Published on May 2, 2019, at 2:08 p.m.
by Emma Bannen.
There are a few things every public relations student should have to be a successful pre-professional. There are many accounts and applications that can benefit your networking and job/internship search.
With so many tools, this process can be pretty overwhelming. Below, I’ll break down your must-haves.
If you’re not on LinkedIn by now, stop reading and create an account. LinkedIn is essential for any aspiring PR practitioner. This is the easiest way to maintain your professional network. It can also house your extended résumé — everything you’ve done that didn’t make the cut for the page you bring with you to interviews.
LinkedIn is made for the “humble brag.” This is the perfect place to post about all the things that you’ve accomplished in class or in your extracurricular organizations. By updating your LinkedIn network regularly, you stay relevant to potential employers.
The ins and outs of LinkedIn alone could (and does) fill a whole blog post. Check out this Platform Magazine post by Rachel Childers that dives a little deeper.
For now, it might be OK to use your college email address for internship applications, but that email likely won’t stay with you forever. As you transition to the working world, you probably don’t want it to. Using your college email after graduation makes you seem slightly less professional and maybe even stuck in the past.
In my opinion, the best thing to do is to create a Gmail account. Firstname.email@example.com generally works well. It’s straightforward and easy to remember for someone trying to get ahold of you.
Creating a personal website is a great way to show employers who you are and what you’re capable of. Here, you can showcase work you’ve done for class or for organizations you’re involved in. If you’re on the creative side of PR, a website is especially crucial to present your work.
If you’re not familiar with coding, websites like Wix and Squarespace are easy ways to get your site up and running. This article lays out the pros and cons of some of the most popular website builders.
You might be questioning this one, but in the age of social media, Twitter is an important tool for PR students. An easy way to launch a connection with people or brands you admire is to interact with them on Twitter. If someone posts something that interests you, start a dialogue by replying with what you enjoyed or found interesting about their post.
Make sure you keep it professional but showcase your personality on Twitter. This platform is relaxed, but still appropriate to use for networking. Darsey Norton wrote in her Platform Magazine article, “With a developed and professional personal brand online, young PR practitioners can utilize social platforms to create lasting connections.”
Adding these four tools to your repertoire will take you to the next level as you launch your PR career. These are great ways to interact with potential employers and people you admire, as well as promote your personal brand and professional skills.