Written by Claire Montgomerie, Account Supervisor for Todd Gallicano’s book.
Transitioning from college life to the adult world can be intimidating, but you are not alone. Some graduates are unsure of their chosen career path or what sector of public relations they wish to join. It may take some time to discover exactly what you are passionate about, but there are some helpful ways to navigate the process before beginning your job search. Informational interviews are the perfect way to know more about a company or organization before applying. They are also a great opportunity to gain feedback on what employers look for during the hiring process. Take advantage and be prepared with these helpful tips.
- Research the Company
Most importantly, heavily research the organization that intrigues you. Whether it’s an informational interview or an actual interview, it looks impressive to be informed about that company. When contacting them for an informational interview, show that you are genuinely interested in their mission statement. Briefly explain how your interests line up with theirs and graciously ask if they are available to meet with you. Simply emailing a resume with a vague message won’t make you stand out.
- Refine Your Resume
A clean, thoughtful resume can set you ahead of numerous applicants. Have it proofread by several people, such as professors and PR professionals. In addition, take some time to craft a personal brand statement. This should be confined to one or two sentences. You will have a better understanding of your personal strengths in relation to what you want to accomplish. This can help narrow down the areas of PR that don’t feel like a good fit for you. What is unique about you and what can you offer a company?
- Showcase Your Experience
What have you previously done in a job or internship to proudly showcase? If your work directly relates to a position of interest, then exemplify that in your portfolio, whether it is physical or online. This should contain your strongest, most relevant work from the start, and isn’t necessarily chronological. Speak about your experience confidently while detailing the strategies implemented. Clearly communicate how that assignment or work sample is applicable to your chosen role.
- Ask Questions
During the informational interview, don’t be afraid to ask for more details about the organization. Some potential questions include:
- What distinguishes this company or agency from others?
- What tasks can an intern or entry-level hire expect on a daily basis?
- What is the general culture within the company?
- What is the best piece of advice you could give to a recent PR graduate?
- Be Yourself
Informational interviews are purely for your own insight, so there is no need to feel stressed while interacting with the recruiter. Bring a notepad and pen along to help you retain the information they provide. Stay professional while expressing your personality and remain open to criticism that could help you improve your resume and portfolio. Don’t forget to thank them for their time!
Connect with the Todd Gallicano Book team!
Claire Montgomerie, Account Supervisor
Sophie Ey, Account Executive
Elizabeth Seelinger, Account Executive