“Get a PR internship” is the best advice you can receive whether you are currently in university or fresh on the job hunt. PR is a profession that is best learned on the job and an internship is the best way to get your feet wet and start building your own portfolio. Here’s are a few tips to help you land a coveted PR internship:
Find ways you can get involved in your university. Join clubs or groups and take on leadership positions. Use them to gain experience whether organising events or taking on a group’s social media pages – this will build the foundation on your resume. Consider freelance writing for your university newspaper or start your own blog. It will give you writing samples to include in your portfolio. Try to volunteer outside of the university and get involved in community projects.
Utilise all of your past experience and show how it can apply to the internship you are seeking. List examples and include results like “managed social media accounts for Company and saw the page grow from 25 followers to 2,000.” Be honest about your experience and don’t stretch the truth – it always comes out in the interview. Beyond work and volunteer experience, list all of the digital programs and software you can use. In a technology driven industry, employers are more likely to accept an intern who can contribute. Surprisingly, sometimes employers can learn just as much from you, as you can from them.
Don’t forget to proofread your resume (several times) and ask a friend to take a look, as well. Any type of spelling or grammar errors can turn off a potential employer immediately.
Dress conservatively and show that you are confident and eager. Employers are not looking for an intern to take over a department, but they want some willing to learn and take the initiative on any task assigned. Emphasise that you are flexible based on the company’s needs and willing to do grunt work to get your foot in the door. Ask your own questions. Find out what they expect from interns and ask for more details about the services the company provides. You can even ask if internships ever lead to full time positions. It shows that you are taking the interview seriously and really interested in the internship and company.
Send a thank you note as soon as possible after the interview. Don’t delay.
It’s basic and appreciated.