How do I get a job? Not another job, a next job, a good job or a dream job – just any job.
There are too few jobs for too many people. Entry-level openings are receiving interest from over qualified professionals, so what is a college soon-to-be graduate to do?
My colleague Jessica covered how students can better market themselves. I am going to follow her with my own advice. Like Jessica, I also handle the vetting process for internships with Maven. Maven utilizes Drexel University’s co-op program, but we also accept resumes, interviews and interns from the other universities. I receive and sort through hundreds of emails, cover letters and resumes, and conduct most of the interviews, with other Mavens stepping in of course. I also attend a number of career events held by area schools and associations. You can say I am well-versed in the subject.
What I have learned is that people tend to give the same advice over and over again to student. What students crave are practical steps and knowledge they can do now. I have gathered five pieces of real advice for PR student and provided a list of resources to actually follow it. I like to call it an official ‘PR handbook’ but think of it as ‘CliffNotes.’
I realize the following resources are geared for those looking within the Philadelphia region, but wherever you are, you can do the same for students in your area. Believe me, they will appreciate it. If you are a student, your future looks bright because you have already found this entry and thus are looking in all the right place! I hope you enjoy and good luck on your exams, job hunt, interviews, etc:
The PR Student Handbook:
5 Pieces of Advice & the Resources to Follow It
ADVICE #1: “RESEARCH AREA FIRMS”
Public Relations Society of America Philadelphia – Directory of Firms: If interested in working at an agency, take an interest in these agencies by visiting their websites, signing up for their email updates/newsletters and stalking their social media profiles. Also be SURE to sign Up for PRSA Philadelphia’s Job Bank, a weekly email (free for members & $45/year for nonmembers) of completely NEW communications jobs. Every week new regional industry jobs land in your inbox – it can’t get easier than that! The Job Bank subscription is a free benefit to all PRSA Philadelphia members. For non-members, it is an annual fee of $45 for 52 issues of the publication.
Philadelphia Public Relations Associations – Directory: This is a directory of their members and their contact information – this is job searching gold. PPRA also offers Job Postings which is another great place to look for local, public relations jobs.
Another method is to scope out the Philadelphia Business Journal‘s annual Book of Lists for PBJ_BOL_PRFirms (80+ lists like interactive marketing, advertising and graphic design firms). While the information within the lists has recently become more reliable (read this entry about it on the PBJ‘s blog), the information is not verified and some agencies do not like disclosing such intimate details, us included (er – excluded?). Maven does not submit for the list because agencies ranked only by annual fee income – but we LOVE seeing the list when published!
ADVICE #2: “GET TO KNOW THE LOCAL MEDIA”
PPRA’s website offers a list of Philadelphia media outlets within their other area resources: Most local resources, not all but enough to get started. Start by frequently reading the big ones (Philadelphia Inquirer & Philadelphia Business Journal) so you get to know the reporters and their beat (subjects/topics they cover). It will pay off in the future. Do the same with national outlets.
ADVICE #3: “LEARN ABOUT THE INDUSTRY”
Read case studies and current news about public relations. Also subscribe to the newsletters of industry publications and experts. Here are my absolutely-all-time-favorites websites to keep tabs on new PR trends, tips, analytics and tools of the trade. The following all are completely free too.
ADVICE #4: “JOIN AN INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION TO NETWORK”
List of Associations in Philadelphia Region (not all but most)
ADVICE #5: “LOOK FOR JOBS ON SOCIAL MEDIA”
@media_pros – Jobs for media professionals
@PRSAjobcenter – Jobs in public relations, communications and marketing
@socialmediajob – Jobs in social media
@JobAngels – Helping the unemployed find jobs
@findinternships – Internships and entry level jobs for college students
@freelance_jobs – Freelance jobs
@heatherhuhman – Entry level jobs and internships
@Project4Hire – Freelance and temporary jobs
Help A Reporter Out (HARO): Sign up as a ‘source.’ This is a free email service that 3x a day will send you a long list of journalists looking for people, places and companies for their stories. It is a great way to get a feel for what is trending right now and what journalists want.
PR Week: Whitepapers (some content is subscription-based, but whitepapers, blogs, etc is free)