For many, after they graduate, the anxiety of the job search can overshadow the outstanding accomplishment of earning that degree in the first place. For those of you like me who came out of college with basically no experience or connections in a new city, I promise there is hope.
As a recent college grad, there are several ways to give yourself an advantage in the job search. If you’ve had the chance to dip your toe into the industry through an internship role, then you’re in luck! The strategies you need to succeed are very similar to what you’re used to doing for your clients: stay current, get social, and get out there and find your passion. But don’t worry if you haven’t had an internship yet – neither did I before moving out to Chicago!
Above all, it takes determination, but here are some tips to help you land your first PR gig:
Get Up To Date
As PR professionals, we are news junkies – by trade and usually in life. When searching for a job, make it a habit of keeping up with current trends. Some of the most common questions I came across in job interviews were about my thoughts on these trends and how I would insert a client into that trend.
Don’t forget to read industry resources like PR Daily and PR News, which cover a variety of topics in PR, like social media, content, media relations, and messaging.
It’s time to start thinking of yourself as a brand: your style, your personality, your skills, your knowledge. The best and easiest place to do this is on social media. Take the time to make sure your LinkedIn and other professional profiles are up to date, feature a clean photo, and showcases your skills. This becomes one of your best tools for the job search.
One of the best ways to show personality and interests is by sharing content on LinkedIn that showcase your opinions and values. Think of this profile as your own virtual elevator pitch.
Find Your Passion and Get Out There
Public relations is an all-encompassing term that refers to the building and maintaining of a brand or public image – the best part about the industry is that you can find a niche that piques your interest, and build your career around it.
It’s okay if you’re not sure what you want to do, that’s why it’s important to try things out. Not all PR professionals are built the same – some thrive working with global consumer brands, others may enjoy working with a scrappy software startup.
What’s most important is having an open mind and actually taking the time to write a killer cover letter or reach out to your network. Take the time and research what’s right for you. You’ll be surprised how many results come from simply taking the next step and putting yourself out there.