PR is a very popular field to work in, which means that competition for jobs can be fierce. This is particularly true when you are first starting out in the industry, whether as a new graduate or someone moving into the sphere later in life. So how can you stand out from the crowd and give yourself the best chance of landing your dream career in PR? Read on to discover some top tips.
Research the field
One of the most important factors is to know as much about the role as possible and why you want to work in PR. Prospective employers will want to see that you are passionate, enthusiastic, and ready to dedicate yourself to the job. You should also research each individual agency carefully before applying for a position with them, as well as the specific job role, so that you know it’s the right fit for you. Finally, ensure that you are up to speed on all the latest industry trends.
Work on relevant skills
There are a number of skills that you will need in order to be successful in PR. These include writing, communication, and creativity. Make a list and then realistically assess your talent in each area. If you find yourself coming up short in places, make a dedicated effort to improve. This could be by taking a short online course, reading relevant books and blogs, or watching instructional videos. Working on these skills will help you to perform better and show potential employers that you are serious about your career.
In addition to working on your skills informally, you might want to consider getting official qualifications in relevant areas. This will look impressive on your resume and enable you to stand out from other applicants. You could go back to college for a degree, take a short course online, or undertake a Career Change Apprenticeship that enables you to earn a salary while you learn. If you are undecided of which qualification to take, try looking at what people already working in the industry have done and follow suit.
Networking is crucial in PR, so it is important to take the plunge and get yourself out there. This goes for both online activity and offline. Attend PR talks and events, send your resume to agencies, follow relevant influencers online, join industry organizations, and say yes to every opportunity. You never know where you might meet your next mentor or a valuable contact who can help you to land that dream job.
Immerse yourself in the media
Naturally, in order to be successful in PR, you need to have a strong understanding of the media. Make sure that you are clued up on the latest news stories, have good knowledge of current affairs, and do your best to understand why certain stories or PR stunts are successful and others fail. This will be important at interviews, but also when doing the job itself. Take any chance for training that you can, read widely about the industry, and pick up tips wherever possible. It all helps!