Lately we’ve been receiving a lot of mail from recent graduates who are having an awful time trying to find a job in the city. A and I have both been there. Job hunting, whether you are currently in an internship and looking to go full-time or a recent grad desperate for work after school, is a maddening, tear-filled process.
If it feels as though you have gone out to hundreds of PR firms only to get negative responses, you may be ready to submit your application at Starbucks and be done with it. Don’t be down – it’s just time to really listen to the feedback you’re getting on your resume, and turn it into positive changes in your job search process. Here are a few common frustrating responses you may be receiving while you submit your resume:
“We’re looking for someone with a bit more/different experience” – You may think that your internship as an assistant at MTV or a promotions coordinator at an event planning firm is enough to get your foot in the door at a PR firm, but for an entry level position you’re going to need to beef it up. While these jobs show you have the drive, entry level PR girls need to have a set of skills learned in public relations specific internships so they can hit the ground running with team projects. If you haven’t had any PR-firm-specific experience yet, you may need to accept the fact that you should go for a long-term internship with a PR company first, even if you’ve already graduated or had some experience. But it isn’t beneath you! Many firms will pay comparable hourly rates to entry level salaries for graduated interns.
“Sorry, we’re not hiring just now” - If you have a dream company or firm, this is such a heartbreaker. Ask the HR representative if there is a way you can come in just for an informational interview to learn more about the company. It is ALWAYS good to put a face to your resume, even if they cannot offer you a position just yet. Even if you do have to move on, the team will remember you for when they are hiring down the road, and may be able to make you the perfect job offer after you’ve had a bit more experience elsewhere.
Just plain SILENCE – It is normal to receive no response from your resume after you send it out for the first time. Do your due diligence and follow up by email after 5-7 days. Someone should be able to give you a response and some feedback. If you’ve sent out more than 10 resumes and have heard NOTHING back on any of them, even after follow up, it’s time for some self reflection. Look at your resume, cover letter and introductory email. Are there typos? Is your cover letter too long? Are you too formal/informal? Does it read like you copy and pasted this note for each firm? If the answer is yes, go back and make changes before you go to any more companies with your information.
What other frustrating responses have you seen in the job search? Tell us on Twitter at @nycprgirls.