supervisors and companies that you have interned or worked at to see if they would be willing to connect you with people in the biz. A lot of people in public relations and related fields, such as communications or marketing, are familiar with each other. You would be surprised at how willing past bosses are to help you out, so make those connections wherever you can and make them count!
Familiarize Yourself With the Industry
Even though you just graduated, the learning never ends! Make sure to do your homework before applying to work in the field of public relations. Read up on popular PR tactics and lingo. Familiarize yourself with the platforms that PR professionals use every day. Having even a rudimentary understanding of basic PR tactics will put you ahead of the curve in terms of competing with other applicants. We suggest researching Cision, HARO, editorial calendars, media lists, and pitch/press release writing. Understanding the tools that PR pros use every day will give you a head start in the industry and help you feel more prepared for when you do land that job!
Want to learn more about how to start a career at a public relations agency? Check out our blog for more insider tips and tricks!