From the Inbox: Should I Switch Internships?

I have been a follower of your blog for a year now and I love it. Your blog truly mirrors what the PR profession is all about, so thank you for that!

I am currently in a dilemma, and I need your expertise. I am a junior in college studying public relations. Since the rush for internships is off to a start, I applied like crazy and landed two awesome internships. The problem is, I can only choose one since I am a full time student. I wish I had the time to juggle both but I don’t. And now I am struggling to decide which internship to take.

The first internship I landed is strictly focused on Fashion PR and the second internship is a full service PR firm that caters to Lifestyle, Entertainment, Fashion, and Beauty clients. My interests in the PR field are not just in Fashion, but I already accepted the internship with the Fashion PR boutique.

Which should I choose? My heart is telling me to go with the second internship, but I do not want to be impolite and tell the Showroom Coordinator from the first internship that I can no longer take the position. I am scheduled to start next week.  What should I do?

Thank you,
A Torn PR Girl

Should I Switch Internships

First off, congratulations! This is not a bad problem to have. It’s like The Bachelorette when she’s down to two guy that want to marry her and she doesn’t know which to choose.  Tough life.

Since you’ve already committed to starting the fashion internship a week from now, I would say it’s too late to switch. You don’t want to burn any bridges, especially since you’re just starting out.

The good news is that you pretty much have a second internship lined up for the fall or spring. Email the other firm and let them know that while you already accepted an internship at a different agency, you would be interested in working at theirs in the fall or spring. Stay in touch with them over the summer so that they don’t forget about you. By the time you graduate, you will have two completely different experiences under your belt so you’ll know which is the better fit for you once the time comes to look for a full-time job.

If you were coming to me with this question as someone who already graudated, I would say to take the second opporunity. You’re still only a junior, so you have plenty of time to feel out the industry.

Hope this helps – and best of luck.

Xo, A

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The Top 5 Resume Mistakes You’re Making

As summer approaches, many college students and grads are scrambling for an internship or job. We’ve seen hundreds of resumes, either submitted to us or the agencies we work with. Here are the top five worst resume mistakes, and some of my biggest pet peeves.

Top 5 Resume Writing Mistakes

  • No social media handles. We work in PR – yes, I want to find you and stalk you on Twitter, LinkedIn and maybe even Instagram. Make it easy for me by including your channels.
  • Spelling mistakes. Yes, this still happens. I don’t know how but it does.
  • Formatting issues. Limit your resume to one page and make sure spacing is aligned. It should be very pleasing to the eye and simple to browse. My favorite resumes came as a PDF and have some creative, photoshop elements.
  • Too many words. If you find yourself cramming everything into one page with a super small font, start cutting words. Anything that’s too lengthy won’t be read. Highlight what’s most important including any figures and results.
  • Objective statement. They’re usually better left off. So many are super broad and irrelevant. Put your objective in the cover email instead.

What are some other resume mistakes you see?

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Thought Catalog’s 13 Reasons PR Girls Are Going To Take Over The World

Last week, Chelsea Fagan of Thought Catalog wrote an article on the 13 reasons PR girls are going to take over the world. Since it’s spot on and several people brought it my attention, I thought I should repost just in case you didn’t get a chance to read it.

PR Girls Take Over the World

As someone who is lucky enough to work in an industry heavily populated with PR girls, I have recently come to the conclusion that they are, in fact, the most perfect creatures that God has blessed us with. Between their endless energy, powerful networking, and untouchable leather iPad cover game, they are poised to take over the world. Here, 13 reasons why:

1. They never stop working. You will receive an email from them at 6:30 AM, presumably sent from the gym. You will receive an email from them at 11:45 PM, likely sent from their table at a fusion restaurant. Both emails will be perfectly-written, and full of whatever pertinent information you didn’t even realize you needed. PR girls never sleep, only close their eyes for a few minutes at a time and then get back to work.

2. They look good while doing it. One way to spot a PR girl is to check for the three S’s — statement necklace, strong purse, shiny hair. They pull off the chunky J.Crew-style necklaces like no one else in this world. They are always carrying the purse you have been coveting, or something just like it (often, it’s this one). And their hair reflects every nuance of the sun’s light in its Garnier Fructis commercial shine. Always.

3. They’ll network you without you even realizing it. You think you are having a normal conversation, but they are evaluating and planting ideas and harvesting information. And it’s not insincere — they are just operating on a totally different wavelength from you.

4. When they get a goal in mind, nothing can stop them. Anyone who has been on the receiving end of a dedicated PR girl’s efforts to make something happen — anyone who has suffered that barrage of perfectly-worded emails — knows that nothing can stop them. They will walk across hot coals to get their press release in the right hands, and somehow not mess up their pedicure.

5. They rise with the sun and engage in power breakfasts. I once attended a breakfast panel at a hotel where I was unexpectedly seated at a table with almost all PR girls. Aside from feeling like being in high school and somehow getting to sit with the popular, pretty girls at lunch, it was unbelievable to see their level of readiness. They were there twenty minutes before everyone, awake and alive, blowout on point, with questions to ask and people to talk to. I have never experienced anything more intimidating. While I was busy shoveling free carbonara breakfast pizza (!!) and french toast onto my plate, they were not touching their frittatas because there was work to be done. And I have nothing but respect.

6. They have already fused with technology. While we’re trying to experiment with Google Glass or Oculus Rift or whatever, PR girls have already been synthesized with their devices since the debut of the Palm Pilot. Their iPad is an extension of their soul, and it will never leave their side.

7. They know everyone. Name any person in your industry. They know them, and have had at least one “very productive” phone call with them. Yep.

8. They are always in peak physical condition. They have a yoga class, and a Soul Cycle class, and an entire drawer full of Lululemon. They eat salads and drink juices and take supplements. They must be in prime email-sending mode at all time, and that demands physical fitness.

9. When it comes time to go out, they go just as hard. Perhaps the only spectacle more intimidating than a group of PR girls at an important industry function is the same group, three hours later, at a club. They embody the “work hard, play hard” ideal, and pursue “drinking lychee martinis and grinding to Beyonce” with the same vigor they pursue “following up on important emails.” Never get in their way on the dance floor.

10. They know their environment like no one else. There is no better person to ask for a restaurant or bar recommendation, because they know their cities like the back of their manicured hands. They have the good shopping streets, the best happy hours, and the latest restaurants all stored in their mental rolodex of socializing.

11. They form power couples. When they choose to date, their boyfriends often work in finance or at least, on some more vague level, “business,” and the two of them form the kind of couple that makes you feel like you’ll always be an overgrown child spilling juice on yourself.

12. They travel in packs. They form migrating goose-like formations as they walk importantly down city streets. You cannot break them up, and you cannot come between them — in any sense.

13. They are always judging. Even if they’re much too diplomatic to actually say anything, they always have an opinion. They are always observing, making judgments, and deciding their next move. They can be the coolest girls in the world to hang out with, but you will always want to be just a little more on your game in their presence, because they will be judging. With love, of course. TC mark

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8 Tips for a Stress-Free Work Trip

I just got back from one of my longest business trips ever. Five days, four nights in Dallas, Texas which you can probably tell from Instagram. It was my first time to Texas, but I didn’t have much free time to explore. The trip was meant to be as stress-free as possible with events planned back to back.

While it’s nearly impossible to have a stress-free work trip – it is work, not pleasure – here are a few ways to ensure the trip will be at least a little less stressful.

Stress-free work trip

  • Get work done. As much as possible before leaving for your trip. If you have to stay late in the office a few nights before, do it.
  • Book everything ahead of time. All cars, hotels, flights, rental cars, restaurant reservations, etc. Don’t leave anything to book once you reach your destination.
  • Have a detailed itinerary. Plan every hour of every day. Include all details in the itinerary including flight, hotel and car confirmations so that you don’t get lost or miss any steps.
  • Pay for what you can ahead of time. So you don’t freak out having to swipe your credit card a million times.
  • Have all contacts handy. Put everyone you may need to reach in your phone as a contact. Don’t leave it up to having to scroll through email.
  • Pack well. Something I didn’t do on this trip. Who knew it would be colder in Dallas than NYC? Make sure you look at the weather ahead of time so you know what to pack for each day. Make a list of things you need and don’t pack any valuables you don’t need.
  • Use your free time wisely. Time on the plane and in-between meetings should be used as time to catch up on emails and any client correspondence. Otherwise you’ll leave yourself even more behind.
  • Get sleep. With time differences and running around all day, you will be exhausted. Get as much rest and sleep as possible so you don’t burn out by the time you get back from your trip.

How do you ensure your work trips are less stressful?

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