Want a job in Public Relations? Here are our top tips
The average UK PR professional is paid £48,247pa, which is nearly twice the average salary for the UK workforce as a whole, and with a reputation for glamorous events and mingling with celebrities, it is easy to understand why you might want to embark on a career in PR. At Reuben Sinclair, we are experts in PR recruitment, and get hundreds of graduates applying to us on a weekly basis. It’s a competitive industry to get in to, but with our top tips, your entrance into PR might become a little easier…
Posted by Alexandra Lewington, PR recruiter, Tuesday January 12 2016
1. Do your research and set your expectations
The first thing to be prepared for is that, despite its reputation, PR is not the glamorous industry that it’s made out to be. It is hard work, long hours and even involves cold calling. Surprised? That is why you need to do your research. If you get asked in an interview why you want to get into PR, and you say you ‘can’t wait to attend all the events and mingle with all the celebrities,’ you are not going to get very far.
Additionally, make sure you research the type of PR you want to start your career in. Although you can make the move from B2B PR to B2C during your career, it is difficult and you may have to take a pay cut. Additionally, although lifestyle PR might mean you get to work on campaigns all your friends have heard of, it is significantly lower paid than B2B work. B2B PR consultants also tend to be in higher demand – you’ll never be short of new career opportunities in B2B PR!
2. Be prepared to intern
A degree in public relations just isn’t going to cut it, I’m afraid. There are some legendary stories of people that have walked straight into PR jobs from University. However, these are few and far between and it typically takes a little more work than that. You’re going to have to be prepared to intern in a PR role, usually for around 6 months, before being in a position to get offered a permanent job.
You also need to be aware that internships aren’t necessarily a true reflection of a PR role. You will be intern / post sorter / tea maker / PA / errand runner. The amount of actual PR experience you’ll get will vary from agency to agency but there will be opportunity so try to be as proactive as possible and get the most out of your internship by volunteering for any PR related activities!
If you’d like recommendations of good organisations to intern with, contact a member of the Reuben Sinclair PR team.
3. Make your application stand out
As you can imagine, not only do recruitment consultants have hundreds of inquiries, so do CEOs, MDs and Directors. If your cover letter isn’t personalised to their company, and doesn’t explain why you are writing to them specifically, you can expect to be ignored. This might seem time consuming, but it’s definitely worth it – first impressions count for a lot and the small details make a difference.
Additionally, try to let your personality shine through. Maybe a link to your social media site (but be careful there – please see my previous blog!), or a 30 second video of 3 points as to why YOU should be hired.
If you’re emailing your application, always make sure you follow up with a phone call a couple of days later, as your CV could get lost under a pile of others.
4. Get your CV right
This seems so simple, but so many people get it wrong. You should be triple checking your CV for spelling and grammar mistakes – they are inexcusable. Additionally, it’s really important to get the lay out right. Using bullet points is an effective way of laying important points out clearly and simply. Your CV is not an essay, and should not read like one. You need to get the main points across, and avoid listing your irrelevant experience as a babysitter when you were 14.
If you would like more free advice on your CV, or for a Reuben Sinclair consultant to read over your CV and help you with its content, then get in touch!
5. Don’t give up!
This is perhaps the most important point of all. If you want to succeed in PR, you need resilience. You might find yourself questioning your motives for wanting a career in PR when you’ve received your 10th email saying ‘we’re not recruiting right now’, and you might want to scream the next time your intern leader asks you to make them a cup of tea, but perseverance is key.
There are around 50,000 people employed in PR in the UK – if they can do it, so can you.
Send your CV over to us at Reuben Sinclair, and we will also help in any way possible.
Where do you want to go next?
> Download the 2016 - 2017 PR Salary Survey & Job Market Review here
> Download our expert guide on getting the PR job you deserve
> Browse our latest PR jobs
> Contact our PR recruitment team for advice on your personal situation
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