It’s that time of the year again. Students and soon-to-be graduates across the country are updating their resumes, highlighting their experience and trying to score dream internships for the summer. But, as you work to make a positive impression, be sure to think ahead to the skills and tools you want to fine tune once you land the job. Taking ownership of this will help steer your experience and the skills your gain during your internship.
While an internship can serve as a stepping stone between school and full-time employment by helping you hone the skills you have already developed, it can also serve as a launch pad for new opportunities. Are there non-traditional areas of public relations that intrigue you? Have you ever worked in the digital space, designed graphics or edited video content? If you land in an organization focused on employee development, your internship may be the perfect chance to learn how.
This desire to grow can also serve as a talking point during interviews. As an aspiring PR pro, you may not know exactly where you want to take your career, but pointing to new skills or experiences you want to gain is a great way to demonstrate that you are thinking ahead. And sharing this desire with internship coordinators and managers can help you secure learning opportunities that will make you a more complete professional in today’s evolving communications landscape.
Seek out new projects during your internship. Exercise your creativity. Don’t be afraid to ask experienced colleagues around the office for tips. You never know what types of skills you may acquire by taking the initiative, thinking outside of the box and offering to help!
Details, schme-tails. The only people that need to pay attention to details are accountants, lawyers and physicians, right? Wrong. If you are looking to land a job at a PR agency, being detail oriented is not only an asset, it is a necessity.
First and foremost, clients demand high-quality services, about 90 percent of which involve some type of writing or presentation creation. If you hand over a PowerPoint presentation meant for a C-level executive with grammatical errors, informal tone or worse yet, incorrect information, not only will you not get high marks for performance, but the agency’s reputation will suffer a hit as well. Not cool. After all, if a client can’t trust you to spell, why should they trust you with their business?
It may seem obvious, but check your work, check your work, check your work.
Second, perception is everything. It may sound trite and old-fashioned, but it really is true. Providing deliverables that are spelled correctly, formatted consistently and address the audience accurately will enable you to stand out from the competition and position yourself as a professional that can be counted on for quality work. Agencies have high standards and if you have a grammatical error in your resume or cover letter or have misspelled something in an e-mail, your name will likely get pushed to the bottom of the pile. Plain and simple: paying attention to details makes you look good.
Third, there are multiple PR Internship openings across the Porter Novelli network right now, and the application deadlines are fast approaching. Before pressing “send” on that application, recheck your grammar, style and spelling. See the above two items. Seriously.