Get Ready for More Entry-Level Jobs (Some Experience Required)


Last week, Laurent Lawrence of the PRSA wrote an op-ed on the reasons behind PR’s big turnover problem. One of the issues he addressed was “nonexistent onboarding”, or managers who hire entry-level employees and expect them to manage accounts, like, yesterday.

In an unrelated story this April, Richard Edelman responded to an inflammatory Financial Times piece by admitting that too many firms “dump” their media relations work on the very same newbies. Sorry, guys.

Yet a report published late yesterday in The Wall Street Journal tells us to expect an increase in entry-level PR jobs over the next few years. Here’s the thing: those jobs will require more experience and more refined skill sets than they did in the past.

As the WSJ’s Lauren Weber says in the video after the jump, “internships are the new entry-level jobs.”

In short, employers have raised expectations for entry-level applicants because the increasing number of people who want the jobs has outpaced the growth in unfilled positions. This trend mirrors comments we’ve received from readers who have experience…but not as much experience as low and mid-level gigs require.

“The number of recruiters requesting two or more years of work experience for some middle-skill occupations rose as much as 30% from 2007 to 2010”

WSJ image

A rep from Deloitte tells the WSJ, “what we need is people who can immediately get in front of clients. They’re not going to sit in a back office anymore.”

The answer? As  Courtney Lukitsch, principal and founder at Gotham Public Relations, told us in a guest post earlier this week, it’s all about getting as many internships as possible and arriving at interviews “with specific questions about the industry and the practice.”

So it’s not that the job market for young PR pros has changed so much as it’s grown more competitive.

The video is worth a couple of minutes of your time:

A question for readers who are still relatively new to the industry: do these findings reflect your experience?