As a Washington D.C. and Seattle public relations and marketing firm, we are on the receiving end of countless inquiries from people who are anxious to find a job.We get it – unemployment is high and lots of people are looking.We are not currently hiring, but we do have some tips to help you get your foot in the door.And if you’ve read this far, you are way ahead of most of the crowd that is blasting resumes to every e-mail address they can find.
1)You absolutely must stand out from the crowd. Every week we have a batch of resumes that have come in through e-mail that say nothing more than, “Resume attached.” Those don’t even get opened.We also receive a handful every week that go something like this:“I am looking to break into the field of public relations,” or “I am looking to put my marketing degree to work.” This is a laudable objective. But if 500 people have the same objective then you are not really standing out. Plus you are presenting yourself from your point of view, rather than the employer’s.T he e-mails that get read are the ones where the candidate has clearly learned something about the company and the people there, and the candidate has crafted a thoughtful – yet brief – introduction that somehow relates.
2)Do not click on a company’s Google ad if you are going to simply go to their web site and submit a resume. Companies pay dearly for Google ads, and every click costs money. If you click on the ad, go to an employer’s website and then send in a resume, you are essentially charging them to receive it. Savvy companies monitor their Google analytics and can see where traffic is coming from – I have seen plenty of examples of people finding our company on Google, clicking on our ad ($$), and then sending us a resume. No thanks. Again, put yourself in the employers’ shoes.
3)Finally, if you want to stand out, find a connection. Look at LinkedIn, or on the web, for some personal link to someone at the prospective employer you are pursuing. Contact that person and learn what you can about your target company, and ask them if they can make a referral, or whether you can use their name in contacting your target company. I’ll be honest – seeing a name I know makes all the difference, and it demonstrates that the job seeker has done their homework. This kind of diligence and networking are valued attributes in our industry, so I’m going to naturally be interested whenever I see that someone possess them.
One tip that doesn’t really fit into the category of advice I have presented above is this: Internships. If you haven’t invested some of your time in the field of communications prior to applying for a permanent, full-time job, then you are at a disadvantage.In a tough job market, that prior experience can really stand out.So if you have it, flaunt it.
I hope this helps you with your search. Even though we are not currently hiring, there is always someone out there who is. Put yourself in their shoes, and imagine you are bombarded with hundreds of inquiries per week – what will make you stand out and relevant.