I’m a final year public relations student, I have a successful placement year under my belt, I’m writing my dissertation on an industry hot topic and I’m aiming for a 2.1 in my degree and quite frankly I’m a barrel of laughs. – Sounds OK right?
So when I’ve achieved what I want to in a few months time, what comes next? I keep reading online and in newspapers that job prospects for graduates this year are abysmal (way to fill us with confidence!), it makes me want to flee the country and become a zumba instructor in Iceland. (I have no co-ordination so i’m not sure that would work out for me, plus I very much dislike being cold.)
There are so many students that will graduate this year with a degree and a placement much like myself, so how do employers decide who they want to see for an interview? They ask for you to send your CV with a covering letter stating why you want to work for them. Why not ask ‘Why do you want to work in the PR industry?’ Surely that’s makes for a much more interesting read – hearing why that individual is so passionate about the PR industry and the prospect of working in it instead of just writing about how amazing your company is?
I sent off a job application last week where they asked ‘What can you offer us that no other graduate can?’ Or something along those lines. What do you say to that? We all have placements, we all have some other work experience on the side, we all have Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ accounts, we’re all determined and ambitious individuals. So what made me different? – My awesome lunches! That’s right I told a potential employer that they should hire me because they will be in awe of my lunches everyday for the foreseeable future. Was that a bad move? Personally I don’t think so, you have to interject some personality in there somewhere otherwise you’re just the same as every other Tom, Dick or Harry who hits send when they’re done typing.
The hardest part of the job application process for me is getting all of ‘me’ on paper without being way too friendly or over expressing how I feel. I want to talk about my degree, my work experience, my short and sweet travelling trip to the other side of the world, I can never seem to fit it all on one page. But take me off the paper, put me in a pencil skirt, a nice flowery top, blazer and a killer pair of black heels, sit me opposite you in the conference room and ask me to tell you about me. Sure thing. I’ll tell you about my passions, my loves in life (penguins), my ambitions and why I want to be sat at a desk in your office. That my friend I can do.
So we’re back at the beginning, what is next for me? I see a job working in the PR industry, preferably for a successful PR agency (London based) who love to have a few nutty personalities in the office, and who has some awesome consumer clients who want to hear all my wacky ideas. Eventually I’ll move into the city so I can really embrace the PR lifestyle the Sex and the City girls have made me fall in love with. (Joke-ish – I do love the Manolos though!) And if that doesn’t work out, well I guess I’ll be moving to Iceland!