Graduation season is upon us, and with that brings a new class of job seekers.
Whether you’re graduating this year or not, looking for a job or internship can be overwhelming. From resume prep, to online or in-person networking, to the interview process and beyond, it may feel like there are so many possible pitfalls.
I recently spoke on a panel at Boston University to a group of PR students about this exact topic. In preparation for the panel, I chatted with some of SHIFT’s own recent graduates and pulled from my own experience to come up with tips and tricks for navigating the PR job-seeking process.
Here is a look at what SHIFTers had to say:
• Networking is key! It can be tiring but making new connections with anyone you can goes a long way. When you’re done with an informational phone call or meeting, always ask: “Who else do you recommend I speak with?” It helps you continue to build your network, which can eventually lead to a job.
• Follow-ups are important – just like in PR with our pitches. Send a thank you note after calls and interviews and personalize. Responding promptly shows professionalism.
• Do your research before a phone or in-person interview, especially via the company’s blog if they have one. This can be a way for interviewers to gauge your interest in the company.
• Always have (smart) questions at the ready for your interviewer. If you speak with multiple people and run out, don’t be afraid to ask the same question of each person you talk to; you’ll get a variety of answers to consider.
• Relax and be yourself – companies want to hire real, well-rounded employees, not just someone who appears to be qualified. They’re looking for people who are eager to learn and will mesh well with their teams.
• Don’t be afraid to apply for internships as your first experience after graduation – it might seem like everyone is getting “real jobs” right out of school but internships are just as valuable. They give you a taste of the company you’re working & can lead to those full-time hires!
Liz Iannotti, Senior Account Manager