- Resume: Create a simple one that could be easily modified.
- Prepare samples: Have them ready to send by email or bring with you on disk or flash drive.
- Prepare cover letters: Proofread carefully when sending so as to match content with receiver.
- References: Figure out who your references will be and let them know you’ll be using them.
Keep it Going
- Begin building your own personal brand by jazzing up your profiles, tweeting and participating in online discussions.
- Check PRSA Jobcenter regularly, as well as other job sites.
- Contact public relations recruiters.
- Attend PRSA conferences and other trade events. Talk to people and make friends.
- Get your first and second interview wardrobe ready.
- Drill answering tough interview questions with your friends.
Prepare for Your Interview
- Study all you can about the company with whom you have an interview. Look for public relations professionals who work there by searching PRSA’s member directory or LinkedIn group. Study the company’s website and blogs. Research the company, its public relations team and leadership in the news. Study their news releases.
- Find out who you will be meeting and check LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to learn about them.
- Make sure you know exactly where they are located (including suite and floor number) and how to get there. Find out if there are special instructions if you will be there before or after regular business hours.
- Take notes on questions that stump you in interviews and figure out great answers for them in case you’re asked again.
- Send thank you notes. Email is acceptable, but make sure each one is personalized.
- If you got the interview through a personal contact, be sure to send them a note of thanks as well.
- Send any information you had promised or referred to during the interview.
- Follow up with the recruiter if you used one, or human resources if you did not.
- Keep all the right actions going — even if you had the best interview ever — until you land the perfect job.
Sandy Charet works with employers through her executive recruitment firm, Charet & Associates, to identify candidates for mid- and senior level opportunities in public relations, investor relations and corporate communications.