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.
Advertisements

Permalink Leave a Comment

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.


Permalink 15 Comments

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.

Permalink Leave a Comment

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.

Permalink Leave a Comment

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

Permalink 20 Comments

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.

Permalink 9 Comments

Recruiter Visit from University Directories

February 12, 2010 at 5:09 pm (PR Connections, PRCA 3030, PRCA 3711)

On February 9, 2010 Maggie Woodward, a recruiter for University Directories came to the PRSSA meeting to speak. Maggie is a recruiter. This means she goes around to different college campuses and recruits interns.

One of the key ways to begin the career search in college is to build a relationship wtih the career center located on your college cmapus. They will help you with your resume, cover letters, and even getting you interviews.

Maggie says to begin your resume with an objective that stands out among others. An objective typically appears near the top of your resume, so it will be part of the first impression your resume gives off. Cover letters are also another way to give off a good first impression and stand out among others.

Make sure you have a professional e-mail account set up. You may even want to consider creating a separate e-mail account that is just for your job search. A professional e-mail typically contains either your first or last name or both, so the recipient can easily identify you. You will also want to keep your voicemail on your cell phone professional. Either have a professional greeting created or use the standard “You have reached…(insert name here).” Be aware of what song you choose for a ringback tone, if you choose to have one. You need the ringback tone to be professional if you are going to have one.

Tips on how to succeed in career fair:

  • Look up the list your college will post about which companies ill be in attendance at the career fair.
  • Research the companies that will be at the career fair, especially the ones you are interested in.
  • Practice on the companies you are less interested in, before going to meet with the companies you are really interested in.
  • Remember career fairs are the first impression you will make on a company so act eager.

Maggie Woodward had some great advice on using the career center on your college campus.

“Fake it til you make it!”

Permalink 1 Comment

Practicum Blog Comments

February 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm (Blog comments, PRCA 3711)

I will be keeping track of all the comments I leave on other blogs throughout the semester. You can find them below.

1.  Kati Ann Wright, Body lanuage and nonverbal communication in job interviews

Your post was really intriguing. The examples of what certain body language cues mean are really interesting. I think I will be paying more attention to how I am acting to see if I am really feeling a certain way when I’m putting my hands on my hips or crossing my arms, etc. Really interesting.

The tips for improving body language were interesting too. I have never really thought about ways to improve the way I conduct myself as far as body language is concerned before. I will definitely be referring back to your post when it comes time for me to go to a job interview (SCARY!)

2. Lindsey Townson, Speaking Louder than Words: Body Language and Nonverbal Communication in Job Interviews

I play with my hair too. I twist it around my finger when I’m nervous or anxious about something. Not a good thing to do especially in a job interview. Maybe it is a good thing I cut my hair short right before I start the job search. I wonder what other nervous habits I might have that I haven’t noticed before?
We both used Careerbuilder.com for this blog post and I included the same fact that standing while on a phone interview increases alertness. This is pretty interesting and I guess true. I usually pace around and stand when I talk on the phone to anyone anyway.

3. Jeremy Watruba, What to wear to a PR Interview

Dressing for a more informal interview would almost make me more nervous than dressing for a formal interview. I think it is always better to overdress than to be under dressed. Although informal apparel would be more comfortable, I would be afraid I would be perceived as not-caring or something of the sort. I have not seen many articles on what to wear to an informal interview so this was interesting. I would like to discover more articles and opinions on the way an employer conducting a more informal interview would like to see interviewees dress.

4. Candice Halls, Tips for writing cover letters

Cover letters seem so easy to write when put into tips or ideas, but dang they are so much more difficult than that. I have sat down to write a couple for my internship applications but I feel as if I always wind up sounding mediocre and uninteresting. I wish there was an entire class on just cover letter and resume writing. I feel like sometimes we are just supposed to know how to do certain things like this. Does everyone feel as lost as I do? I sure hope I am not the only one who is this scared!

5. Marilyn Lintel, Benefits/Pitfalls of Social Media in the Job Search

I agree with your statement, “If you don’t want your parents to see it, don’t post it.” I feel as if a lot of students go off to college and go wild, posting all their pictures covering their wild nights in college on Facebook knowing that their parents would NEVER get a Facebook account and see those posted pictures. Now, not only is Facebook available to more than college students, but employers are also on Facebook or have employees/interns who are looking for information on prospective employees. If you would be embarrassed for your mom or dad to see the pictures or use of language posted, then maybe you should keep them in a private diary, not posted to the internet.

6. Micaela Carter, Kell on Earth

I have seen this television show, but had no idea Kell on Earth was about a public relations company. Now I am intrigued and will have to check it out. I have heard about employees getting fired because of the excessive information they shared to the public about a company or situation going on. If a company has a big top secret situation that they are dealing with or are trying to plan something, how can they hire somebody who shares everything happening within their workplace/company on a social networking site? I think although sites like Twitter can be very useful to companies, they can always be harmful and companies will now how to be very picky in who they hire according to how much they believe they can trust that person with the secrets within their company.

7. Haley Higgs, Will focus groups fade away due to social media?

Haley, you make a good point. I have never really thought about focus groups becoming extinct in our world of social media. Although we are used to the focus group that are held in the Veazy conference room or something of the sort, could focus groups become popular through Skype or video chat? With social media, focus groups could become a much bigger thing. I know sometimes it is difficult to get people to participate in focus groups, especially students. So social media might be a way to get a wider range of opinions and a better participation rate in focus groups. I personally like the idea of face-to-face focus groups better. Plus, focus groups typically have yummy snacks!

8. Allison Allmond, Social Media is a double-edged sword

Social media can be the greatest invention ever, as long as you use it properly and keep the content appropriate. When I first got my Facebook account, I never imagined the possibilities. Who knew Twitter and Facebook could help get your dream job or connect with people who would be able to help you out in your job or internship search?! People have to be so careful with what they are putting on their social media sites. You are constantly being watched and some of the posted content can be found through search engines even after they are deleted from the actual social media site. SCARY!!

9. Danielle Barrett, Body language & nonverbal communication in job interviews

I have always been told the same thing about my facial expressions. It makes me nervous going into an interview for either a job or internship because what if I make a bad expression that makes my interviewer think I have a bad attitude or a bad opinion about the company or something. Body language is so important, yet I feel like if I were to concentrate too hard on it during an interview I would not be focusing on the more important things, like my answers to questions. It’s so hard to be calm before an interview because you have no idea what is going to be thrown at you.

10. Meghan Beytagh, Shadow Project

First, congratulations on your internship. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer Abshire. I think she would be a lot of fun to work for. This is a cool assignment. I’m not in senior seminar but I think this gives you a good idea on what to expect when you begin your internship or even a job. It also gives you the opportunity to connect with at least one person in the public relations field which can jump start your networking. Good luck with your internship this summer! I know you have to be as excited as I am to be graduating in just 3 weeks!!

11.Kristin Bixby, Cover letter and resume tips

I never really thought about a cover letter being like a mini advertisement of yourself but I guess that is a pretty accurate way of describing it. If an employer doesn’t like your cover letter, they are probably less likely to call you for an interview or even look at your resume. I always want to use a different font to make my resume and cover letter stand out but I have always heard some employers look down upon that because it may not look as professional. I just hate blending in with the rest of the world out there!

12. Micaela Carter, Career service workshop reaction: cover letters and resumes

This workshop was a very interesting and helpful one. I agree with your shock to hearing you shouldn’t limit yourself on your resume. I have made my font small and have almost no margin space and still had to cut several things I felt that were relevant and necessary. I’m glad this information stuck out to you too. I feel like after every seminar or conference I attend with tips on resume writing, I go back and edit mine. I am constantly changing things on my resume because everyone says different things about the proper way to organize or write it. So confusing!

13. Candice Hall, Learn from my mistake

Aw Candice, everyone makes mistakes. Although it’s disappointing now that your story did not get printed, you now know to check your e-mail frequently. I know you have a Blackberry, you should set up all your e-mail accounts so that your e-mails come straight to your Blackberry inbox. It has made my life so much easier and I never miss out on assignments or anything because I always get the e-mails to remind me. At least this was in your internship and you learned from the mistake instead of losing your job, which is what could possibly happen in some cases.

14. Sarah Kemp, Interview

Oh no pay sucks?! I’m just kidding. I like how she said she wish she had known it would be so hard finding a job. I feel like we have not been prepared for that at all. All my life I’ve been told you go to college, you apply for jobs, you graduate, and then you start work. I never realized searching for a job would be a full time job in itself. It’s scary out there and I think people are afraid to tell you that, but if we were more prepared for the tough job search, maybe we would be more prepared instead of thinking everything was so perfect and easy.

15. Stephanie Medlin, Career services event reaction blog

I enjoyed reading your blog Stephanie. Your cartoons and graphics you added in make it much more fun to read!! I have never participated in a mock interview, but now I am starting to think I should have taken more advantage of the Career Services at GSU. Mock interviews are probably very helpful to those who take advantage of them. I don’t know why I thought I would silly doing them but in the long room what does a little silliness matter if it helps you improve your interviewing skills. Not taking advantage of the Career Service department is one of the only regrets I have from my time here in college.

16. Lindsey Townson, Interview with a PR professional

Like Allison has said, I have always heard that you have to love what you do and really want to do the PR work because it’s life consuming. I think it has to be that way for most professions but especially PR because you have to work your way up and it could take a long time. I’m thankful that writing is a big part of what most PR professionals do since we have spent so much of our college career writing, whether its press releases, or research papers, I feel as if that all has prepared me. I really enjoyed ready this post. What a lucky thing you got to interview somebody who has had such an impact on the Georgia State athletics.

17. Jeremy Watruba,Viral video

Great video Jeremy. Who knew you could be such a fantastic actor! You should have joined PRSSA so you could have gone to San Diego with us last November. It was so much, although you would have been the only boy from Georgia Southern. There were plenty of guys at the conference though. The video is pretty funny. Since I am VP of PRSSA, we do have a lot more events in the Spring, than we do in the fall. We have Relay for Life and Scoop Night at Brusters. Brusters actually let us work inside taking orders and taking care of the drive through!

18.Jeremy Watruba, Career fair at the RAC

I hate that they tell you to apply online. Although, Maggie from University Directories said that they see who will really take the initiative to apply online and will call those students in for an interview. One of the main things I hate about our technological world now is the fact that applying for jobs is done completely online. I feel as if employers could see me face to face and see my personality; I have a much better chance than just throwing my resume and cover letter at them. But I agree with the frustration you have. I have been to career fairs and felt as if I just wasted an hour out of my time.

19. Kristen Kelly, Are you LinkedIN?

Kristen, I really enjoyed reading this post. Thanks to Barbara Nixon, I have known about the benefits of LinkedIn and been able to set up my account professionally and correctly. But I would the majority of students out there do not have a clue as to what LinkedIn even is. It is such a great tool for professionals of all types. I especially enjoy the recommendation aspect of the social networking website. It is like your own personal online resume that is available to anyone. When you type in my name and Public Relations it is one of the top 10 results that pop up.

20.Kristin Bixby, Career fair

Career fairs are so frustrating for public relations majors. I feel as if there are never any companies at the career fairs looking for us which is so frustrating. Although they school does provide more specific career fairs, I feel as if they hardly ever have communication arts career fairs. There was one this spring semester but I believe that is the only one I have heard of in the past two years. We need jobs too!!! This is a good post though Kristin and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post along with many others. Your blog looks great!

21. Allison Allmond, Eagle expo career fair

The career fair at San Diego was hard to feel confident at since there were so many other public relations students there talking to the same companies that you were. Although Marilyn got her starring role on the Vampire Diaries at this event, she is one in a million. Kidding. But in all seriousness, I feel as if a lot of careers fairs are so competitive because there are so many of us talking and competing for the exact same jobs or positions. Maybe there will be even more opportunities for you since you are not graduating just yet. I hope there will be more for you than I was able to take advantage of.

22.Allison Allmond, Maybe it runs in the family

I really really enjoyed reading this post, especially since Uncle Bubba’s is one of my FAVORITE places to eat! I am even taking the family there after graduation in a couple of weeks. I think it is good that she shared that opportunities do not fall into your lap, that you have to be willing to work to be successful. I feel like a lot of students do not realize this because so many of us have had opportunities come knocking on our door and not the other way around. Great advice from your cousin!

23.Emily Roche, Social media friend or foe?

Social media helped me out so much when I was helping Lindsey Wood out with her homecoming campaign as I am sure it helped Fallon out. And it was my biggest way of sharing the word about War of the Wings the two years I was in charge. What a help it was when it rained the first year and we had to move the event to legends. In just  a couple hours the entire community was informed through Facebook that the event was still happening and that it had just moved locations. Thank you Facebook!

24. Emily Roche, Learning from interviewing others in the PR world

I feel as if our focus is spent on APA style writing so much on papers throughout college that we neglect the AP style writing that is most important for our career. Our PR writing and Journalism classes are usually taken at the beginning of the PR program and we do not get that much practice after those courses. I feel like we should be practicing press releases and works similar to improve our AP style so that our writing will be strong when we enter the workplace. Writing and journalism was several semesters ago…I’ve done a lot more different writing since then.

25.Emily Roche, Talking to friends on interning

Emily, I really enjoyed reading this post. The people I asked for advice about internships gave pretty much the same answers as your two people did. The biggest thing I think is to remember you are there to learn AND to work your butt off because this could potentially turn into a job. I am starting my internship in just a couple weeks and I plan on working my hardest while I am there. I am very excited yet nervous at the same time. I hope I am prepared to do everything that is asked of me!

Permalink Leave a Comment

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.

Permalink 6 Comments

Tips for Writing a Cover Letter

January 25, 2010 at 11:02 pm (PRCA 3711) (, , )

As my time here at Georgia Southern University comes to an end and I am experiencing the “dreaded” job searching process, I am finding that more companies are requiring cover letters along with your resumes. At first, I had no idea what content needs to be in your cover letter. I know this your chance to “sell yourself” or “make yourself stand out,” but what is the best or most efficient way of accomplishing that task?

My mom’s best friend works in the human resource department at a bank and she is who I went to when writing my first cover letter. She said first off, if you are not physically meeting with a person face-to-face, always write a cover letter because it makes you stand out among those who simply just send in a resume and it helps introduce yourself and gives more insight about the type of person you are than that of  a resume. One of the most important points I feel she made would be to show the company you are applying at what you could do benefit them if they were to hire you. Also, add additional skills you feel are important and that would make you excel in the position you are applying for that were not included in your resumé.

I refered to QuintCareers.com for some “Dos and Don’ts” of cover letter writing. Some were very similar to the tips my mom’s good friend had given me previously.

  • DON’T ever send your resume without a cover letter.
  • DO address your letter to named person.
  • DO keep your cover letter brief.
  • DON’T rehash your resume.
  • DO avoid negativity.
  • DO use action verbs.
  • DON’T use cliches such as “Enclosed please find my resume.”

So now that I know what to do and what not to do, what information should my cover letter contain? Below I have listed content you may want to include in your cover letter. I found the information on this topic at Accent Resume Writing’s website.

  1. What position are you applying for?
  2. How did you learn about the position at this company?
  3. Why are YOU perfect for the position?
  4. Who will contact who?

Coverletterinfo.com has split a cover letter into sections in an article called The Killer Cover Letter. The sections each have a goal that needs to be accomplished in that particular part of the cover letter. I have shown you each section below and given a couple of details regarding each one.

  • Attention: this might be an obvious one. You need to grab potential employers attention in order to get an interview within their company. Just as you would start off a paper with an “attention grabber,” you should start your cover letter the same way.  You want to grab your reader’s attention.
  • Interest: Now, you have to keep your audience’s interest. Show them what you can do for them. You could even briefing describe a success story you have had that is related to this job position.
  • Conviction/Desire: Emphasize what you can bring to the table (skills, etc.)
  • Action: Your overall goal is a job interview. Make contacting you easy by including when you will be available and how to reach. Include a businesslike email address.

After reviewing several sites and articles regarding cover letters and ways to succeed, I am feeling a little bit better and more confident in writing cover letters in the future.

Permalink Leave a Comment