Category Archives: Graduates

Graduate Job Podcast : How to get a job in PR

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James at Graduate Job Podcast interviewed me recently.  We talked about what graduates need to do to get a job in PR (and the best kind of tea to drink).  He asked me lots of the questions that graduates ask – what’s a good CV? What skills do you need What’s a decent cover letter?  How important is work experience? – so it’s really worth checking out if you’re applying for PR roles.

You can hear the full interview here.  If, like me, you don’t like the sound of my voice, there’s a full written transcript there too so you can read that instead.

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What skills do you need for a career in PR?

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Head over to Comms2Point0 where I’ve blogged today about the skills you need for a career in PR.

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2015: 150 PR agency internships, apprenticeships, work experience, graduate schemes & entry-level roles

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Jan 2016: Please note that the 2016 version of this list is now available here.

One of the things I’m most often asked about is the importance of internships.  Do you really need experience to get into PR or can you go straight onto a graduate scheme?  In my experience, it’s absolutely vital that you have previous PR experience before applying for an entry-level job in communications. One of the things I often advise those job hunters to do is to look at the PR Week top 150 agencies and start looking for work experience, internships, apprenticeships and graduate schemes offered by those firms.

So to kick 2015 off in style I’ve done the hard part and trawled through websites to bring you the top 150 companies’ internships, apprenticeships and entry-level opportunities in this handy list.

For an detailed look at careers in the PR industry including how to write a decent CV and cover letters buy my book: How To Get A Job In PR

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49 Great PR People on Twitter Chosen by Graduates

twitterHot on the heels of my 50 PR Blogs Chosen By Graduates blog post, I asked the current batch of Tayor Bennett Foundation trainees to each list their ten favourite PR people on Twitter.  Links to the grads’ Twitter accounts and blogs with their reasons for their choices are below, followed by the full list (which you can follow here).  I gave them free reign, so absolutely no guidance in terms of who I rate on Twitter.  There’s also this handy list of PR influencers by Lissted – which I also didn’t tell them about before they put their lists together.

Interestingly in this and both the PR blogs list, there are few geographical boundaries.  The PR practitioners chosen are based not only in the UK, where the graduates are, but also North America, Australia and Asia.  Perhaps a sign that entry-level pracitioners don’t care where you are if you have something interesting to say, and that they already value global opinion and ideas.

By the way, these six (really fabulous) graduates leave the Foundation’s PR training programme in mid-November and are about to start job hunting so if you need bright, well-trained grads to join your PR agency or in-house comms team give me a shout.

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50 PR Blogs Chosen By Graduates

Recently I asked the Taylor Bennett Foundation PR trainees to pick their favourite PR blogs and this is the list they came up with – all worth checking out especially if you’re just about to embark on your first PR job, but even if you’re a seasoned PR practitioner.

There were 8 grads and they chose 10 blogs each – some overlapped bringing the final total down to 50.

Tofayal – interning at Cohn & Wolfe (here’s the reasons for his 10 choices)
Sheeraz– now working at Perception PR
Raz – now working as a media planner at Nickelodeon
Hannah– recently interned at Bell Pottinger
Kerrie – interning at Luther Pendragon
Pritpal – now working at MHP Communications (here’s the reasons for his 10 choices)
Ndela – now working in comms at One Housing Group
Kiran – now working in comms at Royal London Group Continue reading

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20 Useful Articles for PR Job Hunters

1. What does a PR agency do? 

2. The future of the PR industry 

3. Why I deleted your PR job application

4. How to start a career in PR

5. The three Rs of job applications Continue reading

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Video CVs – are they the future?

In an era of high-levels of youth unemployment, sensible graduates are trying to find ways to stand out from the crowd. Are video CVs the way forward?It may be much easier to be persuasive if you can talk to an employer rather than just send a cover letter, so it might be a great way to get noticed. A couple of years ago I featured this CVIV from Graeme Anthony (he then went on to secure himself a job at a PR agency so it did the trick)

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10 ways to start writing for a PR career

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Writing skills are highly prized by PR employers but if you’ve had three (or more) years of writing essays and dissertations, how do you go about changing your writing skills to be relevant to a PR career? Continue reading

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Ten tips for new graduates

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So you’ve just left university and you’re hankering after a job in PR.  What should you be doing?  Here are my ten top tips.  Continue reading

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Rude graduates don’t get jobs

 

rudeStats on graduate employment make depressing reading.  It is one of the hardest times ever to leave university and secure a graduate level job.  My trainees worked out it was taking them on average 33 applications to secure an interview.  AN INTERVIEW, not even a job offer!  These are well trained grads who write great cover letters and have sparkling CVs which experienced PR headhunters have combed through in great detail, and even they struggle.

 

Which is why I was surprised on Monday when six out of twenty graduates invited to come along, didn’t turn up for the Taylor Bennett Foundation assessment day.  Two¸I believe, had genuine reasons not to be there but the other four contacted us after 8pm on the day before to say they  wouldn’t be turning up.  One said “I’ve had a change of circumstance”.  What could possibly change on a Sunday night that they didn’t know about on the Friday?

 

None of them had the balls to call us on the phone.  Even the two with genuine reasons. They all sent vague emails.  That really grips my shit.  It’s rude, and cowardly.  Although in the past we’ve had some who haven’t turned up and haven’t bothered to contact us at all and that is unforgiveable.

 

To get an assessment invitation they had to fill in a very very long application form.  It is deliberately long to test commitment to the programme and to give me the opportunity to check out whether they write well and whether they have the right motivation to be selected.  Then they have to attend a two hour pre-assessment briefing where they are given a rundown of what the assessment day entails and a presentation topic which they have to spend several hours preparing in advance.  Finally, they have to complete a 30 minute online personality suitability test.  It’s hardcore.  It’s detailed.  It’s designed for us to get the best.  These six graduates completed all these stages and yet still didn’t show for the assessment.

 

They are told, even if they don’t secure one of the eight coveted spots on our programme we will give them very detailed and honest feedback.  This takes considerable time and effort by our assessors and our Programme Manager who has to collate all of the handwritten notes from the day.  It is feedback they are never likely to get anywhere else.  It is unique to us and it is our way of helping more than just the graduates who join us for the ten week traineeship.  Only about one in ten grads bother to reply to us to say thank you for the feedback.  Manners, it seems, are not taught at university.

 

If I were a grad in this economic climate, I would have to be on my deathbed to not to turn up to such an amazing opportunity.

 

In a way, those graduates did us a favour.  It saved us the job of weeding them out as unreliable and uncommitted during the assessment process.  However, they did not do other grads a favour.  If they had given us enough notice – say, Friday lunchtime – then we could have invited others to have taken their place and have a shot at getting a place on the TBF programme.

 

So if they apply again, their applications will automatically go in the bin.  We don’t take rude and selfish people at the Taylor Bennett Foundation, and I suspect other employers won’t either.

 

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