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3 Tips For Landing Your First PR Internship

Searching for a job can seem intimidating. There’s a lot of competition for entry-level jobs and internships in the PR industry. Fortunately, the way we search for jobs is always changing, which brings more opportunities to connect with professionals and identify opportunities that might be right for you.

Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned from my experience applying to public relations jobs and internships as a soon-to-be grad.

Network like a pro
Don’t underestimate the power of LinkedIn. The business and employment-oriented site is designed to help users network professionally and can be integral to expanding your network, narrowing down job listings and building your personal brand.

To ensure recruiters are finding you, experiment with different keywords in your profile related to the types of jobs you’re applying for. Invest time in polishing your professional summary and experiences to emphasize your most valuable skills. Finally, request recommendations from previous colleagues or supervisors to help you showcase your abilities and the value you can offer to a future employer.

Ask for informational interviews
Informational interviews are a great way to not only network, but also learn more about a company and its culture. It’s all about who you know. Look for professionals in your industry to connect with through referrals and reach out to alumni. Sharing a connection with someone typically increases your chances of getting a positive response. These people will likely remember being in your shoes and will want to help when they see someone who is determined and looking to make a genuine connection. 

Use social media as a professional tool
Social media is a crucial part of your personal brand, even for recent grads. Having accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter allow you to show your personality and passions so employers can learn more about you. Whether you’re retweeting thought leaders in a specific industry, joining conversations about current events or following influencers who inspire you, it’s important to stay in tune with what’s relevant to your career goals.

Keep your social media accounts consistent by using the same handles and writing an engaging bio. Each platform has its own nuances, so be sure to have a balance between promoting your professional and personal interests. Filling out location information and other small details can also help recruiters find you.

Bonus tip: Research, research, research
As a PR pro, it’s important to stay up to date on current events. You’ll need to know what’s happening in the news and how the public relations landscape is shifting, especially within your areas of interest. Talking about these issues and sharing your perspective can show your knowledge of the field and your abilities to research and collect insights about relevant issues.

When you land your first interview, research recent projects or accomplishments by the company. This information will help you better understand the work they do and help you talk about how you can contribute. Determine what campaigns stand out to you and prepare talking points that will be relevant to your interviewer. The goal is to make your interview memorable for the right reasons.

You got this
Public relations is exciting, and constantly growing throughout all of its diverse specialties. There are a variety of jobs available for each kind of strategic storyteller. You could work at a corporate agency or find yourself in a nonprofit. Small start-ups also offer great opportunities to be involved in the early stages of a great idea. Getting your first job will always feel overwhelming, but if you follow these steps you’ll likely land your first job and begin making your mark on the PR industry.

Kelsey Scott, Public Relations Intern

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