Following my recent lecture at Leeds Met I promised to help people make their first moves in to the hugely competitive PR jobs market.
Over the course of the next few weeks I’ll do a few posts on topics such as handling interviews, writing CVs and what to expect from your first few weeks and months in a job.
We often receive speculative approaches from both students and those already in work – and so I’ve seen examples of how – as well as how not – to do it. Here are my top five ways of ensuring yours stands out from the rest.
1) Research, research, research. The way to a new employer’s heart is to show them that you care about them and have taken time to learn as much as you can. Knowing why you want to join a team before you send in an application means that you become more focused as well – rather than adopting a spray and pray approach. (NB this remains valid for your PR career as well – research journalists before sending a media approach and tailor it to their needs). Call the company beforehand to ask them who the best contact is for speculative approaches so that you don’t waste time by sending it to the wrong person.
2) Keep it short and sweet. The people you are approaching will doubtless have several other priorities the day your letter or email arrives and they will not spend time reading War and Peace. Pick out three key areas that demonstrate how you understand the company and that ‘sell’ your achievements and personality.