While A and I have written a few times now on how you can work what little experience you may have to land an interview or internship with your dream PR firm. But what if you have no experience at all? What if you’re in your second year at college, and realized it’s probably a good idea to start doing something other than sleeping in on Thursdays? Then congratulations! You’ve already made the first step into your first PR internship.
While interviewing or submitting your resume for the very first time is intimidating, there are a few steps you can take to be sure you’re doing all you can do to get your foot in the door (especially when you don’t have any experience to speak for you):
Use your contacts – If you’re still in college, use your alumni network or student services to get connected to a recent graduate in the industry. Even if you have to go through your uncle’s cousin, getting a connection can help not only score an interview, but throw you into the world of PR networking
Cross your t’s and dot your i’s – When your resume is a little lacking, it is ESPECIALLY important to be sure you are approaching the internship coordinator with the most respect and professionalism as possible. Do NOT address any emails as “Dear Internship Coordinator;” Do NOT let any emails with spelling mistakes go through; Do NOT copy and paste cover letters/emails/inquiries from other job hunts; Do NOT let your less-than-mature Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr affect the image you give to a potential company. Cover all your bases!
Assign yourself some PR girl homework – Do your research and look up companies you have an interest in, so you can speak to any special school projects or extracurricular activities that can reinforce you are right for the job. Be sure your cover letter or email to the company contact calls out these interests right up front. Stand out, and be yourself! That’s how you get the interview without experience more than anything else