At lotus823 we are consistently on the lookout for top talent – those individuals that bring a strong work ethic, desire to learn and grow, and are excited for new challenges that await. And over our eight years in business, we have met with and hired many entry-level candidates. A number of these individuals even started with us as interns, joined our team as full-time employees, and eventually moved up through the ranks to hold senior level positions.
Something these individuals, as well as anyone in the field can tell you though, is that the industry is highly competitive when it comes to employment. Employers, including us, are seeking candidates who can seamlessly blend into the team and grow with the agency or organization.
So, how do you make yourself stand out and get offered that first job? Here are some best practices to consider:
- Be knowledgeable about more than just your major.
The realms of public relations and digital marketing have merged over the years, with an expectation that practitioners can work across a variety of specialties. To meet this demand, it’s important to explore areas beyond just your major. For example, if you studied public relations, you should also take some time to explore and learn about areas that would be complementary, such as social media, graphic design, and blog content development.
Having an interest and background in multiple areas will make you a strong candidate to any employer. At lotus823, we look for individuals who are integrated, meaning they have a bit of experience across a number of disciplines. As entry-level candidates, we do not expect extensive experience, but having an interest and some knowledge of more than one of our services is impressive.
- Create a winning portfolio.
Nowadays having a LinkedIn profile is expected. What puts you further up the totem pole is also having samples of experience. This can be a press release that you wrote for one of your classes or social media content you created for an internship. It can even be examples of graphics you have created for your personal use. Whatever items you select, the main goal is the same – to show a future employer an example of your work, thus creating a stronger picture of your capabilities.
- Come to the table with experience.
In hiring entry-level candidates, we often look for individuals with internship experience. These opportunities offer individuals an understanding of what goes into working in an agency or an organization’s marketing department. Further, this shows that you have had office experience and are comfortable in a professional environment.
- Be savvy about social media.
As mentioned previously, most hiring managers will look at a candidate’s LinkedIn profile along with his or her resume. With social media now being part of everyday life, it is not uncommon for organizations to also search for a candidate’s personal social media profiles on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Remember, once something is online, it is never truly hidden. Be smart about what you post and share, and if you do have questionable content on your pages, make the profile private. It is always important to present yourself in the best light.
- Focus on your interpersonal skills.
Any job in the communications field does require some form of being a “people person.” Meaning, you will need to be able to work with different personalities while maintaining a professional stance. We look for candidates who are collaborative, charismatic, and curious. We love when individuals are genuinely excited about learning and are eager to do whatever it takes to become part of this industry. One skill that is tantamount to everything else though, is the ability to multi-task, specifically in agency settings. You will likely be working across numerous client accounts, with the need to jump from one activity to the next, and back again. Our job is to provide stellar support to our clients, while helping them reach their goals. And in working with clients, you never know what each day holds so you must be comfortable with change.
Are you ready to get started? Check out our Careers page and learn how you can become part of our team.