Looking for a job that will both make you happy and provide you with a financial stability is always daunting. However, LA public relations are especially difficult. You’re not only competing with hundreds and hundreds of people, you’re also trying to enter a pretty tight environment – a pr agency.
Since we are now in search of a stellar Account Coordinator and a couple of interns, we get millions of resumes. Because of that, we get to see the good, the bad and the really ugly and every time we look at a resume, we feel like calling the applicant and giving them some “tips” for the future. Instead of ringing people up, I’ve decided to post some right here and draw some parallels to the PR worldin general.
1. Addressing your email with “Dear recruiter”, “Dear human resources” or “Hello” is purely unacceptable in a time where information about companies and their executives is readily available (most of the time on their own website – accompanied by pretty pictures, might I add). This translates very well in the public relations agency environment. You are not just going to pitch every writer on the planet. Before you pitch, you should know who they are, what they write and what makes them tick. That is how you secure stellar press- through great, genuine relationships. So if you are applying in this field, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
2. When a job description says “please apply ONLY if you satisfy the requirements mentioned above” – you probably should only apply if you actually satisfy them. Otherwise you will piss people off and in PR – it’s all about NOT pissing people off.
3. Read what you write, print your email and read again- REALLY. Addressing the company name and then forgetting to delete the “other” company name for which you have applied five minutes ago- no bueno. Same in PR- pitching an editor from Real Simple with a tagline that says Shape – probably not going to get you any press coverage. So be thorough- your resume and email is all an employer has on hand to make a judgment on whether you will be a successful publicist or not.
4. Resume 101- make sure you have a pretty, presentable resume that clearly lists your experience with dates and months and years. Employers want to know whether you have worked for a company for a year or a year and eight months. Same with editors- when you pitch your client you can’t be vague, diffuse and random- they need to know facts- it’s pretty black and white most of the time – your client either fits the bill or they don’t. So be honest and crystal clear- that will help tremendously.
5. Finally be positive, fun and energetic- ultimately these are the key ingredients to having a good life – and a great job that will make you feel great every day!
That’s it for now.