I finished my BA in English more than a year ago, and I want to work in PR. Even though I’ve sent out more than 5000 resumes, I have only gotten one interview…

Can you take a look at my resume and tell me if I can make it better?

I don’t know what to do to find a job. Do you think you can help me?

5 replies
  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    I took a quick look at your resume. You’re very entry-level, which means there is nothing that makes you different from all the other entry level people. That’s okay — everyone starts out this way.

    But the way you get a job at this point in your career is that you have to meet someone. You need to meet someone who knows someone who has a job opening. You will get a job because you are smart and likable, not because you have qualifications. There are a million people with your qualifications, so the only way you can stand out is being smart and likable. And you can’t get an interview from this resume, you have to get an interview by meeting someone in person and them passing your name to the person who is interviewing.

    Penelope

  2. Mailbag
    Mailbag says:

    I know I am supposed to network, but I have been meeting so many people. I am having trouble finding more people to meet in my field.

  3. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    You don’t need to meet people “in your field.” You don’t have a field. Every company in the whole world does some kind of PR/marketing. But whatever. It’s not like you are qualified to run someone’s marketing. You are qualified to work for someone who does that. So you’ll be entry level. And you can be entry level anything and learn right now. You just need to get into a company and be smart. From there you can get yourself to the type of work you want to be doing.

    So forget meeting people “in your field”. You should just meet tons of different people. Try tons of new things. Go to new places. And talk about yourself like you are doing fun things and excited about what you are doing and learning. Don’t talk aobut yourself as frustrated and unemployed. People want to hire excited people not frustrated people.

    I know this is hard. But you have to fake it a little. And this is true throughout life — adult life is hard for every single person.Just some people are more honest about it.

    Penelope

  4. Brigitte
    Brigitte says:

    This is excellent advice. I got my break into a PR agency by telling a dude at a party that I was looking for work. I’m pretty certain we were both drunk at the time. He told me to e-mail him on Monday, I did, and my resume got passed around. He was at a different PR firm from the one that hired me (Hill & Knowlton). It’s kind of crazy thinking back on it. I can’t remember his name; he was dating a friend of mine (whose name I also can’t remember).

    PR is a particularly difficult field to get into, because everyone who identifies as creative (but is too scared to do something actually creative) wants to work for an agency. Good luck.

  5. KK
    KK says:

    I was offered a job as an associate at a top PR firm in NYC after working for them as a temporary administrative assistant. Admins in PR firms do basically the same work as low level Associates and when a position becomes available – it’s easy for them to slot you in

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