By Sarah Reaves,
PR Intern at Pushing the Envelope, Inc.
#1 – Resume
Interactive, color, POP! Not the three words that come to mind when you sit down to write a resume.
Communicating is essential in PR so when you can interact and share your creativity through your resume it will (hopefully) up your chances of getting the job.
Fortunately, PR gives you the opportunity to get creative and interact with your audience (i.e. your future boss). I used Photoshop to create my resume but I understand that Photoshop is pricey (especially on a college kid’s budget) and takes some getting used to. I have access to Photoshop via FGCU’s Mac lab but don’t worry if you don’t have the luxury of an on-campus Mac lab. I made almost the exact same copy of my resume using word art and text boxes on Microsoft Word. I wouldn’t suggest adding sparkles or rainbow borders, but a little color doesn’t hurt and definitely stands out. In order to land my previous internship with the Minnesota Twins I added a simple gray baseball in the right corner of my resume and my internship coordinator still talks about it. Bosses see numerous black and white resumes so when they finally come across one with color or one that catches their eye they will appreciate the extra effort.
#2 – Resources
Social media is one of the fastest and easiest resources to network and put your name out there to future employers.
By no means will I ever (ever, ever, EVER) be the “queen of social media” and I don’t aim to be. The Internet and I don’t always see eye to eye, but I’ve learned that online resources are crucial in PR.
It sounds effortless but keeping your LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, etc. profiles current is vital because you never know who is posting a new opportunity or who is looking to hire. They are also great places to post a new blog post or one of your recently published news releases. It gives employers the chance to sample your work. You can turn your social media account into your online professional portfolio.
I know it is easier to delete the annoying e-mails of who added you to their LinkedIn network, who is following you on Twitter, etc. but take a few minutes to do some research. These people are adding/following you for a reason and the saying “it’s all about who you know” might be true. They might be your next boss or could have connections to that internship you’ve been dreaming of landing. Never take your resources for granted and stay on top of who is who in the social media world.
Don’t forget that future employers will probably check your Facebook profile too! Be conscientious of what you post and what kind of viewing capabilities you allow visitors. Not everyone needs to see your sorority pictures or otherwise…
#3 – Real World Experience
Okay, so I may have cheated on this “R” because obviously the key word here is “experience”. I cannot stress enough how important real world experience is. Internships are like a test drive of real life. I consider my internships as bridges. They are my connecting link from college life to the real world.
I can honestly say that I would be lost in PR if I didn’t have internships. I know they are time consuming, but you only have 4 years to intern before you are thrown into the real world. Paid internships are almost unheard of, but even if you can squeeze in 5 hours a week you’ll be better off. Soak it all in while you’re there. I know how it feels to have to pay rent, buy books, groceries, etc., but you can make it work. Last year, I saved my birthday and Christmas money to get me by while I interned with the Twins over spring training. It’s tough but it is possible and definitely worth it.
Hope this helps you if you’re looking to get an internship or even if you’re already in the real world!