Competition for media and communications jobs is fierce, so you need to make sure you stand out from the crowd. Before you put together your CV and start applying, check you have these invaluable skills to land the perfect role.
It might sound obvious, but the first skill you’ll need for a job in media is to be a good communicator. Not only will you need to be confident when speaking to people, you’ll need to be a good listener too. You don’t necessarily need to have a degree in English, but you will need to be able to understand language and culture, as you’ll be communicating with a wide range of people in different ways, including in person, over the phone, in writing or through social media.
You will need to write engaging content on a range of different subjects for press releases, articles or case studies, so experience of writing and excellent grammar are essential. Any writing you may have done, whether it’s for a college newsletter or a blog, can demonstrate these skills.
Attention to detail
An eye for detail is vital if you are applying for media and communications jobs, as you won’t just be writing copy, but proofing both your own and that of your colleagues too.
To prove you have what it takes to work in communications, you’ll need to be able to research facts quickly and accurately before presenting them in a clear and concise way so that clients believe what you are saying. You’ll need to know your clients inside out and be up-to-date with current affairs, while also enjoying learning about new subjects.
You are more than likely hoping to enter the world of media and communications jobs because you see yourself as creative and a career in PR, marketing or media will allow this to shine. However, it’s not just writing you’ll need to be good at, your employer will want to see that you can come up with fresh ideas and be a lateral thinker.
You’ll often be working to very tight deadlines, so need to be able to manage your time effectively and prioritise tasks to succeed. You’ll also need to be flexible and able to move from writing a press release one minute to helping run an event the next.
Good knowledge of navigating all the usual office applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook is really important, but it may also be useful to have some knowledge of PowerPoint, Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat, Quark and InDesign.
An understanding of the needs of your business owner, the market and consumers are essential for success, but you don’t have to have had vast employment experience. Read company press releases and trade publications and keep an eye on the markets to build your knowledge.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a degree in English, Media or Marketing, as you can demonstrate you have the requisite skills in other ways such as work experience and hobbies. Anything you’ve done outside your studies, including managing budgets or writing newsletters will show you have some of the skills needed to be a success in the world of communications.