As university students we are well aware of the trouble we may have finding jobs upon graduation. An oversupply of graduates are facing a shrinking market, and with the rise of tuition fees, it is a turbulent and uncertain time for anyone trying to establish their career – within any industry.
To combat this, we are constantly told to ensure we ‘stand out from the rest’ by gaining as much work experience as we can throughout our time at University and gaining as much employability skills as we can through this. And whilst this is fantastic advice, and most definitely something every student should do – I wonder, is that even enough any more?
To walk into an interview and have numerous amounts of work experience on your CV, in agencies, in-house, long-term or short time is fantastic and will certainly impress an employer. But it seems everyone’s CV will begin to look the same soon. The same agencies advertise work experience, and I have found at my university that we all end up working at the same place at some point during our education. I believe we need more, something else to add that sparkle, and REALLY stand out from the rest.
So how do I suggest you do that? – Create yourself as a brand. What I mean by this is defining yourself as something other than another Public Relations student who worked in a few different agencies. You want people to hear your name and say things like “Yes I have visited her website” and “I have seen some of her work”. Your name needs to be associated with Public Relations, and something unique and original that not 50 other members of your course have done as well.
This can be done through your own website, E-portfolio, Blog and Twitter account. Although this is a fantastic starting point to define YOU – you need to actually do something. Like;
- Freelance PR work
- Setting up your own society
- Creating your own campaign