Last year was very demanding for almost all starting a professional career. PR was one of the most affected industries by the COVID-19 pandemic and recent communications students face a huge challenge to find PR graduate jobs.
In the past few months, I have attended many webinars organised by PRCA, CIPR, and PR Club. I also read dozens of articles to prepare for this situation. In this post, you will find a summary of the most important points I have come across. Hopefully, they will help you to secure a dream job.
As it is a very extensive topic, I decided to divide it into two parts, so stay tuned for more very soon!
Do your research
You have to know the companies you are applying to. Explore their work, who their clients are, what are their values, and who they might look for. If a cover letter is necessary, don’t start it with “Dear Sir or Madam”. In the Linkedin era, it is easy to check who is the possible addressee of your piece.
If you are not sure, you can always reach out to one of the company’s employees. Usually, they will be happy to help and you will also catch a contact for the future. I have heard a few times that poor addressing means that CV and cover letter are not even read.
Speaking about documents, make sure that they are tailored to demands from job offers or characteristics of the company (if you are applying for a position that doesn’t exist yet). Prepare them with the utmost attention to detail and make sure it’s brief, engaging, and standing out from the crowd.
It might sound obvious but no doubt it’s one of the most important factors deciding if you get a job or not. As we all know it’s tough to get a full-time job in communications right now. That’s the main reason why I write this article. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t catch any experience.
There are still opportunities to get involved. Even if you can’t get paid for it, you can volunteer. It will surely pay off in the future. Be proactive and reach out to people running PR agencies or NGOs you would like to support.
You can’t expect that all will just wait to take you onboard but if you will show your dedication, ambition, and skills, there is a possibility that you will be able to learn and catch your first experience. Here you can find my story of how I caught my first internship.
I heard it many times from people running agencies and those responsible for recruitment – be aware of what you are posting on social media. If you will be a promising candidate, they will check your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin.
We are not anonymous on the Internet. If you have ever posted something which could be perceived as offensive or unwise, just delete it. You can also set up some privacy restrictions if you don’t want to do that. But you have to remember that it may be the reason why you didn’t get the job.
Social media are also your chance! If you are running your accounts responsibly and professionally, you can be noticed and offered a job. Engage with professionals on Twitter and Linkedin, comment, start conversations, stay at the top of trends and it will be your huge advantage.
All these topics are connected and combining them will make you closer to get a PR graduate job. Running social media channels professionally will allow you to get experience in this field, as well as explore and engage companies you would like to work with.
Unfortunately, hunting PR graduate jobs is a long process. We have to prepare for many rejections and rarely a feedback about what went wrong. But we can’t give up and I’m sure our efforts will pay off sooner than later.
Next week I will write more about skills valued by employers so stay tuned!