Perhaps you are wondering what types of jobs are out there, and how you can set yourself apart from the other applicants. The good news is that entry-level PR jobs are plentiful, and there are many ways that you can improve your chances of getting the one at the top of your list.
Businesses and other organizations rely on public relations to get the public to support its goals, improve their image, and help their sales. You might think of PR specialists as being the top company advocates. This is because an organization's very existence is dependent upon maintaining good relations with the public. For this, there is an ongoing need for people who are skilled in this arena. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that there will continue to be high job growth in this sector of the economy over the coming decade.
Public relations specialists are equipped to handle a wide variety of organizational functions that may include writing press releases and fielding press conferences, handling speaking engagements or preparing speeches. All of these duties will involve presenting the company's ''story'' to a variety of audiences. In some cases, a PR team or department might also handle advertising for the company.
Major employers of public relations specialists include the government, corporations, non-profit organizations, and large PR firms that offer services to a wide variety of clients. There will be many times that individuals will have reason to hire people to represent them in public. Attorneys will often use PR firms in the event that they should have some negative publicity or be participating in very public and controversial trials.
Opportunities exist to work with people in every walk of life, from celebrities and political candidates to other high profile figures. The type of job in the pr field that is best for you will depend largely upon your preferences and interests. It is a much easier task to voice publicly the ‘opinion' or policy of an organization, when those goals and values closely reflect your own.
Some of the more commonly used titles for public relations jobs include ‘information secretary', ‘press secretary', ‘public affairs specialist,' or ‘communications specialists'. As the job titles indicate, the primary qualification for a public relations job is the ability to communicate. For pr workers being able to put a positive or negative spin on an event is often considered to be their lifeblood.
As a potential candidate for a public relations job, you should definitely be aware that you are selling yourself and convincing your potential employer of your ability to ‘sell' the company. Every aspect of your presentation and interview to a potential employer should be impeccable and demonstrate your ability to present a positive image. This means putting extra care into details such as double-checking your portfolio, being focused, well- prepared, and being able to present a professional image with all aspects of your appearance.
Finding job listings for entry-level PR jobs in most fields is not difficult, but wading through the various opportunities to find the ones that are a good match for your skills and interests can often be a huge challenge. You can always opt to directly contact firms that are advertising openings. You will need to have a good cover letter, resume, and a portfolio that can show some of your best work. Press releases or other evidence of your ability will get you noticed and may just help you get your foot in the door.
Many job seekers choose to secure the services of a job recruiter. These recruiters often have an extensive network of contacts within their specific industry and will know about job openings long before they are going to be posted to a public board. A job recruiter can sift through their available positions, and try to match you with only those that meet your specific criteria.
You can certainly manage one of the fastest job searches by using the internet to help you find these PR positions. Online job boards like PRCrossing are great resources that can help you find the positions that you want quickly and you will be able to download your resume and apply immediately for the jobs that match your needs and skills. The number of entry-level pr jobs new graduates can connect with will increase dramatically when they expand their searches beyond their local communities.
There are a variety of skills that employers look for when they are considering job applicants to hire as a public relations specialist. Although education is valued as a means of demonstrating your ability to meet goals and deadlines, public relations specialists come from a variety of academic backgrounds, and your degree may not the number one consideration for employers.
A degree in Journalism, Public Relations, Management, Advertising, Communications or Business is most likely to help you attract the attention of an employer, but once your foot is in the door it will be your ability to project your personality and skills that will determine your success.
Prepare for the interview beforehand, anticipating possible questions, and thinking through your responses. Practice your responses; brush up on facts, figures, and history regarding the company. Show that you are a true self-starter and can make an impression from the very beginning of the interview. Consider what type of image you want to portray and carry that through in your dress, actions, and words.
You will need to have a good portfolio of work to show your employer, and this can be a Catch-22 situation for many entry-level candidates. If you have not had experience in the field, how can you now be expected to have samples of your work? You will have to use some of that marketing and advertising creativity in this regard. If you have appropriate school works that are professional in nature and represent something that the employer might ask you to do, include them.
If you do not, then you will need to produce some written work specifically for your portfolio. Make sure that you can show some writing skills, by creating press releases or articles for companies. Write these for a fictional company if you like, and be sure to have more than one person proof it for you.
Let the interviewer know that this is a non-tested version of this material to showcase your abilities. Your portfolio should include several short samples, and these can include press releases, speeches or even press clippings of work that you have done, or speeches that you have written for others.
In the end, there are four things that a potential employer will really concentrate on as he deliberates over potential candidates for an opening in public relations. These are good judgment, professionalism, creativity, and the ability to communicate effectively with a wide variety of audiences. If you can convey your skills in these areas to a prospective employer, you will be one of the top contenders for any entry level PR position that you choose to apply for.