Posted by Elena del Valle on July 30, 2009
By Ashley Wirthlin
Author and editor, PublicRelationsBlogger.com
Finding a job may seem like a tough feat in times like these. However, there are still people being hired. There are things that can be done to help ensure that you too are one of those people getting a job. There takes a great deal of effort, desire to work, and common sense in order to get ahead, so use your smarts, and be proactive!
Below are some things I found helpful when getting hired. Underneath all of the business and professional aspects I had attempted to polish (with my small amount of experience) were a good mentality, perseverance, and dedication to finding a position suitable for me. Though finding a position is important, it is equally important to find a company that you enjoy working for and that you are a good candidate for.
Remember that an interview is partly your being interviewed and partly you interviewing the company so that both parties can ensure that your values, morals, and working ethics are in line. There are many opportunities out there, and there is no need to take the first position offered. Do not set your standards so high that you turn down ever offer, but remember that there are other opportunities out there if, for example, sales are not your thing.
Though there are a lot of things that can be done in the way of being a professional and in being business savvy, there are factors that effect the way you work and interact with others. This includes having a good frame of mind, being positive, and being empathetic. I find empathy to really be a key in responding to others, dealing with circumstances, and handling stressful situations or problems that arise from time to time. Additionally, it is important to be humble and open to learning. There are going to be mistakes made, and there are going to be times where you might do something better than a superior. Stay humble, and keep your mind open to changing the way you might do some things.
On top of having a good attitude, there also needs to be planning and preparation for your future. When there are goals set in place it is easier to navigate to the things you want and to being successful. After you know where you would like to be and come to understand the steps needed to get there, you are off to a good start. You know where you are headed, but you also know when you can make a better decision or change your game plan, having one already in place. Define what kind of job or career you would like to have. Does your dream job or career require any additional certifications (aside from your degree)? If so, look into the costs and other requirements.
Getting a career or job in the PR industry does not always require a degree in public relations, but if you are passionate about it and know you would like to start your career there, certainly, a degree in PR is your best bet. However, in lieu of a PR degree, advertising, communications, marketing, and journalism degrees may suffice. It really comes down to what the rest of the industry is doing and what a particular firm is doing.
Begin your job search, and when you have found some positions you would like to hire, make sure your resume is in tip-top shape. If you have yet to graduate, really take advantage of your career services office; they are there to help, and most likely will. They can help you vamp up your resume and teach you how to write a cover letter. Note that despite your effort and time, your cover letter may not even be read. (Just having a cover letter may be enough to win over the HR dept. or hiring team.) Also remember to business proof your Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts. Though it is not seen as bad to have an account, having a picture of yourself intoxicated or conducting other lewd conduct, you are probably hindering your chances of being a position’s candidate.
Just remember, your personality is almost equally as important as your experience, and when your resume and online social networking accounts represent you well, once you are met at an interview and your good temper, attitude, and demeanor show through, you are sure to be given a chance at proving your ability to work and learn. For more tips on finding a job in the PR industry, read an article I wrote for my blog at http://publicrelationsblogger.com/2008/10/job-in-public-relations-tips-for.html.
Ashley Wirthlin, BBA, a marketing executive of the H Media Group, is the author and editor of PublicRelationsBlogger.com, writing for and managing the blog daily. She is a Marketing and Management graduate from the University of Portland, and lives and works in Oregon.