How Do you Get a Graduate Job in Pr?

By: Adam Singleton

Despite the fairly small number of graduate jobs available in PR, it seems that an overwhelming number of graduates are keen to work in the industry. In fact, according to prospects.ac.uk - the UK's official graduate careers website - a recent survey showed that there were only 35,000 people working in PR in the UK, signifying that there's a huge amount of competition between graduates for what PR jobs are available. But if you're desperate to find a PR job after you leave university, how do you make sure that you get a foothold in the industry before any of your peers?

Firstly, it's important to make the most of your time at university. It might not seem like it while you're a student, but you'll never have another opportunity to use your spare time - and those long holidays - to better effect than when you're still studying. If you can afford to take an unpaid internship for a week or so, make the most of it; many PR agencies are willing to offer students unpaid placements over the summer or Easter periods. Even if you're consigned to making cups of tea and photocopying all day, you'll be able to familiarise yourself with how PR works - and if you carry out your tasks with zeal, the agency is more likely to consider you for employment when you graduate.

Moreover, your experiences of PR don't have to stop during term time. If a society is organising a large event or a charity-awareness function, get involved in the PR side of things; just because you're promoting a student-organised event, it doesn't mean that your experience is any less valid. Many companies with a large recruitment drive also look for students to be their on-campus brand ambassadors and landing one of these jobs will not only help you develop valuable PR-related skills, it's also likely to pay you a small wage.

When you're in your final year and you're starting to think about applying for graduate PR jobs, make sure you think carefully about what sector of the industry you'd like to work in. The main decision to make will be whether you'd like to work in a PR consultancy or within one specific company. Recent surveys suggest that more students and graduates are finding work within consultancies, and following this trend could mean that you'll get to work on a more diverse array of accounts.

Additionally, if you're granted an interview with a company or a PR agency, ensure you know the basics of what your prospective jobs entails. This should be outlined in the job description of your application form, and if it isn't, you should be able to obtain one from the business in question fairly easily. Most PR jobs will require you to immerse yourself in programme planning, media relations, writing and editing of press releases, design and production and may even require you to regularly attend special events. Confidence in your skills and ability to do the job well, as well as a sound background of experience, will create a strong combination of factors which prospective employers are sure to view with desire!

Careers and Job Hunting
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