Why You Can Get Your Dream PR Career Before You Graduate
The popular “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is unfortunately true in most industries – journalism and public relations included. If you are an aspiring journalist but do not know anyone in the field, you may have a bit harder time trying to find a job when the time comes. However, there are things you can do to make sure that you are not in this position come graduation. The term you need to know: networking.
Networking simply means going out of your way to getting to know people who could potentially help you in your career in the future. Networking is common among young college students, especially those with a background in business or media studies, and is nothing that employers don’t expect. This is important to remember because it cannot matter if you are shy, too busy, or don’t like small talk – the time to network is now. This is not to say that you should not network when you have graduated, but rather no matter what age or position in your career, networking is always a good idea (and becoming a necessity).
The easiest way to network is to find yourself an internship, whether it be over the summer or through your college or University. In most cases internships are unpaid; however, in today’s economy, you should take whatever internship you can get. In addition, your college or university may offer to help you find an internship for which you can obtain college credit. If you have room in your schedule and your school does offer internships for credit, take advantage of this opportunity. The biggest thing to remember is not to worry about money or about college credit when it comes to working as an intern for a company – if you learn to network, you will benefit in the long run.
Consider a study completed by Mark and Richard Bolles, authors of Job-Hunting Online. They found that the largest number of people found jobs through networking:
- Posting a resume on an Internet career site – 4 percent
- Randomly sending resumes – 7 percent
- Go to an employment office – 14 percent
- Networking – 33 percent
Use these tips below to help you get remembered by the big wigs of your internship company and be a part of that 33 percent:
Tips to Successfully Networking
- Have Confidence – You have something to offer a company. Do not get overwhelmed by networking. When you try to get to know people in the office, do not tell them why you are a great worker, show them. If you can demonstrate that you know what you’re doing, that should be networking enough.
- Expand Beyond Your Business – Networking is not about just getting to know those in the company, but getting to know the people they know as well. If you see that someone in your company is working closely with someone in a field (or another company you are interested in) take the initiative to find out that name and get in contact with that person.
- LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a social network designed to help people stay connected to those they have known in the past. The great thing about this website is it allows you a medium to get in contact with those you may have known a few years ago. For example, if you had an internship when you were a sophomore in college, you will want your internship company to remember you when you graduate. This site will allow you to do just this.