Kristine Simpson is joined by guest host Julia Kent from Ottawa and Molli Megasko from New York to talk about the dos and don’ts in applying for a job in public relations and communications.
Kristine thinks it is important to ensure your online brand and space is always presented in a professional manner, because in the PR and communications industry we are the faces of our companies. Julia thinks you need some sort of online presence in addition to the experience on your resume. Social media is an integral part of PR and communications that, young or old, you need to be engaging online. And Molli thinks it is important to research the person and the company you are applying too and use every opportunity you get to showcase creativity that will make you stand out among all the applicants.
In short, do your research, be professional and be creative.
What do you think? Share with us your dos and don’ts in applying for a PR and communications job. You can leave us a comment below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also catch us on Twitter at @youngprpros and @kristinesimpson.
Hey Kristine and everyone out there,
Just thought of something while listening to this episode. I stand by what I said about communications professionals requiring an online presence, especially when hunting for jobs, but I wanted to add something – Molli had a good point that some management and senior executive roles might not require an online presence to be qualified, but that more junior and entry-level positions definitely need to be on social media etc.
I’ve thought about this and I think in order to manage people who are using social media and the web in their job, you need to be familiar with it too. It’s very hard to understand blogging and social media without using it. So I definitely think, in any communications job (and frankly PR and marketing too), regardless of the level, an online presence is necessary.
Sure, we see successful senior professionals who opt not to be as “linked in”, and they get by just fine. However, I am willing to bet that if you Google their name, SOMETHING will come up… ANYTHING. The communications professionals I was referring to virtually do not exist, according to Google. Like I said, some people may have personal reasons for not being on Twitter or Facebook or whatever, but they better have an explanation as to how they can excel in a communications role despite that.
Just my two cents 🙂
You definitely have a point. I think it will become more and more important that you have an online presence despite your age.
However, I think our society is not as strict when it comes to the older generation because it is still “new” to them.
Regardless, our industry is shifting and it is important to shift with it. If you don’t you will be left behind.
Thanks again Julia for coming on the show and sharing your ideas. I look forward to having you on future episodes.
In regards to not sending cover letters and writing samples because it creates more opportunity for someone to find mistakes, I think that advice could be spun differently to be a bit more constructive.
Proofreading is something that communications professionals need to get good at. Resumés and cover letters are a perfect opportunity to do that. Try printing out the resume and letter instead of editing on a computer screen. Read every single word aloud. Even read backwards to force you to really look at the word and ensure it’s spelled properly. Walk away from the material for a bit and then review with fresh eyes. Have someone else review it to be safe. Young PR pros need to develop good habits when it comes to writing, so instead of sending less to employers, use the development of application materials as a chance to hone that skill.
To touch on the point about how much you send, I think a cover letter is a great way to ‘editorialize’ your resume and connect your skills to the job. I personally don’t send writing samples initially because that’s something I can keep in my pocket to follow up with or have an employer ask for.
Thanks for listening to the show.
I love your tip on reading things backwards to really catch all your mistakes. I do that all the time. I read the last sentence, then I move on to the second last sentence, etc., to ensure each sentence is written without any grammatical errors and each sentence flows on its own.
Overall, I agree with you in that a young professional needs to ensure anything and everything they send to potential employers are proofed and edited to highest standards.
Thanks for sending your comment in, we love comments!
Congratulations on the podcast, Kristine, Molli and Julia and welcome to the ‘podosphere’…
I enjoyed the show and thought you provided some really good and timely advice about what to do and what not to do when new/young PR pros are searching for a job.
I agree that building your online presence is really important for young (and not so young 🙂 ) people because it enables you to start developing relationships and your network. That way, when you do approach someone with a job request, they already know who you are.
But doing that takes time and commitment and doesn’t happen overnight, So start early and choose the social media sites that fit with your personality and objectives. Then participate knowing that you don’t have to be everywhere all the time.
As you said, finding a job, is a job in itself. And while it may seem like a daunting process, you only need one person to say yes.
Looking forward to hearing more shows!
Thanks for listening Martin.
I totally agree with your point on not having to be everywhere at the same time and to pick the network that highlights your personality most. We often overwhelm ourselves by trying to be everywhere at once. I personally spend more time on Twitter. I have friends who prefer their blog and others that use Facebook.
Thanks for sending us your comment and we lobok forward to hearing from you more.