Whether you’re just beginning college and still aren’t set on a major or have had your heart set on a career in PR for as long as you can remember, it’s important to start building your resume early. It’s never too late to get more involved or take the extra step and donate a few hours to an internship or organization. Start building connections now and gaining the experience employers look for.
The following are five pieces of advice to guide you onto the career path of your dreams.
1. Intern! Internships build connections within whatever specific field you’re going into. They allow you to build your portfolio and produce sample work that is seen in the everyday business world. It is recommended that students have at least two internships before they graduate. Look for positions within a variety of organizations. The work within non-profit, agency and corporate PR tend to vary. Deciding which type best fits you early on, allows you to find a better fit for your first job upon graduation.
2. Join organizations such as PRSSA! If you aren’t already a paid member, it’s not too late to join for the spring semester. Organizations such as PRSSA give members the opportunity to meet PR professionals, and get involved with various events that can be added to a resume. They also send their members internship opportunities and organize firm tours. Many PRSSA chapters also have student run PR firms, such as Hubbell Connections at Michigan State, that allow their members to become even more involved.
3. Brand yourself. Order business cards, create a website and update all of your online profiles. When applying for an internship or job, it’s common for employers to search your name online before even offering you an interview. Having a consistent and professional presence online will only benefit you.
4. Reach out to local PR professionals in your area and seek mentorship. Ask if it would be possible for you to job shadow them or get coffee one morning. This not only allows you to establish a connection, but also is an opportunity for you to ask questions about their organization and career path.
5. Attend conferences such as the 2014 Regional Conference hosted at Michigan State! Conferences are an ideal place to connect with other young professionals and to build your resume. You’ll hear well-known speakers in the PR and government industries and have a chance to explore the greater Lansing area.
By taking these five tips into consideration, you should be well on your way toward your dream job.