I guest-lectured last week at a friend's college public relations class. One of the things the young people were interested in was how to stand out from the crowd when you graduate.
I came across a post I put here more than six years ago, and I thought it might be worth repeating for any young readers (or readers with college students).
Five ways not to get an entry-level job interview
Most of this is common sense, but then again, that's really the case in 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.