Public relations is a competitive industry, and it’s essential to become the best job candidate possible. While the basics of PR will never change (great writing, solid communication skills and the ability to multi-task like a champ), learning these skills will help you land your dream job.

Skills PR students need to get hired

An example of a graphic made on Canva.

1. Social Media

If a company posts on social media and no one sees it, did it even happen? Understanding complex social media algorithms, emerging social media networks (such as Vine and Snapchat) and how to create sharable content will make a recent college graduate an invaluable asset to a company. To earn experience with social media, volunteer to run a local nonprofit’s social media, become certified through HootSuite, and/or learn how to create graphics for social media usage (we like Canva).

2. Inbound Marketing

Outbound marketing is, well, out. Direct mail, cold calls and print advertisements are becoming less and less effective, and inbound marketing is the future. Inbound marketing is a more organic form of marketing that can target specific buyer personas. Become an inbound marketing pro by offering to write guest posts for blogs in your desired field or by earning an inbound marketing certification. HubSpot offers a free certification course for newbies.

3. SEO

Creating great content is only half the battle. Ensure content can be found by learning how to utilize search engine optimization (SEO). WordPress‘ content management system is a great method for learning the basics.  Their free plug-ins enable bloggers to check titles, content, alt tags and meta descriptions for keywords for their target audience. In addition, setting up a Google Analytics account for websites or personal blogs is a must to determine if SEO techniques are working.

4. Analytics

Proving the worth of PR campaigns is something even seasoned PR pros struggle with, but numbers never lie. Showing your number prowess and showing ROIs on previous campaigns will help you stand out from your peers. To learn more about social media analytics, offer to help run a Facebook page for a local club and spend time digging through Facebook’s measurement tools.

Surveys are also a great tool to get started with analyzing data. Try partnering with a local organization to create a survey for event attendees, then chart and present the data to the organization. SurveyMonkey offers free and paid versions, and some colleges offer free survey programs (such as Qualtrics) to students.

While these skills are not a necessity, they will certainly give you a competitive edge over other candidates. Think we missed some skills? Leave us a comment down below with what skills you think will help PR students land their dream jobs.


Written by RachelBurns

Hi, I’m Rachel. I'm a public relations practitioner, a pop culture junkie and that friend who sends way too many Snapchats of dogs. I graduated magna cum laude from Auburn University in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and a minor in business. My time at...
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