5 Things Young PR Pros Should Know to Get a Job

PR hiring

About that? So am I … just sayin’.

ICYMI: The U.S. job market is doing a skosh better than it was years ago.

That said, there are a few jobs available in public relations. Good times, right? Are you ready to snag them? If you think you are — whether you are fresh out of college or have a couple of years in your portfolio — there may be a few things to understand before you hit *APPLY*.

Aside from your charming personality and winning smile that would make a dentist hate your guts, how can you stand out from the competition? Here are 5 ways to do just that. Get your Moleskine and enjoy.

interview1. Your Interview = Your First Pitch. If you really want a job in PR, think about it from the jump. Whether it’s an internship or a paid position, your interview is a pitch — to your prospective employer. Not fair? Sure, there is competition and sure, there are people more qualified than you wanting the same thing … but what in the heck do you think pitching is? An exclusive club? It’s the same thing, so prepare accordingly. Research the source. Know your contact. Sell to your strengths. Embrace the talking points. Land the ink. Sound familiar?

f-Bad-Grammar-66812. Brush Up on Writing. Hell, I do this for a living and I suck at it weekly (ask this guy). Here’s the inside tip: all writers can suck at times. It’s okay, but don’t miss the small things. Spell your school name correctly on your resume. Don’t forget AP-style in your portfolio either. Writing — good, clean, professional writing — is the hallmark of any good PR agency. And if you are going to be a part of one, you need to write like one too.

Follow-Up3. Another “Interview = Pitch” Tip: Follow-up. Flacks should master how to follow-up without being a pest, but that’s for another listicle. When you are pitching, you must follow-up with the journalist because he or she gets busy. NOTE: Don’t ever ask “Did you get my release?” Just say that you want to follow-up on interest. And you have a prospective employer that you would like interested in you as well. They’re waiting.

people-skills4. It’s not Because You’re a People Person. Ho-Lee-Crap! Please do not let this phrase leak out of your lips when you answer the question, “Why did you get into PR?” Yes, it is a help to be slightly extroverted but that’s not everything. Do you enjoy sharing stories? Do you enjoying the branding process? Do you like helping small business owners realize potential? Great. Say that and leave the people skills on display during the interview.

oops5. Know What You are Getting Into. This is where you get to show the interviewer that his or her place of employment wouldn’t be “just another gig” or a stepping stone to something else. In other words, don’t wait for “do you have any questions for me” and come with it. Ask about the client you could represent. Ask about the position you could have. Ask about what you could do to make an impression. Just ask something.