How to Stand Out in the Sea of PR Pros

PRSA THE EDGE OCTOBERThere’s great news! The economy is looking up for today’s job seekers, but that doesn’t mean companies are just hiring anybody. In today’s job market, tenacity and creativity go a long way.

Employer’s want to know you were productive between the time you graduated and the time you applied to your dream job with their company. They love to see that you are committed to your career and gaining valuable experience independently. After tailoring your resume, updating your LinkedIn profile, going on informational interviews, and actually applying with a compelling cover letter, we often complain that the job hunt is a job within itself. The hustle is real but is well worth it once you land a job you love.

Prepare yourself for job-hunting success by creating a job hunt strategy. This goes beyond updating your online presence and applying to jobs but actually making strategic moves to land the job you want. Think organization. Create a list of companies you want to work at vs. companies you would love to work at. Use this list to prioritize time spent on cover letters and networking. Create a google doc and track the applications you send and the responses you receive. Keep in mind the date you applied and the date you followed up. Did you land an interview or was their no response at all? Log it!

Public Relations is a career that requires constant learning. While you are searching for full time positions, strategically introducing yourself by reaching out to companies you the companies on your “love” list. Share the relevant skills and accomplishments that would add value to their company and why you are interested in working with them. Show your passion by volunteering to assist in a project part time or on a paid contract basis. This is the perfect time to prove that you are an asset to the team.

Set yourself apart from other job seekers by taking on alternative positions that are related to the industry. A great way to gain experience is to serve as a Brand Ambassador at local events. Some of the top brands are represented at local festivals and doing a great job marketing their product is attractive to employers. Have you ever thought about asking your local coffee shop if they need some help with their social media? I mean you’re always there anyway applying to jobs, right? The least they can offer in return is a free cup of joe. Create a Social Media Strategy Proposal for them and if they like it, ask them to pay for you to implement it. If not, you have a social media strategy to add to your portfolio.

What are you doing to stand out from the crowded job market?

i-zthGPGn-XLJasmine L. Kent, a member of PRSA-NCC, focuses on building community through dynamic events and engaging online marketing as a freelance integrated communications professional in Washington, DC. Keep up with her on Twitter at @LoveJasPR or visit 

Three Ways to Keep on Your Game During the Job Hunt

3Graduation time is here, but what do you do if you haven’t lined up your first full-time job in the field? Don’t panic; you’re not alone. According to, it could take between three and nine months for a new graduate to find employment in his/her industry. Here are some ways to keep your skills sharp while you look for work.

Write. A lot.

Top-notch writing skills are a must in the competitive PR job market. The more often you practice your writing and editing, the more of an advantage you have over other candidates. Start a blog with a free service like WordPress or Blogger and write as often as you can (Tip: Keep the subject matter PG since a potential employer could see it.).

There are several resources online and via social media you can use to answer questions about grammar and style. Check out Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty on Her blog has tons of great tips to turn any writer into a pro. Also, follow The AP Style Book on Twitter. The guide is updated every spring, and it is a good idea to stay on top of the changes.

Utilize PRSA and its resources.

Sure. Maybe it’s a shameless plug, but membership in the PRSA provides you with some priceless resources – and most of them are literally priceless. While you’re job hunting, keep learning by participating in any one of the hundreds of free webinars available to you as a member. You can register for upcoming live webinars or browse the years of archived trainings available on demand.

In addition to the webinars, has an extensive job center with new listings added each day. You can find articles on prepping your resume, interviewing techniques, and PR salary standards. You can take a career assessment to find out what job you’re best suited for. PRSA even offers a mentor match service so you can find a veteran in the field to act as your guide and sounding board.

Stay active in your community.

There is no such thing as too much networking. Many metropolitan areas have networking groups for young professionals to stay connected to one another to build relationships and reputations in the community. Join one of these organizations and participate in as many activities as you can. The connections you make through this avenue may very well lead to the full-time job you’re looking for.

While you’re not working full time, take this opportunity to volunteer in your community. Pick an organization that you admire and offer your services, whether it is related to public relations or filing and answering phones. Most non-profits won’t turn down the offer of free assistance. You’re getting the opportunity to use your skills or learn something new while they get to see how hard you work. When a full-time position comes open, you’ll be at the top of their list.

Jennifer MaterkoskiJennifer Materkoski is a graduate of Kent State University with a Master of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications with a specialization in Public Relations. She has worked as a writer and editor for both newspaper and television and as a member of a non-profit marketing and development team. Materkoski is the owner and principal consultant of a boutique public relations firm, Songbird Public Relations. She is an avid sports fan, a yogi and also owns and operates an online store selling essential oils and natural products. Materkoski resides in Wheeling, West Virginia with her husband and son. Find her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter @MrsMaterkoski. She can be reached via email at


How to control your future career {PRSA Colorado event recap}

Editor’s note: The following recaps Laura Cardon’s experience at PRSA Colorado’s recent workshop. Find your upcoming local PRSA events here.

After getting carded immediately upon entering the Mile High Moguls job search workshop, I suddenly realized I might be the only person in attendance that had graduated from college.

This turned out to be true, but I considered the night a success despite feeling a bit out of place. Andrew Hudson’s job interview workshop was incredibly helpful, AND I discovered that I still look young enough to get carded!

How to control your future careerMany of Andrew’s points drew close parallels to what we are already well-versed in as PR professionals:

  • Tell a story,
  • Prepare thoroughly,
  • Be honest, and
  • Create a personal brand that people want to be loyal to.

Sounds familiar right?

It’s easy to forget that you have this skill set when you’re searching for a job. Multiple rejections, or even simply no response at all, start to wear on even the most upbeat person.

But don’t get stuck in the quicksand – you have more control over your future than you may think.

Andrew was quick to point out that you actually enjoy total control over several aspects of your job search, and that doesn’t just mean interview prep.

You have control over your personal brand, woven together by:

  • Your personal social media presence,
  • A well-prepared elevator pitch and cold call script, and
  • A polished resume.

You control all of these things, and if you do your homework and enlist the help of others for advice, your chances of getting an interview increase exponentially.

Once you’ve made it into that interview, Andrew emphasized that you want to be a sigh of relief for your interviewers, that “ahh” feeling when they realized they have found exactly who they need.

You are the solution to their problem.

How do you present yourself as that sigh of relief?

Make it clear why you are the best candidate, backed up with specific examples of relevant work and how you will add value to the company or organization.

For example, don’t say you’re hard-working. Everyone is hard-working.

Show your interviewers how you are hard-working based on a story you can tell about a time you’ve gone above and beyond.

In the end, the most successful job seekers truly make it their full time job. (Click to tweet!)

If you’re not currently employed, it’s easy to get a bit lazy, but you’re much more likely to be successful if you treat your job hunt like you are going to work each morning.

Andrew suggested making a routine – spending x amount of time on cold calls, actively searching for jobs, interview prep, etc.

Don’t forget that looking for a job is a skill that can be developed. And under no circumstances forget to send a written thank you note to your interviewer!

Andrew Hudson’s Job List is an excellent resource for job seekers in the Denver metro area (it’s actually where I found my job). Just to be clear, none of the above advice is my own – it is all based on Andrew’s workshop and his fantastic advice. Linhart PR was kind enough to host us for the Mile High Moguls event, which benefitted PRSSA at Colorado State University. For more information about PRSA Colorado, visit

Other resources from Andrew:

Laura CardonLaura Cardon is a public relations professional living in Denver, CO. Originally from Maryland, Laura enjoys riding horses, hiking, and volunteering at the Denver Animal Shelter. In her spare time, Laura also shares her passion for the great outdoors with fellow beginner outdoors enthusiasts on her blog, Outdoors Beginner. Find her on Twitter @LauraCardon23.

How to Find a Job When Moving to a New City

Searching for a job is a daunting task. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a recent graduate or a professional just looking for a change, job searching is often an overwhelming undertaking. When you’re in the need for a change of scenery it becomes a whole new monster.

How to Find a Job in a New City If you’re looking to make the leap to a new city with your career there are plenty of ways to jumpstart your job search before you even pack your bags:

Research Prospects in Your New City.

Searching for a new job should always start with outlining what you’re looking for. A few questions to ask yourself as you begin searching could be:

  • What you like about your current position,
  • What environment you thrive in,
  • Company benefits,
  • How far you are willing to commute each day, etc.

Once you figure out what is most important to you, make a list of potential employers in the area and begin researching them.

Find out:

  • Which have what you’re looking for,
  • Which have posted job openings recently,
  • What kind of work they do,
  • Who to reach out to and, most importantly,
  • If you know anyone who might know someone you contact to chat and share your resume.

Try not to be too picky with what you’re looking for, but don’t sacrifice things that are really important to you.

Use Social Media to Your Advantage.

Before, if we wanted to make connections and search for jobs in a new city, we’d have to make a ton of cold calls, scour phone books and company listings and buy newspapers for the classifieds.

Luckily, the Internet makes job searching so much easier because everything is accessible no matter where you are. It’s great to have all the information you need at your fingertips, but it can be overwhelming. Here are a few ideas to get you started:


  • Set your location to your new city before you move.
  • Join LinkedIn groups focused on your career and new location.
  • Research your desired companies and follow them for updates.
  • Use LinkedIn Job Search to find and apply for new jobs.


  • Create lists of the companies in your new area that you’re interested in.
  • Connect with influencers in your profession and desired area.
  • Join Twitter chats to meet new people & seek out those in your new city.

Make a Local Appearance.

Sometimes all that separates you from your dream job in a new area is your location. If you’re planning to make your move, take your location off your resume, make your intention to move clear during the application process and be prepared to make a trip or two.

Any trips you make should be well planned and you should explain as you’re applying that you’ll be in the area on these particular dates and that you’d love to schedule an interview.

If you’re visiting a couple of times, try to make a few informational meeting appointments for your first trip and schedule real job interviews for your second visit.

Effectively Use Your Resources.

You should always work smarter, not necessarily harder, especially when it comes to looking for a new job.

Make use of everything you have at your disposal, from job boards to alumni resources to your professional network.

Contact your alumni association to find which alumni are in your new city and field. Attend alumni and networking events and leverage your current network to grow an even larger one in your new city.

Ask your connections if they mind making a few introductions – more often than not, professionals will be willing to help a young professional or recent grad.

RobynRobyn is a graduate of Duquesne University, with a bachelor’s in Public Relations, a master’s in Media Arts and Technology. Robyn is currently a marketing coordinator by day and juggles clients for a boutique PR firm and writing for multiple blogs in her free time. Find her on LinkedIn or Twitter, read her PR-focused blog, or check out some of her other work here.