Gaining New Insights from Recruiting Professionals at ProActive 2019
On Thursday, I attended BU PRSSA's and PRLab's joint event ProActive, which offered a chance to speak with current public relations professionals at a range of levels and fields for advice and tips on how to navigate job searches. The event consisted of a panel discussion, which included notable faces in Boston's public relations industry: Christine Keller, senior recruiter at Matter Media Group; Elizabeth Ionnatti, senior account manager at SHIFT communications; George Jamison, corporate communications practice leader and recruiter at Spencer Stuart; and Jenni Brennan, vice president at 360+PR.
The panelists responses shared a common theme relating to authenticity. They all shared how with 500+ applicants coming in around May it's easy to get lost in the mix of things. With resumes and cover letters detailing the same skills and general accomplishments, it becomes difficult for applicants to stand out and show their true voices. Many of the panelists said how they appreciated when students shared a personal experience or interesting fact about themselves that give a little glimpse of who they are and how they fit into their workplace dynamic.
The panelists also emphasized the importance of networking and maintaining strong, professional relationships with standing networks. For example, one of the things all four of the panelists said they appreciated and, to a certain extent, expect are thank you emails after interviews. Following up with an email expressing gratitude for them taking time out of their busy schedules to talk with interested students showed strong work ethic and determination.
These two pieces of advice had the most impact on me, because it allowed me to reevaluate some of the components my applications were lacking and how I can stand out amongst the huge sea of college students looking for professional experience.