You’ve decided it’s time to move to New York City and start your career. You’ve crossed your t’s and dotted every i on your resume. You’ve shown it to your best friend, your dad, and your professor before submitting to top PR firms in New York. You’ve read every book, blog and New York Times article on getting a job after graduation. You’re confident your skills can rise you above the pack and land that dream job in the big city. Just a matter of time before you get that call…
Then you hear crickets.
It takes an incredible amount of patience when applying for PR jobs in New York (or any city) while still finishing up your bachelor’s or graduate degree. Your peers in finance, research or healthcare may be able to secure offer packages weeks ahead of graduation, but public relations runs on a different sort of schedule. Companies hire on a need-only basis, meaning they need to have a great deal of new business or additional funding from their clients before they are able to look for new employees. This is why it is best to have your resume at the top of the recruiter’s or HR rep’s stack for when that moment finally comes. In our experience, here are the top three ways to give yourself a boost while looking for a job outside of your area.
1. Express in your cover letter that you are easily accessible – Whether you’re in Michigan looking to move to California or Poughkeepsie to New York, be sure to mention in your cover letter that you are available for a phone interview at the contact’s earliest convenience, and you are willing to travel for an interview if necessary (if you are out-of-state or out of the country, give a time frame of when you’ll be available in person). You MUST make yourself available for an in-person interview if you are looking to land a job. Out-of-state addresses do not scare potential employers as much as inaccessibility.
2. Make every after-school event an opportunity for new connections – We’re not just talking about job fairs, but social media seminars, speaking engagements with influencers, and alumni mixers. Be sure to attend any kind of event that may slightly pertain to the field you want to enter and get talking. Even if you don’t get a chance to speak to the host of the event, you may be sitting next to the girl who just passed up an internship with Michael Kors because she couldn’t go without the vacation to Italy with her boyfriend. You never know. And always send a thank you note to the host or special guest with your contact information.* Very few people actually take time to thank the host, and it is always appreciated.
*NOTE: Do not send unsolicited resumes. You will come off as pushy and desperate. Not agreeable qualities in public relations.
3. For the love of Jimmy Choo, follow up – We saw an awesome tweet the other day from @KristinMiller: ‘œDear Interns I’ve interviewed lately: If you haven’t followed up with me, why should I think you would follow up with a reporter?” You eventually want to be pitching beauty products and consumer goods, so why can’t you pitch yourself? After submitting your resume, send a check-in email or give a call to see if the company has filled the position or is currently hiring at your level. If you’ve recently interviewed with a company, always send a note thanking your interviewer the day of your meeting. If you don’t hear back after several days, do not be afraid to call or email again. Express your true interest in the position, and your interviewer will be anything but annoyed.
Through it all, remember to be yourself. This is more of a search for the best job to fit YOU than finding a company where you might be a fit. Trust your gut, do your best, and you will be rewarded.
images via evtv1.com