Advice for students planning a public relations career
The school year is in full swing, and public relations students are likely juggling multiple class projects and thinking about the thing that’s on most college students’ minds: getting a job after college. Here are six tips to help students secure a great job in PR.
- Get experience.
Get as much real-world experience via internships and employment opportunities as possible. Maybe you’re only a sophomore and don’t need an internship until you’re a senior. Try to get one anyway. And then get another one. And maybe another. A recent graduate with three internship experiences will be more likely to get an interview than a recent graduate with only one.
Network for the job you want by seeking mentors from your dream employers. Being involved with your PRSSA chapter provides many built-in opportunities to meet mentors who are more willing to share their time and advice.
- Be social media smart.
PR students should understand social media inside and out. It’s important to demonstrate how to use social tools to effectively communicate. Concurrently, it’s important to be smart about what you share on social media. Think about what future employers might see on your profiles and post accordingly.
- Understand media.
When you start working in PR, your employer may request that you get media to cover your news or events. If you know how a TV station works or how an editor assigns stories, you’ll be well-positioned to hit the ground running. To learn about this side of the industry, consider an internship with a media outlet.
- Be a sponge.
PR is a multifaceted career. It will be helpful to understand web tools, such as email and web-editing platforms. Challenge yourself to learn new tools and take new classes. Classes in marketing, psychology and art will also help you improve as a PR professional.
- Avoid debt.
All students should be cognizant of how debt will affect them after graduation. Avoid taking on debt as a student and keep an eye out for scholarships to help offset the costs of getting an education.
Want to get started on next steps to advancing your future public relations career? Check out how to apply for internships and PR jobs at Axia Public Relations. We also offer PR scholarships for upperclass PR students.
Julie Miller is a marketing and communications professional with more than seven years of experience in the industry. She specializes in technology, digital marketing and communications. Julie has worked for Axia Public Relations since November 2015. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.
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