Graduation might just be around the corner for a lot of public relations students and that (hopefully) means the job search is on for most of you. If you are starting to interview for entry-level positions or are going to go the intern route- which I highly recommend you pursue if you’re having trouble getting a full-time position, you need to dress well for the interview.
S: PR agencies tend to have a different working environment than most other types of businesses. What do you recommend to those who are going on interviews (or informational interviews) wear? Should they dress more traditionally, like in suits? What is acceptable in today’s creative casual working environment?
PRCouture: I think it really depends on the [PR] agency. You can never go wrong with a nicely tailored suit – it shows you take the job and your professional career seriously. However, it pays to do a bit of research on the agency culture. If it is a lifestyle firm with a casual dress code, for example, a basic suit might read boring, unimaginative and overdone! Think about using separates – like a solid black pencil skirt with a patterned top, or a flattering a-line, full skirt with a pattern, paired with a solid basic top. You also can’t go wrong with a simple wrap dress – I have a black one and a dark blue patterned that are my go-to’s for any client presentations or times when I need to dress it up a bit. Unique accessories and an unexpected shoe color or heel are also great ways to infuse a bit of personality into your look.
S: What type of practical accessories do you think are best for students to use to carry their portfolio or notebook?
PRCouture: I use a white binder for my portfolio filled with plastic sleeves for clippings – as long as your items are clean and organized I think that’s fine. I think carrying those in hand or having them in a purse or messenger style bag works, just make sure to bring them! And something to write with!
S: What are some key investment pieces you think young public relations professionals should invest in once they have that first job?
PRCouture: A pair of comfortable black heels and flats, a wrap dress, a pencil skirt, a blazer, a wrap necklace, and a black or brown leather bag that fits your laptop.
S: What are your thoughts on vintage clothing in the workplace?
PRCouture: Vintage is great to incorporate into an overall look – a scarf or a 1940s silk blouse, are great. Just make sure the piece fits well and is free of any damage.
S: What is your biggest piece of advice when it comes to being fashionable yet professional?
PRCouture: Stick to basic pieces and shapes add in your personality with details – a silver cuff you wear every day, a vintage carpetbag as a purse, bright purple heels with an all black pantsuit, an asymmetrical basic white tee paired with a standard black blazer.
For more information, be sure to visit PRCouture’s website.