Graduating university should be a time to celebrate your achievement; however, sometimes the pressure to find a job in your field and begin your professional career can dampen the mood.
Some of your cohort might have found their first public relations (PR) or marketing job while still studying, which might leave you feeling like you’re already behind.
Starting your career can be a daunting task. You may not feel like you have enough knowledge or experience, you may fear you lack the creative drive needed, or you may just not be sure what avenue you want to try. This is OK and it’s normal to have self-doubts when you’ve had limited exposure to the industry.
The key to overcoming this and starting on your career path is preparation.
Here are five tips that can help you kick start your career in PR and marketing:
1. Engage on LinkedIn
If you haven’t already, create a LinkedIn profile for yourself and connect with friends, peers, and even your lecturers or tutors. Who you know matters when it comes to getting a job, so building your connections is important for elevating your profile. Employers are also likely to try find you on social media and take into consideration testimonials or commendations.
Some positions aren’t advertised on traditional sites, such as Seek or Indeed, and are instead shared exclusively via social networks.
It’s ideal to know people you connect to on LinkedIn, don’t just randomly try to connect with every senior agency person without context. At an absolute minimum, send a note explaining why you want to connect.
2. Prepare for interviews
First impressions are critical. This means dressing appropriately, so ensure that the outfit you wear when networking or during a job interview aligns to what a professional would wear in the PR and marketing industry.
This should go without saying but, when you get an interview, whether it’s in-person or via video conference, always be prepared. Do your homework on the organisation, and have meaningful questions prepared in advance about the company, the position, and what it entails. Showing an interest in the firm you want to work for and engaging in a meaningful way with your interviewer will leave a lasting impression.
3. Find or create opportunities that give you experience
Your portfolio is an important factor in being selected for a position, and working with real clients and companies can go a long way in showing your talent and career drive. Some universities may offer you this type of opportunity during your time studying. If not, it’s up to you to arrange work experience.
Internships provide hands-on experience and industry problem-solving will bolster your professional portfolio. An internship will give you the opportunity to work with real clients and manage achievable expectations while instilling confidence in your abilities. It’s also not unusual for work experience to turn into a career opportunity when the employer recognises the value you can bring to their organisation.
4. Stay up-to-date with recent news and developments
Reading the news, following social media and generally staying up-to-date and informed on important industry, business, and societal matters is beneficial not only for the depth of your conversations, it also shows you know the business environment and its current challenges.
Reviewing the news is a good habit to develop because, throughout your career in PR and marketing, you will need to keep your finger on the pulse. This is essential so that you can make informed decisions, find client opportunities, and provide insightful, relevant and valuable advice for your clients.
5. Manage your expectations
Make sure you manage your expectations around junior or entry-level positions. Experience matters in the PR and marketing industry and this will influence your level of authority, career progression, and pay rate.
Give yourself the best chance when beginning your PR or marketing career by preparing, engaging with the industry, and improving your skills and employability through by leveraging opportunities.
To learn more about what it takes to become a leading PR and marketing professional, follow Write Away Communication on LinkedIn.
If you are looking to get started in PR and marketing, submit your resume on our opportunities page.
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