I need experience to get a job…I need a job to get experience
This is the “Catch-22” of landing that first job or internship in PR.
It’s where the “rubber meets the road,” and where students get red-faced and reticent.
Frustration can boil over and apathy can set in. And, quite frankly, it’s understandable. How do you break in, get a foothold and get that first chance?
Persistence, perseverance, patience. These are the attributes that must come to the surface when trying to land the first career-related job or internship. Also, having a good portfolio of school work and some published pieces doesn’t hurt, either.
But what are some of the attributes we look for when a student lists wait staff jobs at restaurants and summer guarding at the local pool as “related experience?”
We look for enthusiasm, news hounds and intensity.
We look for adult behavior, politeness and curiosity.
We look for good writing habits, knowledge of grammar and AP style.
We rarely look at GPA or extra-curricular activities.
We look at poise, confidence and comfort levels.
And, in the end, we look to see if there’s a sense of excitement and interest and how well have they researched our company and our competitors.
Getting that very first career job or internship is hard work. It can be ego-damaging and confidence-shattering, especially in tough times. But, through patience and sheer tenacity, you can land that first job. And, after that, it gets a lot easier.