The Do’s and Don’ts of Applying for a PR Internship
May 4, 2015
Oh, hey, soon-to-be college graduate – I see you checking out the BPR website. If you’re hoping to get into the PR industry and looking for an internship, there are certain things you should and should not do to stand out during the interview process. Below are a few do’s and don’ts that make a PR internship candidate either shine in our eyes or, well, not.
- Prove that you’ve multitasked — to the extreme
- In the PR industry, not a single day is the same. We rearrange and edit our to-do lists multiple times a day. Higher priority items supersede high priority items; tasks that weren’t in our hemisphere at 9:00am dictate our day by 9:30am. There are 30 balls in the air at all times (and sometimes, when it gets super fun, we’ll find ourselves juggling 50 balls, wondering why physicists haven’t yet figured out how to stop time). Staying organized amongst differing degrees of craziness is essential, and we want to know that you can stay composed and on top of your workload without us having to micromanage you. Prove that you’ve mastered this in past experiences.
Don’t just say you’ve juggled your workload in college. These class requirements are outlined in the professor’s syllabus on day one, and fulfilling university credit stipulations while being involved in a sorority, band, Quidditch club, whatever, is not the same as juggling your workload in this industry – trust us.
- Provide (well-written) writing samples
- In PR, we write. A lot. Whether it’s a press release, pitch, blog post or some variation, being able to communicate well via the written word is tantamount. Show us your grammar acumen and creativity with some writing samples.
Don’t have any typos in your cover letter, resume or emails. A big part of our job is editing and checking for grammar, so this is a deal-breaker. Let me repeat: DEAL-BREAKER. We’ve seen resumes and cover letters in which Barokas is repeatedly misspelled; “your” is used in place of “you’re”; run-on sentences are utilized so frequently, cover letters read like lengthy streams of consciousness, etc., etc. Read and reread for mistakes – find them. Or we will.
- Know what PR professionals actually do
- Be clear and precise in your reasoning as to why you want to get into PR. Many people don’t know what PR professionals do. This includes some of our spouses, boyfriends/girlfriends, parents, pets, etc. We need to make sure you’re knowledgeable about the industry and as passionate about PR as we are.
Don’t just say you want to help clients, that you’re a “people person,” (what does this even mean? You breathe air and don’t hate it?), or you think PR sounds fast-paced and interesting. Be specific. Do research. Google. Share what really excites you about PR.
- Be yourself (as clichéd as it sounds)
- At BPR, we regard each other as a “work family.” We have a wide range of interests, hobbies, skills and passions, which only makes us better as a whole. Our individual uniqueness allows us to generate original, creative ideas for our clients. So, go ahead – show us your unique, irreplaceable self. We really want to meet the Real You.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your resume. It’s another way to show your personality and showcase your skillset.
If you’re interested in an internship with BPR and ready to ride the fun, crazy wave that is PR, send your cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Randi and Aerin