I've also been discovering several new student and graduate blogs and enjoying learning about your journeys through life.
The careers advice is so consistent that I've decided to curate and aggregate the best advice for those embarking on a career in public relations.
There are three steps: join in at whichever point you feel you're at.
Step One: Before
Here are some things to be doing before you put in any job applications for paid, permanent work.
- Do some PR for brand you. Are you blogging? Are you on Twitter? What does your social media profile say about you? Are you developing an online portfolio?
- Listen and learn from these role models (three students and a graduate): Michael White, Clare Siobhan Callery, Lauren K Gray, Ben Cotton. (One thing you'll immediately notice is that they're all proficient in WordPress. Another is they mostly own their domain names).
- If you don't have a PR qualification and you don't make it directly onto a graduate scheme offering training, then you should consider a professional course. These start with the CIPR's Foundation Award, which Karl Booton has just gained.
- [Update] Come along to this free seminar in Leeds on 3 February: How to break into PR
Step Two: During
Interviews vary, but there are certain things you should consider, and questions you should be prepared to answer:
- It's about them, not just about you. What do you know about them? What questions do you have for them? Why would you like to work there?
- It's about the wider world: What are you reading? What are the headline news stories? What are this year's new trends?
- It's about a profession: What is public relations and why are you suited to PR work?
Step Three: After
It's a mistake to think you've finished learning once you've graduated. You need to start all over again (and at a much higher level of intensity). Don't believe me? Listen to Justin McKeown:
'Pay your dues. When you are first starting off in a career in PR, you really need to ring fence a few years just for gaining good, hardworking, unglamorous experience. Get your head down and slog, rather than thinking about the glory.'
And take note of Katy Jameson's lessons from her first few weeks in a graduate job.