Gaining public relations (PR) work experience can be critical for getting started in a public relations career. Many employers prefer job candidates who have more than just a sound educational background. They also want candidates to have experience working in PR. One of the most popular ways to gain experience is by completing an internship, which may be paid or unpaid. You may also gain experience by applying with a temporary employment agency and securing a paying temp job placement.
Completing an internship is one way to gain PR work experience. In many cases, you can find and complete internships while you are still in college, though you may also complete an internship once you’ve graduated. There are even schools that make interning part of earning a degree. For example, you may enroll in a college that allows you to study for six months of the year and spend the other six months working as an intern in your field. In such a case, you may apply for an internship through your school’s program and receive help in finding internships from your school’s staff members.
If the college you attend does not have an established internship program or you have already graduated from college, you may need to find PR work experience opportunities on your own. To do so, you may prepare a resume and cover letter, and then submit this package to PR firms. In most cases, you will send this package to a PR firm’s human resources department and make it clear that you are hoping to gain PR work experience. You may also search for PR internships online, as many company advertise their work placement opportunities via the Internet. Additionally, you may do well to let family members and friends know you are looking for internship opportunities; they may refer you to people in a position to offer internships.
You may also consider looking for work through a temp agency. Often, these agencies have opportunities for individuals who have office skills, but you may also find some PR temp jobs. Many temp jobs last for only a week or two, but companies sometimes need temp employees who can work for months as a time. You may not only gain work experience through a temp job, but also a regular offer of employment. If you perform well as a temp, the company through which you’ve gain PR work experience may offer you full-time employment once your temp term is over.