While sifting through the Internets and Twitterverses today, PDXSX came across a pretty typical entry-level agency (PR/ADV/Design) position. Although they probably wouldn’t mind, we decided to make this agency of record anonymous and call it WayneTech PR. If you are a member of PRSA (or savvy with Google), you can certainly find a similar opportunities listed in PRSA-Portland job bank or Mac’s List.
This is actually a very good job ad from two perspectives. From the organization’s perspective it’s a good ad because it really captures exactly what they are looking for and emphasizes that a candidate’s success will be very important to the organization.
It is also a pretty good ad from the applicant’s perspective because it gives you ample areas to cover in your letter or resume and lets you know exactly what experiences or skills you should emphasize and focus your response on.
The following post is a suggested method for you to analyze and attack such an opportunity, by breaking it down into smaller parts which gives you the maximum chance of success. What you are trying to do, strategically, is address as much as you can from the job description into your cover letter (no more than two pages) and support your claims with your resume and experience, which will then result in a face-to-face interview.
Your GOAL: to be invited for a personal interview with the hiring manager. Nothing else.
Actual Job Description
WayneTech PR is looking for a junior team member who is ready to hit the ground running, bringing media relations experience and an understanding of social and digital communications, as well as organization, research ability and writing skills (both creative and AP style). The ideal candidate is a self starter with good judgment who is curious about brands, marketing and popular culture and willing to jump in and help at all levels of tasks. Strong attention to detail and ability to multitask is a must. Responsibilities include all elements of media and blogger relations, social media marketing and consumer promotions, including research, generating editorial coverage reports, tracking results and evaluating programs. As a boutique firm, a WayneTech PR culture match is important, so we’ll be looking for someone who fits well with our team and our mix of sustainable, tourism and consumer food and beverage clients. The ideal candidate brings 1-3 years PR experience (agency experience a plus). To apply, please send your resume, three writing samples and examples of media pitches and results to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bachelor’s degree in communications or a related field and 1-3 years of PR experience, agency preferred. Experience with social media and digital communications a plus.
Section 1: WayneTech PR is looking for a junior team member who is ready to hit the ground running, bringing media relations experience and an understanding of social and digital communications, as well as organization, research ability and writing skills (both creative and AP style).
Breakdown: The first area is the basic needs announcement or requirements section. The opening paragraph of your cover letter (CL) should address most of the points in this section. Here you should eloquently acknowledge that you are looking for an entry-level or junior position (less than three years) in this field (PR).
You should also highlight/mention/call out that you have significant experience in social media and give at least two solid examples of your expertise. Solid examples would be something like: “Recently I created, designed and managed a 10-day Twitter promotional campaign for a major shoe retailer, which resulted in more than 165 retweets and increased the organization’s Twitter account by an additional 380 followers, according to HootSuite’s measurement analytics.”
In addition, you would want to address any media coverage you have earned (send links) and, if you have solid examples, showcase your research or writing skills. Note: Your CL, if well crafted, should already display your superlative writing abilities. If you do not have the requisite social media experience they want, stop now. It’s clear what the agency is seeking and if you don’t have the skills, move on. DO NOT lie about your abilities, skills or talents.
Section 2: The ideal candidate is a self starter with good judgment who is curious about brands, marketing and popular culture and willing to jump in and help at all levels of tasks. Strong attention to detail and ability to multitask is a must.
Breakdown: This area is included so you know you may (will) be asked to take on a number of seemingly unrelated, but very important tasks that will help the organization maintain profitability and run smoothly on a daily basis. This is also sort of a caveat to an applicant, which means: There might be a difference between the work you will actually be doing here and what you are picturing in your head at this very moment.
Be open and cheerful. Accept constructive criticism. Be open to trying new things or doing old things differently. Some work will be a lot of fun, while other work will probably be a challenge. Bottom line, this agency WANTS SOMEONE WHO WANTS to be there and is willing to do whatever needs to be done. It’s also evidence of an organization that wants YOU to grow and learn. This is a good sign.
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