Finding job opportunities in PR and related communications fields has become an on-the-go process, like nearly everything else. Many job seekers—or perhaps most—tap the LinkedIn icon on their mobile devices, do a quick scroll of available job titles and click “apply” without tapping through to read the job descriptions. Or, if they do read the job descriptions, they might just do a quick scan to make sure that conversational Mandarin is not required.
Does this describe your own approach to seeking a new job in PR? If so, you should pat yourself on the back for your efficiency and ability to simultaneously walk down the street, avoid getting hit by a taxi and apply for your next gig.
First, I'll call attention to this study on what multitasking does to your brain.
Now, I'll list the ways in which you've helped the careers of your competitors in the job market by clicking "apply" while driving or walking across a street against a red light.
1. By neglecting to read the job descriptions—or neglecting to read the job descriptions closely—before tapping the "apply" button you've worsened your chances of finding a job you actually want. You've developed a bad habit, one that more single-minded, focused applicants will exploit as they suit up for job interviews with great employers they actually researched.
2. All you've shared with prospective employers is your LinkedIn profile, which by definition has not been tailored for the job for which you just applied.
3. You have not sent a resume. Perhaps resumes are considered to be relics by job applicants nowadays, but who cares what job applicants think? What matters is the perspective of the employer. You want to assume that potential employers dismiss the value of tightly written, easy-to-read resumes that eschew the puffery of LinkedIn summaries? Do so at your own risk.
4. You have not written and attached a cover letter. Excellent writing ability is the bedrock of successful careers in PR. By not sending a cover letter, you're either hiding your spotty writing skills or you're selling yourself short. You're also telling the employer you have not read the job description and have not done a lick of research on the company. Attaching a template cover letter is also a gift to your job market competitors who take the time to compose a cover letter that proves they've done some research on the job and company in question.
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Follow Steve Goldstein: @SGoldsteinAI