Continuing our quest to know more about the world of PR & Comms, King’s Careers spoke with Liberty Communications about how students can articulate their degree-related skills in an interview. Even without much work experience, you can (and definitely should!) use your degree when you talk about your employability and skills. Let’s hear it from Liberty Communications…
It is important not to underestimate or undervalue your degree as a recent graduate. While work experience is a definite value add and extremely important to help bolster your CV and get you to the interview stage, employers will not have unrealistic expectations about your employment experience. This means that the skills you have learned during your degree and the experience that you gained while at university is very important to apply and translate to the world of work.
For those interested in exploring a career in PR (public relations), strong writing ability and effective communication skills are vital. These are both transferable skills for anyone who has a degree in arts & humanities subjects particularly, but other degrees bring valuable disciplines as well, such as problem-solving skills acquired through STEM subjects.
Think hard and prepare in advance of an interview so on the day you’re ready to provide specific examples of projects or pieces of work that you completed during your course that demonstrated core skills and competencies that will have a direct benefit to the prospective employer.
Research and analytical skills
For PR, being able to showcase and talk about projects you completed on your degree involving things including research/surveys and analysis, writing (essays, Q&As, literature reviews etc) and problem-solving/creative thinking will all be well received and help provide evidence of your competency and capability.
While it’s clearly true that the world of work and the world, in general, is becoming ever more digitised and computer literacy and a solid understanding of digital and social media are key attributes for a career in PR, we would also emphasise the importance that still exists in people skills.
King’s Careers Take: Got an interview ahead? King’s Careers & Employability have a wealth of resources for you, from interview tips, how to structure your answer and how to present your skills. Why not check out our Interview Keats pages, and then book your own Practice Interview with a Career Consultant?
Being able to build rapport and develop relationships with clients, the media and colleagues alike are absolutely fundamental for a career in the PR industry. Graduates who can demonstrate these ‘softer’ skills will definitely stand out in our experience.
While the impact of disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence continues to grow and become ever more prevalent, the ability to deliver tasks that even the most sophisticated machines cannot (at least not yet!) in terms of rapport building and empathy remain very important.
Problem-solving and overcoming challenges
Another useful tip and something that is good to reference in an interview is to not be afraid or wary about highlighting a challenge or something you encountered as part of your degree that you found to be particularly difficult to deal with.
There are challenges to overcome and things that crop up last minute all the time in the world of PR. Being able to talk about how you tackled a problem you faced and the steps you took to resolve it and work around it during your degree is something else to be prepared to talk about.
Overall, be confident and proud of what you’ve achieved through your degree. Getting to the interview stage is an achievement in itself and recognition that an employer is impressed with what they’ve read on your CV. Good luck!
King’s Careers Take: Wherever you are on your career journey, remember that your time in university has granted you an incredible set of skills. For more about this topic, read our blog all about degree-related transferable skills!
Blog provided by Liberty Communications
Edited by Laura Patari