I’ve spent the past 2 weeks interviewing candidates for 2 intern positions with my company Starfish PR. It’s been awesome because I’ve meet so many great people, it’s going to be tough to choose. One question that has come up with several of the young PR hopefuls is “what else can I do to help my chances of getting a job?” I was able to rattle off a few things that, as a hiring manager, I felt would make add credibility and give them a leg up on their competition. So here are my suggestions, but I hope other PR pros will add to this list so that we can arm young PR pros with the tools they need.
- Start doing PR now – get in the conversation and network with people who work within your desired field.
- Join Twitter – select a professional handle or one that is creative but conveys your area of expertise and be sure your profile shows your real name. Also, create a short profile that honestly reflects why you’re there. For example: Media newbie in Chicago looking to learn from PR pros and share my creative ideas. Oh and follow me on Twitter.
- Join online networks/groups – Already on Facebook? Join some groups where you can network with likeminded people. Always share ideas and links if you can, it’s about engaging in conversations, not one-sided conversations. Better yet, start your own group and show off your leadership skills!
- Blog – Blogging is the best way to establish your own voice. Write about what excites you, challenges you or drives you. Use this forum to show people why you’re interesting and always try to add value for your readers.
- Google Alerts – create a google alert for your name, your desired field/industry, and companies you’d like to work with. Use any keywords (like job openings) that make sense.
- Join HARO – Helpareporter.com is the greatest tool for media professionals and it’s free. Thanks to the hilarious and brilliant Peter Shankman, you receive 3 emails a day filled with media quries. Even in you don’t have a job yet, monitor these queries and see if you can help friends/colleagues get media placement. Great practice and you’ll learn a lot about pitching (the right way) on HARO.
- Read other blogs – your google alerts and HARO will help you find bloggers you enjoy reeading & subscribe to their blogs and share what you learn via twitter, facebook and your blog. Also, check their favorite links for other great blogs.
- Sign up for online newsletters – when you find bloggers you like, chances are they have newsletters too so sign up.
- Read great books – my favorite is New Rules of Marketing & PR (required reading in my office) by David Meerman Scott.
- Find a mentor – they are all around and we all love helping others. So when you find someone you admire, reach out to them.
- Volunteer your service – since you’re free, why not offer to help a non-profit or local organization with their public relations? Great practice and you’ll be making a difference.
I look forward to comments and more great ideas!