Written by Kimberley Startup | October 15, 2013
PR recruitment is a highly competitive process. With hundreds of candidates applying for so few jobs, how can you get your foot in the door of such a popular industry?
The first thing is to decide if you’re really keen. PR is an exciting, challenging and rewarding industry to get involved in but it takes passion, commitment and a lot of flexibility.
Many people assume that working in PR means attending an endless string of glamorous parties where you schmooze with celebrities and journalists.
In reality, it involves long hours, working from early in the morning to late at night and popping into the office on weekends.
That’s a good start. However, PR recruitment processes can be tough and getting your CV looked at can be a challenge in itself. So how can you set yourself apart from the competition?
Webrecruit have put together a list of their top tips to help you realise your ambition and snap up that all-important first PR job.
1. Placements and internships
Write to companies and PR agencies that you’d love to work for and inquire about possible placements or internships. Even if it’s just for a week or two, real hands-on experience makes all the difference.
When applying for internships or a work placement, try to make your application stand out from the crowd. Some larger companies get bombarded with hundreds of emails each week, so try and be a bit creative. Whether it’s creating an infographic or writing a press release about yourself, the employer will be more likely to remember you.
2. Put in the hours
If you’ve managed to get a placement with a PR company, maximise the impression you make by being the first in the office and the last to leave. With PR working hours being so unpredictable, this’ll show that you’re committed and completely flexible.
Enthusiasm also works wonders; it’s infectious. Offer to make the tea with a huge smile on your face and you’ll soon be given more meaty tasks before you can say “milk and two sugars”.
3. Practice what you preach
Keep a good clean online profile yourself; no-one wants to hire a walking PR disaster to represent their company. Take a few tips from here and show that you can manage your own profile before you can manage someone else’s.
4. Nail those writing skills
It’s all very well having the gift of the gab but if you can’t write an effective press release then you’ve got a problem.
Show that you’re a solid writer by including samples of work with your job applications. This could either be a link to your blog or an article that you’ve written. If you’re looking to gain experience of writing press releases, it’s also worth contacting any local unsigned bands and offering to help them out; it’s great practise for you and beneficial to them.
5. Related industries
Try applying for vacancies within related industries such as marketing, copywriting and communications. A job within these sectors will give you valuable skills and experience that can easily be transferred to a PR role further down the line.
6. It’s who you know
Networking is vital in PR recruitment. Most cities tend to host networking events which are great for developing contacts.
Online networking is also an incredibly useful tool. Make sure that you follow journalists on Twitter, join relevant LinkedIn groups and participate in discussions. This shows that you’re passionate about PR and gets your name out there.
7. Knowledge is key
Immerse yourself in PR blogs and any relevant articles that you come across. Not only will this potentially open up new opportunities for you, it’ll also ensure that you wow any interviewer with your understanding of the industry
For many PR vacancies, qualifications are by no means essential. However, if you’re committed and want to give your CV a bit of a boost, check out some of the CIPR qualifications that you can study for.
Now that you’re fully equipped to begin your PR recruitment hunt, why not register your CV with Webrecruit and start your search by clicking here.