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Go from rookie to rising star:five entry level job tips to get you noticed

As an executive recruiting firm, our clients hire us to find experienced professionals and not entry-level candidates; however, if you’re just starting out, we’d like to help you land your first job. Use the expert advice below and soon you’ll be on your way to a successful career in advertising, marketing or public relations.

  • Landing an internship is a perfect way to get started in the advertising, public relations or marketing field. Companies can be reluctant to take on an employee who has never worked in an office environment or dealt with clients. Even if an internship position is unpaid, it will give you valuable experience and a leg up on other entry-level candidates. Squeezing in a few hours a week to work as an intern will give you exposure and experience. More than one internship, or long-term internship, is even better.  Aim to land one by your junior year of college.
  • As you may have heard, your online presence, including Linkedin, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, can affect your professional reputation. Perform a Google search on your name to see what you find.  And take advantage of your online resources to demonstrate your knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm for your career choice through your posted content on the web.
  • Attend local chapter meetings of professional associations such as the Public Relations Society of America, American Advertising Federation, Sales & Marketing Executives, International Association of Business Communicators, or The Association for Women in Communications. Many colleges have student chapters of these organizations where you can meet professionals in the field and pick up valuable insights into the industry.
  • When you attend professional association meetings and events, be sure to “network” by introducing yourself to as many professionals as possible. Sit at a table or position yourself in the room where you have the opportunity to meet new people. Be friendly, ask questions and show enthusiasm for the people and the industry. Ask for advice rather than a job—everyone likes to be seen as an expert. Give contacts something to remember you with, such as a professionally-printed business card featuring your name, contact information, Linkedin profile, date of graduation and major, and pass them out to people you encounter. And remember to request a business card from every person you meet then follow up with a Linkedin connection request and later an email.  
  • To gain experience and portfolio samples, volunteer to work on a marketing or public relations committee for a local charity or non-profit. These organizations often lack the budget or staff to support all the projects they would like to undertake. Not only will you gain hands-on experience while doing something good for your community, you will meet influential businesspeople that volunteer or serve on the organization's board of directors or committees.
  • Creative students (and professionals alike) can benefit from an online portfolio that demonstrates your creativity, vision, and ability.  Consider investing in your future at creative schools such as The Portfolio Center, Miami Ad School, Creative Circus, and VCU Brandcenter, where you will gain additional training and build a book of work.