Leaving university and entering the world of work after being in a bubble of assignments can be exciting but also very daunting. This can be especially frustrating if you’ve started job-hunting but don’t know where to apply or what public relations agencies are looking for when hiring, this is certainly something I felt when I graduated from university.
The most important thing to remember is that many PR professionals have been in the same position. Here are some tips on what I believe helped me get a job in public relations and hopefully make your job hunting an easier process.
RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH
One of the most important tips when applying for a job in public relations would be to do your research. Make sure that you know exactly what public relations is and what a job in the industry involves, research different agencies and look at examples of effective PR campaigns. You want to be confident in your interviews and prove to your potential new employer that you know what you’ve applied for.
Try to make the most of your work experience and hobbies. When applying for a job in public relations, it elevates your case if you’ve got experience in the industry. To gain work experience, try contacting agencies nearby and asking if you can observe/help them out for a period of time. Even if you’re observing in a public relations agency, being exposed to the environment is a great way to learn. And who knows, they might even offer you a job at the end of your placement!
Making the most of your hobbies is also a great way to impress potential employers and gain experience. Whether your hobby is knitting to jiu jitsu, why not offer to help out with their social media pages or content creation? Promoting what you’re passionate about is a great way to grab the attention of PR professionals.
READING AROUND YOUR SUBJECT
One of the worries many graduates face is when they want to pursue a career in something which is different to what they studied at university and worry if this will impact their chances of getting a job. Obviously, it’s great if you have a qualification or degree in public relations however you can still pursue a career in PR even if you didn’t study it.
For me personally, I studied journalism which I do believe has loads of benefits in my career in PR however, I still had that worry that it would be hard to get a job. Whilst I was at university, I joined groups such as the CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations) student membership so that I could get involved in PR-related discussions and learn more about the industry. I believe that this really helped to elevate my chances of getting a career in PR. LinkedIn also offer training programmes where you can get qualification in PR which would be a great way to show your interest in the career.
When applying for a job, many public relations professionals receive so many emails a day that they might not have a chance to see what you’ve emailed them. I called Rumpus so that I could get my voice heard. Even if you don’t get a definite response back, this will make you stand out compared to other candidates. You could also research and see if there are any networking events in your area for graduates, this can be a great way to meet people face-to-face and to share your interest in PR.
DON’T STOP BELIEVING
Job hunting can be very disheartening as you may face a lot of rejection. Don’t let this stop you from pursuing your dream career in PR and carry on contacting people and applying for jobs.
Make sure that you research each company that you apply for and tailor your application to match what they are asking for. Carry on learning about PR, improving your CV and reminding yourself that you are good enough!