Communicating well verbally, and in print,  is no easy task, and it’s a skill that many employers are looking for in new employees. In fact in “skills that employers are looking for in employees” communication skills comes up rather highly on that list (most lists in that Google search rate communication, or the ability to write and speak well, in the top three.)

US News listed Communication at number six, but also had this to say,

A whopping 98 percent of employers surveyed said they consider communication skills to be essential. According to Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding, that means “the ability to write, compose emails, give presentations in front of others, and being able to have conversations with those across generations.”

He adds that many employers believe hard skills, such as how to use a particular software program, can be easily learned, while soft skills, such as communication, need to be developed.

So if communication is important for the average job seeker, it must be doubly so for the communication student who is seeking a job in Public Relations as a communications professional.  So how can those soft skills be developed?

Some hints from around the web for developing your communication skills in a way that will help you land a job in a year or two as a professional communicator.

Develop writing skills.  Blog.  Tweet. Facebook.  Show a passion for writing by well, writing.  Use the platforms that you’ll be using once you become a professional.  Network with other professionals.

Be a media junkie.  Have something interesting to communicate with people about, and be able to communicate it well- whether by talking about it in person or writing about it. More importantly following reporters and staying current on news is an important part of the PR world.

Build your brand now.  Your social network is likely the network with which you’ll reach out to find your first job and while that network can lead to opportunities companies can also use it to screen future employees.  You are your brand as a PR professional.

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