As we have discussed many, many, many times, applying for your first job is one of the most stressful times of your life. And if you’ve heard crickets from your first few job posting responses, it can be pretty discouraging. You may be at the point where you are just applying to anything and everything – your resume must stick somewhere!
Don’t give up hope. The worst thing you can do for your job search is to not pay attention to detail, become careless, and make mistakes. You may copy/paste a cover letter or resume to the wrong job (that really would have been the right job for you!) and an HR rep completely overlooks your entry. You may also be applying to the WRONG JOB. Period! How scary would that be? Truth is, many of us do it.
Some think “entry level,” especially in PR or business, is an open invitation to those with all experience levels. Thanks to the free-labor-we-now-call-the-internship, this is not entirely true. Be sure your job experience really matches what the PR person is looking for:
ENTRY LEVEL PR REQUIREMENTS (Seen in titles such as “Junior Account Executive,” “Assistant Account Executive,” “Account Coordinator”)
At least one PR internship kept for one year, or multiple PR internships totaling at least one year PR experience. “PR experience” includes:
- Public relations writing, pitches
- Navigating Cision
- Accustomed to media monitoring and reporting
- Building media lists
- Administration duties (deliveries, phone calls, meeting agendas, etc.)
Be honest. The above may sound easy to learn, and it can be, but you must have a handle on the above to be considered for an entry level PR position. If you have never done any of the above for a supervisor or a client, what you are most likely looking for is an internship. After graduation, taking an internship may feel like a step back. Not the case at all! A paid internship is a great way to get your feet wet in the business and really master the basics. And in all honesty, your hourly wage as an intern usually isn’t THAT much lower than a starting salary as an entry level PR person.
YOU SHOULD APPLY FOR A PR INTERNSHIP, NOT AN ENTRY LEVEL POSITION, IN THE FOLLOWING CASES
- You have had internships before, but none of them were in a public relations firm or in the public relations department
- You have never had an internship before
- You are still in college, no matter your major
- You have just recently graduated, and are looking for your first career job
- You have recently switched careers from a completely different field
- You have extensive social media/marketing/advertising/traditional media experience, but are looking to get into public relations specifically
If you have any questions or special cases, ask us!