Landing Your First PR Job: 3 No-Fail Tips

Landing your first PR job: 3 no-fail tips 

PR woman sitting with briefcase

With graduation right around the corner for some undergrads, landing that first media job out of school may seem like a daunting task. For those looking into entering the competitive and fast-paced world of public relations, being savvy and resourceful from the get-go in your job search is key. Here are three tips that will aid in helping you land your first PR job and put you on the fast track to a fulfilling career in the media:

Make good use of your PR networkBefore starting your job search, take an afternoon to make a detailed list of key contacts in your network who may be able to assist you in your hunt for your first PR job. These can include former bosses in the industry, helpful professors, friends currently working in PR, and connections you’ve made at previous networking events and conferences. Next, reach out to a few of your contacts and honestly explain your situation and what kind of position you are seeking. You never know what one email could lead to!

Set up agency shadow days – One proactive way to become acquainted with PR agencies that you would like to work with is by setting up a morning to “shadow” in the office. This typically entails sitting alongside a publicist and observing his or her day-to-day work, sitting in a few client meetings and asking as many educated questions as you can to soak in some insight on the PR industry. Come armed with a pen and notepad to jot down notes, and get ready to learn. After completing your shadow day, don’t forget to follow-up with the agency with a sincere thank you note. The next time they’re seeking an ambitious, new PR pro for their team, having prior face time with the agency will set you a step above the rest of the competition.

Learn that the worst thing that can happen is hearing “no” – Sure, job application rejection can be difficult, but when you get into the mindset that the absolute worst thing that can happen while job searching is hearing “no,” you’ll make bolder decisions and fully take the reins of your career. Consistently follow-up on job applications with a friendly email, ask questions, ask those that you admire in your local PR industry out to lunch. You could hear “no,” but you may also hear a resounding yes that could lead to an amazing opportunity.

Lindsay Shoemake

Lindsay Shoemake currently works in the media industry in Atlanta, where she manages a robust client roster on a daily basis. When she's not working, Lindsay is the founder of career-lifestyle site That Working Girl, along with her personal blog, Lindsay, Lively. She enjoys a great cup of coffee, traveling and helping other women attain their greatest career goals.