For those of us looking for a public relations career in the near future, we need to establish ourselves. However, everyone starts on a different level, and everyone brings his or her own skills. So, how do you get ahead? Here are six key steps to reaching your future dream job.
Internships are an important way to get work experience. It’s crucial to remember that internships are meant to be exploratory. When you find an internship, seize the opportunity. Get job experience in every field of public relations. Diversity among your experiences is key.
Networking includes meeting new people and maintaining a connection with them. Make a name for yourself. An introduction could be the start of your future career. If you make a strong first impression, you will be remembered.
You never know who will see you. It is always important to be professional in your relationships with teachers, coworkers, bosses and fellow students. Maintain a good reputation and you will be known for your professionalism.
Know what you want to say and how to say it. Public relations is all about communication. Practice writing, verbal and social skills – all three are essential.
Find what you want to do. If you want to practice public relations in a specific industry, find a group for that sector, whether it be healthcare, agriculture or technology. PRSA supports 14 Professional Interest Sections for members in similar niches to connect and share ideas (PRSA members, including Associate members, can currently save $20 when joining a Section)
Many professional development organizations welcome students to their meetings, too. It will not only be enjoyable today, it will help you tomorrow.
Read everything you can get your hands on — trade publications, blogs and industry news. Your understanding of current trends and news in public relations will be your advantage with future employers.
What advice would you give to future public relations professionals? What things are vital to becoming a successful professional?
This is a guest post by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chapter member Ben Preston. Ben is an advertising and public relations major, with a minor in Spanish and sociology.