Last Thursday (14th April) I attended a networking event, organised by my tutor, designed to get students and professionals chatting in a ‘speed dating’ sort of format.
We had 10 minutes across the table from a variety of PR and communications pros before the bell rang and we moved on.
A few of us third year students took time out of dissertation writing to attend, lots of second year students were there too, as well as some MA students – it was great to have the chance to chat to all the other year students, as well as the professionals, as we’re not often mixed up in the same place!
The main thing that I immediately noticed about the day is how open and willing everyone in this industry is to share advice and help out students. Nobody looks down on you and no question is a silly one – it was a great atmosphere to be in.
Some of the advice that was shared was really very interesting and will most definitely help me with the end of my degree and job searching.
Know what you’re good at
Yes you’ve got your PR degree, but where do your strengths lie? You need to know what you’re good at and tell people that. But equally you need to be able to show it. Which leads nicely onto…
Show your skills
If you’re saying on your CV or in an interview that you have great social media skills, how can you prove it? Use your own social media platforms and build up your own personal brand. You can use yourself as an example of using these skills.
Get some experience
This is a piece of advice I’ve been given often, but I don’t think it can be repeated enough. You learn so much in a ‘real-life’ situation.
Make the most of your experience
And if you’ve got experience, tell people. If you’ve won an award, tell people. If you specialise in a particular area, tell people. You should make the most of any experience that you have, especially in interviews and networking situations. But make sure that you say it in the right way, you don’t want to sound like you are bragging.
Know your audiences
By the end of your PR degree, you will know all the skills for the industry. But something that is hard to teach in the classroom is how to identify your audience and how important this is. Make sure you are targeting the right people and using the right platforms. This is the only way all your hard work in other areas of your job will be worth it.
Show your potential
You’ve got your degree, you’ve got some experience. A lot of people will be in the same position once graduating. But the way you can stand out is to show your potential, show that you are keen to learn and that you have lots of ideas to share.
I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone that I spoke to at the event. All the advice that you shared will be extremely valuable moving forward in to job hunting and all my questions were answered. As a few of you said, contacts are key, so a LinkedIn request has been sent to all of you!
Until next time…