2 Tips for Landing that Job in PR
1. Treat your LinkedIn as your Resume!
Treat all your social media accounts as your (digital) resume! However, pay special attention to your LinkedIn social media. If you don’t currently have a LinkedIn, you needed to have one yesterday. I’ll be honest with ya’ll. I just created my LinkedIn profile a couple of days ago so that I could write this blog and sleep peacefully at night without feeling guilty of blogging on “false” information.
Gone are the days of printing out hardcopies of your resume. Consider your LinkedIn profile your way of saving resume paper and “going green.” Digital resumes are the new “thing” , but specifically LinkedIn resumes. Your LinkedIn profile not only serves as your resume, but also is your 30 second elevator pitch to your dream employer.
Therefore, your LinkedIn profile needs to appear professional and polished. Make sure you have a professional profile picture, clean cover/background picture and have completely filled out the exhaustive list of “about me” sections. And yes, this includes filling out word for word, detail for detail all of your previous employment history and experiences. All the bells and whistles need to be checked off. A LinkedIn “resume” is an underutilized but highly valuable tool to have. Many employers today are hiring potential employees based off of 30 second once-over’s of future potential candidate’s LinkedIn profiles. The day I created my LinkedIn profile, I had two employers reach out to me asking for job interviews. LinkedIn works, use it to your advantage! Best of all, as a job seeker, a majority of the materials and resources you need to access on LinkedIn are free!
This brings me to my next point, make as many “friends” on LinkedIn as possible! It’s less about making “friends” with those who you may know on a personal level, and more about making friends with as many people as you can. This will serve you well when it comes time to look for a job. You never know when someone you’ve connected and “friended” knows of someone who’s hiring and can serve as your “connection” to getting your foot in the door for that dream job!
2. Get Current and Get Connected!
Do you know what’s what, what’s popular (hot), trending and in-style? If your answer is “no,” you need to turn that into a “yes, most definitely!” Monitoring the air that PR breathes is the second most important thing a PR professional does. As a result, you need to know what’s going on around you at all times. General knowledge of current events is essential to landing that PR dream job of yours. Consider keeping up on all relevant news (nationally and internationally), trends and styles as part of the territory that comes with this job. Being in the know about current events will give you a competitive edge in all aspects of your career, but especially when it comes time for job searching. There are a number of ways that you can inform yourself regarding the news (watching TV, radio, subscriptions to online magazines and newspapers).
If you have just begun to search for a job, you may feel overwhelmed. I know when I started looking for my first job, I had no idea what I was doing. I had no idea who to turn to nor what resources I had available at my disposal for general help. If you’re new to the PR world, and have just dipped your pinky toe into the water, here are two PR online resources I highly recommend you become familiar with!
First and foremost, sign up for PR online magazines https://www.prdaily.com/ and https://www.prweek.com/us/news. These websites cover everything PR related. Topics include everything trending in the PR social sphere to articles, writing and editing to PR crisis navigation tactics and methods, advertising and marketing strategies, media relations and everything in between!
Start putting yourself out there, if you haven’t already! Start attending any and all PR related training and supplemental PR enrichment courses and programs. Start attending those highly encouraged company-sponsored trainings (yes, the ones our bosses inform us about and we all simultaneously groan and moan)! Find PR brand-related events, summits and conferences and free online webinars to participate in, and of course, connect with fellow PR professionals while you’re at it! Of course, the above in-person events I mentioned are fantastic, provided you are comfortable enough and live in an area that has begun networking the “old fashioned” way. I would also suggest taking an interest in and learning general supplemental skills that could help you out when the occasion calls for it. For example, learning and familiarizing yourself with the basics of web design, content creation and management, content writing and editing, photography, etc. Now that most of our lives have gone digital, there will be more occasions where you’ll find yourself wishing you had some of these skills. For example, having some basic knowledge and skills in the realm of digital advertising and marketing campaigns, social media calendars and posts, etc. will serve you well in any field, but especially the PR field. Having these skills in your repertoire will only make you more appealing to employers since not too many people can call themselves an honest to goodness “jack of all trades!”