Virtual Elephant recently spoke to me on ways young players could progress their careers in the PR, communications and strategy and creative industries.
Here’s a snippet:
What sort of advice would you give young media graduates finding it difficult to land their first job in the industry?
Be open to as many different work opportunities as you can. While you may be looking for a particular role, you may find, as many do, new opportunities present themselves all the time. Grab them with both hands; the experience will pay off in years to come.
Get writing as soon as you can – in any role. Offer to write reports, articles, social media – anything you can to start honing your craft. In a constantly evolving industry, you have to be adaptable to any project and having those skills up your sleeve will be incredibly valuable.
Get as many internships and work experience placements as you can while studying. Offer a few hours a week ongoing to one agency and you’ll learn incredible amounts.
What do media, PR, advertising and communication recruiters look for in graduates seeking employment?
Recruiters are looking for individuals who have proven work ethic, drive and passion to succeed.
In a competitive industry, recruiters look for passion, dedication and talent above all else. If you can demonstrate you have passion for creativity and examples of your own work, that’s a great start.
Graduating is just the start of demonstrating your value. It’s through your own projects and work experience where you start to develop your own voice and creativity. Create your own projects, offer to write for publications, submit your own artwork – whatever it takes to illustrate you have a unique point of view. This is something recruiters and agencies look for in potential hires. You’ll learn a lot through the process, too.
Employers are less likely to take a risk on hiring a graduate with no work experience. If you’re able to demonstrate you have proactively sought work experience before graduating, that’s a good start in the right direction.
How can someone effectively and successfully move from a PR or communications role in strategy to creative?
Reading up on clever creative campaigns and strategies in industry magazines gives you a starting point to identify what areas you might like to test out.
Sticking your hand up and looking for opportunities to up skill and offering to be an extra pair of hands on projects is the best way to start bridging that gap.
The absolutely best way is to offer to shadow an experienced creative or strategist, supporting with an internship to learn about how they do what they do. Getting your hand dirty and helping others is the best way to learn on the job. Wherever possible, ask for work experience to learn from. You’ll never go without learning something new.
Go to networking events where you’re able to grab the ear of experienced professionals in this area. Pick their brains as to their career trajectory. Offer to buy them a coffee to pick their brains.
Contact people in the industry doing campaigns you admire. Ask them if you can pick their brains for 15 minutes over the phone. Ask as many questions you can and always, always offer to help to learn on the job.
Read the whole article here!