FROM THE DESK: How To Get Hired From Your Post-Grad Internship
August 8, 2016
Happy Monday all – especially to the aspiring PR Gals who are killing it in their internships. Today, this post is for you.
I was inspired to write this post after an e-mail I got this weekend. Keisha sent me a note about her current experience as an intern, asking the pivotal question that’s on every post-grad’s mind – when will they give me a job? So I gave it some thought this weekend, talked about it with a few other post-grads, tried to recall my own experience and share a my thoughts on how to get hired after your PR internship. So to use Keisha as an example, I thought I’d publish an excerpt here, with her permission of course:
“I love reading your site and wish you would write more PR articles. I’ve been working at my internship at a small PR agency for the entire summer and I don’t know if they are going to hire me. I don’t want to ask for a job but I like working here and want to stay and join their beauty accounts. Is it a bad sign that I don’t know if I’ll have a job? Should I start looking other places?”
First Keisha, noted and I’m blushing – I love getting these questions! It makes me feel so Aliza Licht! (A must read book for entry level PR girls). Second, I hear you it’s been what feels like an eon of making media lists, writing pitches, stuffing mailers, fun brainstorming and after all of it, you haven’t heard a thing – I totally get it. Do they see you? Yes. Do they recognize your work? More than you know. Do they even give a second thought to hiring you? Of course, internships are the entry into the business – we all know where our talent pool comes from.
But what you may not know is this:
Summer isn’t over. It’s August 8th. And while you may be thinking “it’s time to go back to school” – it’s actually time to re-calibrate the calendar. Some firms are now just starting to look at the applicant pool and decisions may not even be made till after Labor Day – when summer actually ends!
Agencies fill based on need. Rarely is a firm in a great financial position that they can take on paying one more salary without really knowing what accounts you’ll be working on. Would you hire someone if you didn’t have any work for them?
How do we know you want to be hired and work on beauty accounts? Have you told anyone? Does your intern manager know? You HAVE to speak up. Start setting up weekly check-in’s with your manager, over coffee in the morning or in the afternoon. If you can chat with him/her during a time that doesn’t inconvenience them – they’ll have tons of advice and you’ll have a captive audience to share what you really want.
*Sidenote: Speaking up about what you really want post-internship is important. You’ll be more likely to be placed in a position you want versus one they need to fill. Gateway jobs aren’t always the answer.
Yep, It’s true, you have two – four weeks left. So in the time it may take the firm to make a decision, you have two – four weeks to continue to prove yourself and really “turn it on.” Here’s how:
Be an eager beaver. We all know those girls, that are just a little too excited, too eager, too hungry to get work, do it and do it well with the hopes of receiving praise. As annoying as she can be sometimes, she’s the one getting noticed, being challenged and working her way through the network to ensure her spot atop the hiring pile. BE HER. Do what you can to show your managers and teammates what you can accomplish and don’t be afraid to seek out others, ask for feedback and ask for more work while managing your time effectively (the last part is key!)
Prove you ready for the entry level. Have you ever heard the saying “dress for the job you want, not the one you have?” Why not apply that to your work ethic. Shadow someone who’s a level above you, learn what they know and master the skills they too are trying to master. If you’re team sees that you are performing at the same level you’re gunning for, you’ll have set yourself up for success to get the job.
Look elsewhere. While gunning for one position at the one agency you really want, your career fairy may have other plans for you. Keep your options open and find the best fit for you. Remember it’s not all about that job at that agency there may be another great job that you’ll miss out on if you don’t entertain more than one option. For tips on how to get started check out this post.
In a communication based agency, part of the battle is communication. Mix that with hard work and you have a cocktail that will set you up to land that job or one equally as great!