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Yes, you can get a public relations job in this economy! PR is like a high-turnover field of flowers in which practitioners and potential practitioners flourish continuously.
Do not feel discouraged if you are not hired by the first firm you apply to as there are many firms that focus on many areas and practices, which may be of interest to you. Finding the right agency is like working on a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis – list the agencies you feel are best for you to target with your experience and you’ll find that this approach sets you down the right path to securing a job offer.
Many human resource representatives are in tune with social media as well as actively recruit via the many avenues that are now available. Getting a job in this economy also relies on how well you brand yourself in the PR world. Don’t be afraid to use the message boards on LinkedIn – ask and answer questions where you can – brand yourself! Build up your twitter following – you will surely get noticed by HR folks who are following you. Step back and take a look at what you can offer agencies. When you send in your resume, really focus on your cover letter – make your cover letter is the one that gets attention.
If you are looking to break into a certain agency, let’s not forget that most agencies have an in-house referral program. Talk to your friends who are currently in an agency you are interested in growing your career. Not only may you get the job, but your friend also gets rewarded. Most HR folks appreciate the internal referrals as employees who refer often refer practitioners who will certainly be stars.
Most importantly, don’t give up – even in this economy. The jobs are out there and agencies are hiring and they are looking for you to join their growing team of superstars!
Lisa Hutchins is a human resources professional who has previously worked at leading PR firms such as Ruder Finn and Cohn & Wolfe. Her responsibilities included recruiting, employee relations, and miscellaneous employee changes. In addition to her HR experience, she has also as a PR pro on an array of accounts and campaigns, including GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer. Follow Lisa on Twitter via @lisahutchins.