3 Ways to Land Your Dream PR Job
As many of you PR pros have experienced, the role of a public relations specialist, manager, and director has significantly evolved in the last decade. Companies are communicating with their external stakeholders much more directly, a whole lot quicker, and—thanks to social media—through a variety of new platforms.
Which is great news: It means the need for good PR is growing. In fact, Yahoo! reports that employment for PR specialists is projected to grow by 23% between 2010 and 2020.
But the changing PR landscape has also shifted the way PR people are looking for—and landing—jobs. Unfortunately, submitting your resume through an automated form is most likely not going to cut it anymore. So, how can you use your PR skills to boost your job search? Here are three easy tips.
1. (Really) Dust Off That LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is a great way to connect with old colleagues, learn about job openings, and grow your network. It is also one of the most powerful recruiting tools for companies looking to track down talent. I spoke with a recruiter recently who said that he spends the majority of each workday searching for potential job candidates on LinkedIn. And while it should come as no surprise—that's what the site was built for—many people throw a few resume bullet points on their profile and largely ignore their voice on the platform.
If you're looking for a job, LinkedIn should be your social media priority. In your profile, include a meaty description of your experience and strengths. Flesh out each job opportunity with your responsibilities and biggest wins. Call people in your network who you've done great work for, and ask them to post a recommendation. Curate and create content around the industry (food, fashion, or tech) or PR specialty (events, social media, crisis communications) you're most interested in securing a job in, and share that content with your LinkedIn community.
Just remember that no social street should ever be one-way. Be sure to show the same attention and generosity to your contacts that they’re showing you!
2. Build a Twitter List
Increasingly, companies are turning to their Twitter communities to post information about job openings. If you're an avid Twitter user, this can be really useful. But for the rest of us who don't monitor our Twitter stream 24/7, how can we stay on top of the latest opportunities?
The secret: Organize the noise. Build a Twitter list specifically around the companies, organizations, and people that you think can help you get a job. It might be a mix of dream-job companies, recruiters you've spoken to in the past, and job search outlets, like Mediabistro and PR Daily. Then, check that list once or twice a day. Depending on how big your list is, you still may have a good amount of tweets to scroll through. But at least now you’ll have it all in one place—and you won’t have to worry about missing anything.
3. Go Straight to the Source
Have a dream company you’d do anything to work for? See an interesting job posted on LinkedIn? Notice an old colleague tweeting about a cool role you’d love to learn more about?
Instead of simply sending your resume to the HR representative listed on the job description and crossing all your fingers and toes, go straight to the source. If it’s a PR role, it’s probably the communications team that will ultimately decide who gets hired. Lucky for you, almost every company has a media page on its website—and on it, contact details for the communications team. Find the most senior communications person listed, and send your best, most targeted cover letter and resume. Sure, he or she may send it straight back to the HR team—but he or she may also read it, find it interesting, and ask to schedule an interview. As long as you don’t spam or stalk people, it can only help your chances.
As you job search, remember the great thing about PR people: We are, at heart, networkers. In other industries, grabbing coffee with strangers might feel a little weird. For us, it's second nature. Use that to your advantage! Reach out to people in your network and ask for a few minutes of their time. See if there is anyone they know that they might be able to introduce you to. And consider your social network to be another extension of your in-person network. With enough PR savvy—and elbow grease—you’ll land that dream job in no time.
About The Author
Alex Honeysett is a Marketing & Brand Strategist who believes the secret to marketing success is not to sell your soul, lose your sense of humor or shape-shift into a corporate marketing robot -- it's to create a human relationship with your community (strategically!). After spending nearly a decade leading corporate communications strategies for companies including Thomson Reuters and NASDAQ, Alex now helps women entrepreneurs and small businesses create foundational brand, messaging and marketing strategies that leverage all the ways they innately communicate and connect with people and bring those strategies to life. You can learn more about her work (and story!) here: alexhoneysett.com.