Halfway through 2013, the PR job outlook has rarely looked so positive. Three top PR recruiters tell us what PR jobs are hot, what skills are in demand and who’s hiring.
I interviewed three leading US PR recruiters including: Lynn Hazan, President of Lynn Hazan & Associates in Chicago; Amy Segelin, President of Chaloner Associates with offices in Boston and New York City; and Dennis Spring, President, Spring Associates in New York City.
What PR jobs are hot?
The experts’ collective assessment? If you’ve got internal communications, marketing communications, healthcare or digital technology with social media experience, polish up your resume.
PR job opportunities abound in these sectors. With these in-demand skills, experience and social savvy, things look very bright for the next several years.
PR recruiters are busy
Lynn Hazan who specializes in marketing and communications placement said 83% of her placements were with agencies and the remainder in corporate so far this year. She’s on track to match last year’s strong results.
Amy Segelin said her offices in Boston and New York are up 25% collectively and Dennis Spring has seen strong growth as well, up 22% in agency searches and 36% in corporate.
Which PR skills are in demand?
“Internal communications and social media skills are in high demand,” Segelin noted. “Companies seek talented professionals with technical expertise in both areas, either to communicate to employees via intranet or internal social channels or to bring digital skills to contribute to the overall corporate communications effort.”
Spring said PR agencies are actively looking for corporate, financial, B2B, social media and nonprofit experience. “Corporations are seeking marketing communications, internal communications and digital communications expertise,” he added.
Consumer, internal and external communications, and branding are also strong according to Hazan, as well as opportunities in writing and business-to-business marketing.
What sectors are booming?
In Chicago, Hazan’s seeing the strongest growth in agency hiring in addition to consumer, social media and branding (as part of communications) in the corporate sector as well as trade associations.
Spring pointed to increased demand for marketing communications, technology and internal.
There’s a resurgence in healthcare hiring and technology seems to be back in style Segelin stated. She said there’s also growth in global advocacy positions and new interest in “mission-driven communication leaders.”
Social media matters big time
Clearly social media skills are critical. Hazan and Spring both said it’s assumed that candidates now have strong knowledge of social media. At senior levels, what’s going to make the difference is a candidate who know its strategic value and how to apply social media to marketing and PR.
“It is extremely encouraging when a candidate can refer to strategic uses of social media beyond Twitter and Facebook and understands how online measurement tools can provide further insight into the effectiveness of these media,” Segelin said.
Social media or traditional PR resume?
So is the traditional PR resume dead? Not so fast say all three experts. Social media profiles matter but they each suggested you have a traditional resume handy if needed. “I can’t always trust what is written on SM sites,” said Hazan who finds it also takes an enormous amount of time to check candidates’ social media profiles.
Spring reiterated the usefulness of a traditional resume. “Resumes are usually circulated to many executives in the company – many of whom are not PR people and are new-media challenged. In start-ups and other web-based companies almost anything is acceptable.”
“As a communications professional, it is crucial to display a compelling and credible public persona, regardless of the medium,” Segelin added.
Final PR job tips
I asked each of the three experts to offer a final bit of advice to PR job seekers in today’s competitive market:
” My advice has three parts: To create continuous demand for one’s talent, a candidate needs to be both strategic and tactical, embrace continuous learning and keep up to date with technology. Be best in class as well.”
— Lynn Hazan, @LynnHazan, www.lhazan.com, Career Portal
” Treat yourself like you treat your most important client. Craft and tell your story to back it up with relevant and credible messages. Differentiate yourself from the rest of the market.”
— Amy Segelin, @AmySegelin, http://www.chaloner.com Active Searches
“Job-related advice is everywhere. Limit your exposure to personal job horror stories for they tend to sap your enthusiasm and cloud your perspective. Do your due diligence and concentrate solely on those advisors who are well-respected and experienced in the PR business.”
— Dennis Spring, @jobitis, http://www.springassociates.com, PR Registry
Great advice from three very knowledgeable PR recruiters.
What’s Ahead for PR jobs?
In my own experience, and by job postings on my PR Coach Job Board, new openings cut right across every sector. From corporate, internal communications, and technology to healthcare, nonprofit and education.
The PR job trends and prospects have never seemed brighter for PR and communications pros and new graduates looking for their first opportunities. Midway through 2013, the state of PR jobs is very positive.
Lots more PR job resources, tips, job board links available in the PR Library. What’s your experience in PR job hunting? Are you finding opportunities? Comments are welcome below.
Author: Jeff Domansky is author of PRoactive: The Public Relations Job Hunter’s Guide.
Visual: The PR Job Hunter