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How to win a PR internship at a tech PR firm in San Francisco


Mary Jenkins
How to win a PR internship at a tech PR firm...

If you want to pursue a career in a tech PR firm, it goes without saying that securing an internship in a tech hub like San Francisco would be an ideal launching point. 

For college students and entry level PR professionals alike, internships are a great way to get your foot in the door. But as tech grows in popularity, so does the PR side of tech, making it an increasingly competitive profession with high barriers to entry. 

If you want to rise above the competition, follow these top tips for securing an internship at a tech PR Firm in San Francisco. 

Polish your resume

Your resume is the first thing potential employers receive. It sets the stage for your writing skills and gives potential employers insight into your past experiences. To make a positive first impression, your resume should check all the boxes and include: 

  • Education, relevant experience, and skills; 
  • Work experience in chronological order;
  • Error free content that’s been thoroughly spell checked. 

Outside of these common resume tips, it’s also wise to diversify your action verbs, make your wording clear and concise, and include relevant data points. For example, if you helped increase followers for a social media account, share the percentage increase over the given period of time. Connect your responsibilities to growth, either personal or company related, and share the problems you solved. Responsibilities do not stand out if you do not connect them to proof of execution. 

Tailor your experience to the job

If you’re applying to a job posting in a tech PR firm, study the job description. Make sure you echo the job description’s language in your resume and connect past responsibilities to the skills the job requires. Perhaps your work experience is limited to babysitting gigs or a retail job, which seems to you like a far cry from tech PR. But don’t fret — part of marketing and PR is brand image and packaging up experiences in a way that makes sense for whatever you’re targeting. This is an essential PR skill, so why not practice it with your personal brand first?

Think about how you can market your employment image. Did your time babysitting teach you about the value of collaboration and conflict resolution? Did your retail job give you unique insight into the positive influence relationship building and customer service has on sales conversions? Think about the ways in which your past employment, in PR or otherwise, will inform the job you’re applying for.

Increase your skills 

If you want to beef up your resume with more tangible PR or marketing experience, get creative with how you can apply your knowledge outside of an internship. For example, are you a member of any college organizations? Offer to lead a project that allows you to put your PR or marketing classwork into action. Don’t forget to track your activities and results so you can include them in your resume.  

You could also consider boosting your skills or certifications by taking free Hubspot or LinkedIn Lynda courses. Not only will this show that you’re actively engaging with PR skills, but it will also help boost your experience and fill in some of the knowledge gaps from past employment. 

Make connections 

Sometimes, no matter how much experience or education you have, networking and relationship building are often the key to scoring a job. If you have your eyes on a tech PR firm in San Francisco, get your foot in the door by connecting with employees there. Even if there aren’t currently any open internship positions, you’ll be top of mind when it’s time to hire. 

Research tech PR firms in San Francisco, study them, and if you don’t see any openings shoot them an email expressing your interest in the company and with an attached resume and cover letter. Connect with employees on LinkedIn and reach out to them, not for a job exactly but rather for advice on scoring a job in tech PR or to learn more about their company and their position. Don’t look at these potential conversations as transactional or as an opportunity to score the job. Instead, use them as opportunities to build relationships. 

Do your research


When you finally do land an interview at a top tech PR firm in San Francisco, you can impress your potential employer by coming prepared with industry news and knowledge. 

It may seem like a tall order to know the ins-and-outs of the tech environment in San Francisco, but do your best by studying rising startups, tracking funding announcements, and brushing up on the background of companies that the tech PR firm you’re interviewing with represents. 

And because you’re interviewing for a PR position, it’s a good idea to become a news junkie; make it a habitat to monitor important tech news sources and top PR firms in the area. Because startups are so crucial to a complete understanding of tech PR, it is important to study the nuances of funding rounds and the status of the fastest growing startup industries. 

Whether you have a ton of PR experience or not, demonstrating passion for the tech environment is what will ultimately help you stand out in an interview. 

About Mary Jenkins: Mary is a Senior Communications Associate for Swyft, which is a tech PR agency in San Francisco, Austin, Denver and Houston. Swyft was listed as a top digital marketing and PR agency in Denver by BuiltinColorado. In addition to being a top tech PR agency in San Francisco, Swyft was also listed as one of the top tech PR agencies in Texas by the B2B services review site, Clutch.co.

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