Wandering around the blogosphere, I happened across Teaching P.R., by Karen Miller Russell, associate professor at the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication. In a recent post, she lists several things she'd like to see public relations professionals write that could offer advice to her students and others considering a career in PR.
One of her topics is: Five ways not to get an entry-level job
Most of this is common sense, but then again, so is much of what we do in public relations.
1) Don't take a broad range of classes in school. Stick only with p.r., journalism and marketing courses and don't learn anything about literature, history, art and science.
2) Don't get involved in extracurricular activities. Don't join the school paper or the college radio station. Don't write for the school's humor or essays publication. And whatever you do, don't get into positions of leadership in any organizations you might accidentally join.
3) If it's public relations you;re considering as a career, don't go to the school's public information office to see about an internship, work-study or simply volunteering.
4) Assuming you've ignored the advice above, don't gather your writing samples into a professional-looking portfolio. And don't show any creativity by doing something to make your portfolio look distinctive, rather than just using a store-bought folder.
5) Don't do some research before your job interview. Show no initiative by going online to learn about the company you're interviewing.
The bottom line is preparing for that entry-level job should begin long before you start interviewing.
I'm sure my colleagues reading this can offer additional tips to help you stay out of the job market when you graduate.