Unsolicited and Borrowed Career Advice

Last week my Intro to Public Relations professor, @cdbond, invited a former student of his and Missouri Western alumness to come and talk to his Nonverbal Communication class to talk about working in Public Relations after graduation and everything else about the career that she felt was necessary for us to know. Her name is Lindsey Wichern, and this is just some of the useful information that I walked away with after a mere 50 minutes of enlightenment.

First, know whether or not you want to work for an agency, a firm or for a non-profit. Knowing this will help you to pick an internship easier. Also narrow down some cities that you’d like those internships to be in because if you get an internship there and the company likes you enough you may be offered full-time employment after your internship is finished.

When meeting with possible “bridges” with a lot of possible connections:

  • Bring copies of your resume with you
  • Before you leave the meeting ask “is there anyone else I should know?” and “Who else should I meet with?”
  • Be sure to leave with three more names of perspective people that you could meet with
  • Be gracious

When cold e-mailing people tell them that you are “just looking for some advice” and you may get somewhere with them.

Three important things that you should always know as a PR professional:

  • Always stay updated about what’s going on in the news
  • Be knowledgeable and do some research about the in’s and out’s of social media, including analytics and how to use comments etc.
  • KNOW HOW TO WRITE ; Press releases, news stories, tweets, etc.

Applying for big kid jobs can be  a cringe worthy time but it doesn’t have to be. Anytime you apply for a job/internship write it down, create a Word document with information about the company, when you applied, the resume that you gave them. Create multiple folders if you need to, just keep things where you can find them at a moments notice. Make sure you know your audience and tailor your resume to specific jobs. Go through the job descriptions of the jobs that you are looking for an in your tailored resume add “trigger” words that you see that you think will fit (these words may keep your resume in the company’s database longer).  When creating your resume put your education on the top, PR/job experience next and then follow with any other previous work experience (avoid high school jobs unless they are relevant).

So, thank you Lindsey for the advice and good luck out there!


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