Career Services Workshop: Resumes & Cover Letters

April 15, 2010 at 9:49 am (Assignments, PRCA 3711)

This past week was Student Employment week at Georgia Southern University so there were many workshops and seminars put on my career services. My choice was to attend the workshop on resumes and cover letters. I feel as if this one is especially important seeing as graduation is less than a month away! (I can’t believe it!)

I found this workshop extremely helpful. Although the speaker repeated a lot of the same tips and advice I have heard previously, there was also a lot of good information that I feel the need to share with you all out there.

  • Just like our professor, Barbara Nixon stresses, be sure your resume is free of ANY mistakes and is brief and concise.
  • The first step in beginning your resume writing is to make a list of all the experience, education, volunteer work, etc., that you feel is relevant to the job or internship you are applying for. Then when it is time to sit down and put the resume together, pick out the most relevant and most important things according to the job position or company.
  • Do not limit yourself! Now what I am about to say is going against everything all your teachers have ever said about writing a resume: The speaker said DO NOT leave out important experience, EVEN if you have to go to a second page. I thought this was surprising and interesting because my entire five years spent at Georgia Southern and I have always heard the exact opposite.
  • Your objective and cover letter need to be tailored to each position and company you are applying for.
  • Your cover letter is your chance to sell yourself to the company; to really make them want to look to look at your resume for more information about you.
  • NEVER answer the phone, even if it is for a job call-back you have been waiting for IF you are not in an appropriate place. (i.e. Watching a football game with friends, at a noisy restaurant or concert). This can instantly turn the future employer off. Wait until you are in the quietness of your car or home to return the phone call. It is okay to allow this person to go to voice mail.
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Podcast: “J.Cam’s Hour”

April 1, 2010 at 3:56 pm (Assignments, PRCA 3030)

For my Social Media and PR class at Georgia Southern University, we were asked to create a podcast relating to public relations. I created my podcast based on my experience planning events for my sorority. Below is a link to my podcast, along with the show notes below that.

“J.Cam’s Hour”

Jcam’s Hour Podcast

Show Notes: March 29, 2010

“What I learned from planning a big event”

Introduction…………………………………………………………………….……………….0.19

Committee Selection…………………………………………………………………….……1.11

Dividing Committee………………………………………………………………….……….1.21

Setting Goals…………………………………………………………….……………………….1.34

Dividing up Tasks……………………………………………………………………………….1.47

Choosing a Venue………………………………………………………………………………2.18

Getting Community Involved………………………………………………………………3.22

Notifying Media…………………………………………………………………………………3.55

Picking a Theme………………………………………………………………………………..4.23

Sponsors……………………………………………………………………………………………4.49

Have Fun!……………………………………………………………………………………….…5.19

Public Relations…………………………………………………………………………………6.29

Farewell…………………………………………………………………………………………….7.07

Credit for the podcast:

http://www.podcastthemes.com/audio.php

  • “Edgycation Theme 2”

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PR Professional Interview

March 29, 2010 at 2:04 pm (Assignments, PR Connections, PRCA 3030, PRCA 3711)

I interviewed Scottie Brown Davis, a graduate of Georgia Southern University. Scottie is the marketing manager at Pineland Telelphone Cooperative in Metter, Georgia. Scottie and I were in the same sorority, Kappa Delta together. This interview was conducted over the phone.The questions I asked her and her responses are at the end of this post. I feel like I learned quite a bit from her and will definitely pay more attention to the things that she said she uses most.My Interview with Scottie did not necessarily make me form any more of an opinion on a career in public relations, but I do know that this the PR field is something I am still very interested in going into when I graduate in May. I would rather work at a somewhat larger company, not necessarily for such a small town communications company.

1. What is your current job and what does it entail?

I am the Marketing Manager at Pineland Telephone Cooperative in Metter, Georgia. Pineland Telephone is a telecommunications company that specializes in telephone, high-speed internet, and digital television services. I am in charge or all marketing, public relations and advertising for the company. This includes website maintenance, creating publications and manuals, and radio and newspaper advertisements. I am also in charge of creating ads for our local public service announcement channel, community involvement programs, and a bi-monthly newsletter.

2. Did you graduate with a degree in public relations? YES

3. What is one piece of advice you would give students majoring in PR?

The one peace of advance I would give is that every student should take the PR Publications class. Learning the Adobe Suite has given me the skills I need to advance my career,. I use the Adobe Suite programs everyday at work.

4. What have you learned the most in your career that you did not learn in college?

In College- most people get by with learning just what they need to. In the business, the more you know, the farther up you will move. LEARN!!!

5. What piece of information that you learned while in college have you used most in your career?

The one piece of information would defiantly been the skill knowledge I gained from the PR Publications class.

6. Tell me about a project you worked on that you are especially proud of.

I re-created, designed, and developed the new Pineland Telephone website.

7. What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?

1. Realize that even if you think you know everything- you really don’t.

2. Pay attention to your surroundings, and if you get a chance to learn something- take advantage of it. You can never know too much!

3. Learn from your mistakes and grow from them!

8. How important is writing in your career? Somewhat

9. What has surprised you the most about working in PR?

Deadlines are the most important thing!

10. What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?

Oh gosh- who knows J

11. How has PR changed since you entered the field?

I have only been in the field for two years, so not much.

12. Do you feel today’s students are prepared for the challenges of new PR? NA

13. What’s a typical week like? (If no week is typical, then what was last week like?)

Design weekly ad or promotion, update website and any pricing as needed, meeting with business associates and co-workers, deal with customer problems, meet deadlines, and then start back over.


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Internship Advice

March 11, 2010 at 3:49 pm (Assignments, PRCA 3711)

I asked UGA graduate, Lindley Curtis what advice she had for PR students completing an internship. This is what she had to say:

No matter what type of PR internship you have, you should always do the following five things:

1. Ask questions often. If you are not sure how to do something, ask. It takes more time to redo something if you don’t do it right. By asking questions you get to learn more about the business and your boss can tell that you are interested in learning how to do it right…the first time. Also, always ask if you can sit in on meetings with/about clients because it will enable you to have a better understanding of your work and why y’all are doing certain assignments. Always ask to take the first whack at writing a release because your enthusiasm will be appreciated, and who knows, your work, might just be what gets to be used. You also have a better understandig of the client/project and the project’s edits if you had a hand in it from inception. Just as you should research the company/agency/organization before you apply for the internship, continue to research always so maybe you can teach your team new things about your clients!

2. Welcome challenges. If you’ve been at an internship for 3 weeks, and all you have done is draft releases, let your boss know that you are interested in doing more. Show them what else you can do. It is important to make yourself as marketable as possible by gaining experience with writing, editing, pitching, social media, event planning, media list compiling and distribution, etc.

3. Look for opportunities for your clients/organization–your boss/team and client will appreciate it. This can be done by staying abreast on the current news, technologies, etc. Register with HARO (Help A Reporter Out), so that you can get listings of editorial needs that might be ablicable to your organization or a client. One easy thing to do (in the Atlanta area) if you’re doing PR for a nonprofit organization is Mugs in the Morning with 11Alive news–it’s easy and always gets picked up. Your boss will be impressed that you are looking for opportunities for your client/organization.

4. Learn the new technologies. Companies/agencies/clients are always looking to stay on top of new trends and using them correctly. Make sure that you have the best understanding of how to tweet, when you should use a Facebook group page instead of a Facebook fan page, how to upload to YouTube, etc. The older people working right now are not as familiar with this technologies as we are, and by having a strong understanding of how they work, we can lead up to help them better understand. (The same goes for learning and knowing AP style because it is different today than what it was when your boss first learned it and it is always changing, hence the new stylebook every year!)

5. Make mistakes and learn from them. Don’t be too sensitive if a release you wrote gets torn to shreds. The person who tore your release to shreds has been there before. If you don’t understand what was wrong with what you did, ask questions–it shows you want to make it better and it will help you learn for next time.

I asked Georgia Southern University graduate, Christina Evans what advice she would give to students completing an internship. Here is what she had to say:

  • NO matter what, give your all. Whether the internship is for school credit, experience, or money, make sure you give everything you have into the work you are producing. These employers will be your future references and will be honest about how they think you performed while working for them.
  • Ask questions. They don’t expect you to know everything. An internship is a learning experience, you are there to learn, so don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know how to do something.
  • Do as much as you can to get the most out of your internship. You can choose to get as little or as much out of your internship as you would like. Volunteer to take on extra tasks. Not only does this show initiative, it also allows you to get that much more experience.
  • Finally, HAVE FUN! Although you are there to work, have as much fun doing what you are going to school for as you possibly can. I loved my internship and even though it ended up being something completely different than what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, I had a great time and learned a lot.

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Trade Book Review

March 10, 2010 at 5:08 pm (Assignments, PRCA 3030)

For my Social Media in PR class, we were asked to read a trade book and review it. Below is the powerpoint I created along with voice narration for the book Putting the Public back in Public Relations by Brian Solis and Deirdre Breakenridge.

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Book Review: PR 2.0 New Media, New Tools, New Audience

March 2, 2010 at 5:14 pm (Assignments, PRCA 3711)

I read the book PR 2.0 New Media, New Tools, New Audience written by Deirdre Breakenridge. I have reviewed the book and summarized my thoughts and ideas into a slideslow through Microsoft PowerPoint. Below is my completed review. You can also find my presentation by visiting SlideShare.

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What to wear to a PR job interview

February 24, 2010 at 8:31 pm (Assignments, PRCA 3711)

First impressions are always so important, especially in the job interview process. So you have tips on how to conduct yourself as far as body language goes, now you need to know what to wear to your interview. This is extremely important because a possible future-employer needs to be able to picture you within their company and if you are dressed inappropriately, this will be hard for them to do.

According to Jobsearch.com, 55% of another person’s perception of you is based on looks. Below is what the article at Jobsearch.com said men and women should wear to dress for success in a job interview.

Women’s Interview Attire

  • Solid color, conservative suit
  • Coordinated blouse
  • Moderate shoes
  • Limited jewelry
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Tan or light hosiery
  • Sparse make-up & perfume
  • Manicured nails
  • Portfolio or briefcase

Men’s Interview Attire

  • Solid color, conservative suit
  • White long sleeve shirt
  • Conservative tie
  • Dark socks, professional shoes
  • Very limited jewelry
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Go easy on the aftershave
  • Neatly trimmed nails
  • Portfolio or briefcase
On the other end of the spectrum, Careerbuilder.com has published an article on what NOT to wear to an interview.
1. Carrying a backpack or fannypack instead of a briefcase or portfolio: Some image consultants suggest women ditch their purse, too!

2. Sunglasses on top of your head or headphones around your neck: Be sure to remove all your “transit gear” and tuck it in your briefcase before entering the lobby.

3. Too-short skirts: Forget what some of those gals on ‘The Apprentice’ are wearing. Your skirt should cover your thighs when you are seated.

4. The wrong tie: Ties should be made of silk, no less than three and a quarter inches wide with a conservative pattern. Image consultants say the best colors are red or burgundy.

5. Overly bright or large-patterned clothing: With the possible exception of creative fields like advertising or computer programming, it’s best to stick with navy, black or gray.

6. Heavy makeup on women (or any makeup on a man)

7. Earrings on men: In fact, men should avoid wearing any jewelry unless it is a wedding ring, class ring or metal watch.

8. More than one set of earrings on women

9. Facial piercings, tongue jewelry or visible tattoos

10. Ill-fitting clothes. Few people can wear things straight off the rack. Spending a little extra to have your garments tailored is a worthwhile investment.

11. Long fingernails, especially with bright or specialty polishes. Nails should look clean and be trimmed to a length that doesn’t leave an observer wondering how you keep from stabbing yourself.

12. Unnatural hair colors or styles. Remember, Donald Trump was a billionaire well before he began wearing a comb-over. If you’re balding, try a close-cropped cut like Bruce Willis or Matt Lauer.

13. Short-sleeved shirts, even worse when worn with a tie

14. Fishnets, patterned hosiery or bare legs (no matter how tan you are). Women should stick with neutral color hosiery that complements their suit.

15. Men whose socks don’t match their shoes, or whose socks are too short and leave a gap of flesh when they are seated

16. Rumpled or stained clothing: If interviewing late in the day, try to change to a fresh suit beforehand.

17. Scuffed or inappropriate footwear, including sneakers, stilettos, open-toed shoes and sandals

18. Strong aftershaves, perfumes or colognes: Many people are allergic to certain scents. For a subtle fragrance, use a good quality bath soap.

19. Belts and shoes that don’t match: Shoes and belts should be made of leather or leather-like materials and the best colors for men are black or cordovan.

20. Telltale signs that your wearing a new suit. Remove all tags and extra buttons — and remember to cut off the zigzag thread that keeps pockets and slits closed

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Benefits & Pitfalls of Social Media for Job Seekers

February 18, 2010 at 9:06 pm (Assignments, PRCA 3711)

Social media has become a huge tool for people of all ages and interests. The first form of social media I can recall using was MySpace, which now I do not even have an existing account. Social media has been a way to reconnect or stay in touch with old friends and family, share pictures and videos, raise money for fundraising, or meet new people. However exciting and great these benefits may be, there are some great pitfalls, especially to those in search of jobs.

I found an article on Mashable: The Social Media Guide called “7 Secrets to Getting Your Next Job Using Social Media.” I have included the list Dan Schawbel comprised below.

  1. Conduct a people search instead of a job search. 80% of the jobs out there are not posted. Within this secret there are three steps to searching people for your job search: 1. Identify the top 5 companies you would like to work for 2. Use search engines to track employees that currently work there. 3. Connect with the person directly.
  2. Use attraction-based marketing to get job offers. Brand yourself! The best way to do this is to blog, so write creatively and consistently.
  3. Be proactive on Twitter. Follow recruiters on your account but make sure you have a completed profile first.
  4. Capitalize on LinkedIn. Recruiters are starting to use LinkedIn as their main place for sourcing candidates because it is free and top professionals are on there.
  5. Advertise your brand using AdWords and Facebook Social Ads. These ads are about targeting a specific group that would care about your resume or hiring you.
  6. Construct a video resume and upload it to YouTube. Very few people have created video resumes so you will stand out when a recruiter searches for them.
  7. Subscribe to blogs that have job listings. This will save you hours of searching.

Although social media can be a great tool in your job search as well as in your personal life, it can also be a pitfall in your search for a job. If you are not careful with the content you post on your social media sites, it can come back to bite you. One of the most popular sites, Facebook.com, has great features such as posting many many pictures, which can be harmful to your job search if they are not professionally appropriate.

Careerbuilder.com has a list of Social Media Pitfalls comprised. They also have a list of social media don’ts. Below is what I found helpful on their site.

Terrible Tweets: Even though everyone will have their moments where they hate their job, boss, or salary…it is probably best not to Tweet about those feelings. Employers are increasing their online presence and sharing these feelings with the social media world will most likely not be a career booster.

Facebook Fired: Comments made about your job or boss have been known to get employers dismissed from their job.

Social Networking Don’ts

  1. Don’t announce interviews, raises or new jobs.
  2. Don’t badmouth your current or previous employer.
  3. Don’t mention your job search if you are still employed.

Take advantage of all the social media opportunities out there, but make sure you take caution when using social media. It can either get you the job or cost you the job…you pick.

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Correct Body Language in Your Interviewing Process

January 28, 2010 at 11:40 pm (Assignments, PRCA 3711)

With the struggles of the job market, more and more employers are looking beyond what looks impressive on paper. The interview is the time to most impress your possible future employer not only with what you can offer the company if they hire you but also how you present yourself and conduct yourself within the interview. Careerbuilder.com has a list for Body Language Do’s and Don’ts and this is where I derived part of my list of how to conduct yourself in a job interview.

  • Make sure to shake the interviewers hand with a firm grasp (not to firm) and make eye contact while saying “hello.”
  • Avoid fidgeting at all costs. This can make you seem uninterested as well as show your possible future employer that you don’t have the ability to focus your attention for a long period of time.
  • Give positive expressions and “head nods,” without looking too much like a bobble head.
  • If you are doing a phone interview, STAND. Standing is proven to increase your level of alertness
  • Sit up straight, showing alertness and attentiveness. Slouching can make you look lazy and too comfortable, which is not a good image to portray in the hiring process. Nobody wants to hire a lazy employee.
  • Keep a smile on your face (not an all to fake smile, but a genuine smile). Smiling shows openness and friendliness.
  • If you are not sure about what to do with your hands, loosely clasp them in front of you. Keep your hands away from your face, it may indicate you are lying. Crossing your arms shows a defensive state. Waving your arms around shows unprofessional ism. The less you move your arms and hands, the more confident you will seem.
  • Make sure your goodbye hand shake is just as firm and confident as the initial hello handshake and greeting.

According to Forbes.com, the first impression is made within the first three to seven seconds of meeting someone. According to the article, Is your body betraying you in job interviews?, 55% of that first impression is based on body language alone. Here are some different body languages cues than stated above:

  • Sitting with crossed legs while shaking a leg or wiggling her foot may suggest you are nervous on uncomfortable.
  • Staring at the floor shows lack of interest.
  • Rubbing the back of your head suggest boredom.
  • Positioning your body towards the door indicates you want to end the conversation quickly.

How to use nonverbal communication to impress, is an article found on about.com which tells job interviewees a few small tips on how to communicate non verbally in the interview process. Some of the small tips that were pointed out in the article were simple things such as: don’t chew gum, don’t wear too much perfume, wear enough deodorant, don’t smell of cigarette smoke. The way you present yourself from the moment you step out of your car until you drive away after the interview can impact your possible future employer and your chances at the job of your dreams. Even the way you greet and conduct yourself in front of the receptionist/secretary can impact your chances. Make sure to be friendly but not too overbearing. The interviewer is likely to ask the receptionist what they thought of you, whether this will be your appearance or how you conducted yourself while you were waiting for your interview.

In a previous post, I recapped a professional session concerning interview tips which I attended at PRSSA’s National Conference in San Diego.

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Blog Post #1: CRAP

September 11, 2009 at 3:04 pm (Assignments, PRCA 3339)

CRAP is an acronym used to describe the art of creating a good graphic design publication. The C stands for contrast, R stands for repetition, A stands for alignment, and P stands for proximity.

The part of C-R-A-P that I chose to define is repetition. Repetition calls for consistency and repeats parts of the design throughout a publication. Repetition is very important in any form of publication because unifies everything. For example, if a business were to create a media kit, it would be important that the same letterhead or logo was used throughout each piece of the media kit. Unification makes a media kit or any professional piece and this can be achieved by using the idea of repetition. Repetition can be the simple of use of the same font or size over and over again or a repeating graphic that appears throughout the publication.

C-contrast

R- repetition

A-Alignment

P-Proximity

Robin Williams is the writer/creator of the acronym CRAP.

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