By Don McLean
You, the millennials, are looking for internships and neomillennials will be shortly. It is both a scary and exciting time. Getting your first job in public relations is not that easy.
There is a ton of competition. When you finally land a job, it may not be all it was cracked up to be.
These five steps will help put you in the best possible position to land your dream internship in public relations or any industry:
- Your sell sheet! The first thing that any potential employer will see is your resume. You on paper. Use this resume to sell yourself, Before you even send one out, do some research on resume writing tips. Make sure to have your resume reviewed and critiqued by as many people as possible including teachers, friends, relatives and even professionals. It is widely known that the average human resources professional looks at a resume and makes a decision in under 10 seconds. Make sure your resume stands out.
- Escape social beheading! Social media is more powerful than ever, I do not need to tell you that. However, I do need to tell you to review your accounts. After your resume passes approval the next thing that is looked at is the social media profiles. If anything of your is public it is now connected to you. Before you even have the opportunity to talk to someone you could be nixed because you looked wasted in your profile pic. Clean up these profiles. Review them alone and with a friend, critically. Google yourself and see what else comes up. Do your own PR damage control before the damage is done.
- The 3 P’s! If your resume gets through and your social media profiles pass the test, it is time for the interview. The 3 P’s are simple – practice, practice, practice! Practice your interviewing skills. Ask your PR professor or another student if they will do a mock interview with you. Online there are many sites with common interview questions. Research them and decide on some talking points to those questions. Along with this it is important to listen to yourself, so record it. Every iPhone has a voice recorder. This will allow you to adjust things that may get in the way of the interview, such as ending every sentence with “So… yea.”
- Get your swag on! Prepare well in the last three steps and you will get the interview. From the time you arrive in the lobby until the time you leave you need to be well put together, not just in clothes but in mannerisms. The number one thing that you need to remember is that every person you talk to was in your place at one time. They are only human. Have confidence, dress the part, and most of all be yourself.
- Get the eye of the tiger! See what you want and do not stop until you get it. Following up is a important and underrated part to the interview process. In my most recent internship interview process, only 1 in 7 millennials sent a follow up note. Follow-ups are important because they might be that extra little boost you need to stand out from that other stellar intern that you are competing against. Put together a well-written, passionate note and either email or mail it to the employer. Handwritten notes allow for a nice personalized touch. This will show them you have drive and lets potential employers see you roar!
These five steps will elevate your chances of landing the internship you want and deserve greatly. You may have heard pieces of this before, but it is a process.
One or two of these steps could be solid but without any one piece you will falter. Think about it this way, skip a step and automatically the best you can do on the test is 80%. That is, if all other cylinders are firing correctly.
Challenge yourself to shoot for 100%.