Allison's Online Portfolio

I’ve been to a few career fairs in the last year. I attended one at the PRSSA National Conference in San Diego in November. I also went to one in Atlanta at PR Real World. These two career fairs were good because they catered directly to students in Public Relations and because they were national companies, which was really cool. At the one in San Diego I was able to network with PR professionals at very well known companies like the CW television network, Ketchum, and Edelman Public Relations. This was exciting, but I didn’t feel like I was able to really talk to these people because there were 1,000 other students just like me at the fair as well. The career fair in Atlanta had many of the same companies and I liked it better because it was smaller and there were far fewer people. Unfortunately, I really didn’t feel like I got too much out of that career fair either. However, in February I went to the Georgia Southern Eagle Expo & Education Career Fair and it was excellent.

 The Eagle Expo was large and had a lot of different companies who were actually looking for interns and looking to hire soon-to-be grads. While there weren’t any Public Relations firms at the Expo, there were other companies who were interested in students in Public Relations and Marketing (which is my minor). I talked to many different companies but the two companies whose reps I was really able to engage in conversations with were Belk (the department store) and Aerotek, which is a recruiting agency. I felt like I made good connections with these people and I was able to give them my resume and my business card.

 While I know that career fairs are really good for networking and making connections with people that could help you get a job, I’m really not a fan. They are so awkward and uncomfortable. To be honest, the only part I enjoy is the free stuff that the reps hand out to attract you to their tables. However, at all of the career fairs I go to I observe the people who look like they really know what they’re doing. The Type A’s who attack the company reps and pretty much just let them know that they are the best at what they do and that the company would be stupid not to hire them. I aspire to be one of these people. Sadly, I am not. However, I have learned a few things from these career fair mavens. After many hours of being the girl who stands behind the powerful people in awe and throws my resume at the rep when they’re done being dazzled by the confident person in front of me, I developed a few strategies.   Feel free to test them out.

  1. Go to the rep with the shortest line or no line at all. These people are usually from the companies that are not very well known, don’t have much signage, and aren’t handing out anything exciting like cups, candy, or pens (who doesn’t love a free pen?). These are also the people with whom you will have the best shot of engaging in conversation. At the Eagle Expo I talked to the rep from Aerotek for close to 30 minutes; which is a rarity for me at a career fair. She was so nice and friendly and actually asked me for my resume instead of me having to ask her if she would accept it.
  2. Do your homework. The confident people at the career fair always seem to know about the companies and know exactly which ones they want to talk to. Before you go to the career fair, go online and check out the companies that will be there. If you’ve never heard of a company, look it up and see what they do. If any of these companies interest you then when you go to the career fair you can say, for example, “I know that your company is a recruiting agency, but could you explain to me a little more about what exactly you do.” This way, you have an easy way to break the ice. Nothing is worse than trying to talk to a rep and having no way to start the conversation so you just kind of stare at each other. Also, when you look up the companies know which ones you really want to go to and hit those up first. You don’t want to waste valuable time on companies that you have no interest in. However, if you have extra time you should go to booths that you don’t have much interest in because you might end up finding something you like about it.
  3. Don’t just dress the part, act it! I’ve noticed that the people who are good at career fairing are not only dressed very professionally, but they also act in a professional, confident manner. I’m so jealous of these people. It’s easy to look the part: a nice pair of slacks, a well-fitting jacket, sensible shoes, etc. However, being confident in your skin is a totally different story.  I like to have a career fair buddy. I’m more confident when I have a friend with me and I feel like it eases the pressure a bit. I highly recommend this tactic, however, if your friend is the Type A person who is going to steal the whole spotlight, you’re better off going solo.

 Hopefully, you are all the confident people that hog the spotlight at the career fairs. However, if you’re the lowly person in the shadows, like me, then try using one or all of these tips. They helped me. I also highly recommend you attend the Eagle Expo Career Fair. It is held in the fall and in the spring and is well worth the awkwardness.

Melissa McCurry is the events coordinator for Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House in Savannah, Ga. She has a degree in English Communications from Armstrong Atlantic State University and has worked at Uncle Bubba’s since its opening in 2005. Uncle Bubba’s is owned by celebrity chef, Paula Deen and her brother Earl Hiers (a.k.a.“Uncle Bubba”). Melissa is my cousin so I was able to schedule an interview with her pretty easily.

 Melissa said that her education prepared her “a little” for her career. Her degree is in English Communications which is not a typical degree choice for an events coordinator but she also didn’t plan on being an event planner. Melissa originally wanted to be a writer but she quickly realized that she “could not survive off of eating peanuts.” She went back to school for her Master’s in early childhood education, but then realized that teachers have to survive on peanuts as well. She was offered a job as a manager of Uncle Bubba’s and a couple of years later she was given the job of events coordinator for the restaurant. “I love planning events,” she said, “but no one taught me anything. This position didn’t exist before me so I had to learn my own way.”  She did say, however, that her education taught her how to write persuasively which helps her to reach more clients. She also said that the marketing aspect of her education helped her to market herself into getting a job and eventually a brand new position.

 Melissa actually has a fairly regular weekly schedule for an events coordinator. She typically works from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, unless she has an event. She spends most days answering phones and emails and making contact with new companies and tour groups. She sets up parties and creates menus to meet each client’s specific needs and ensures that they are satisfied with their experience. On event days she sets up everything necessary for the event, decorates, and speaks to the host to make sure that the menus and everything else are executed properly.

 The event that Melissa is most proud of actually came about because of a terrible disaster. On February 7, 2008 a huge explosion and fire occurred at the Imperial Sugar Refinery in Savannah. Fourteen people were killed and 38 others were injured. After the plant was rebuilt, the company held a few reopening celebrations and Melissa was lucky enough to have the opportunity to plan one of the events. The CEO of the company came from Texas to host the event and 70 people attended. This was Melissa’s first in-house event for a large, multi-million dollar company. “It was gorgeous,” she said, “we had gifts for each of the guests at their place setting and a note from Paula Deen and [her sons, Jamie and Bobby Deen].” A professional photographer was brought in to photograph the event and the pictures were used by various local news outlets. The event was a great success and “the CEO, CFO, and other important initials were there and they were so pleased,” she said.

To stay current in her career, Melissa stays very involved with organizations in the community. When trying to raise money for events, she talks to different non-profit organizations to get new ideas for fundraising and obtaining donations. She’s on many Chatham County school boards and she created the “Uncle Bubba’s School Night Out” which has helped many public schools in Savannah raise thousands of dollars. She’s also involved with the Humane Society and solicits Uncle Bubba’s customers for donations for the Humane Society. “By being involved in our community and helping with fundraisers, the restaurant gets to put its name out there and let the city see that we are not just Paula Deen’s restaurant,” she said.

When asked what she wished she would have known before starting her career, Melissa said she wishes she’d known that event planning is not a steady career. “Opportunities do not just fall into your lap,” she said, “If you are not willing to work for leads then you will not have many events to coordinate. Motivation is definitely a part of the paycheck.” I thought that this was excellent advice and something that all recent college grads should be aware of. It’s a reminder that a college degree alone does not equal a career.

I was surprised to find out just how important writing is to an event planner. Melissa writes all of the contracts for every aspect of her events. She has to meticulously check every email, fax, contract, etc. for errors because even a small typo could result in a disaster. She also writes the introductions to her packages and letters to different organizations in order to get to know them and to introduce herself as well. Melissa explained that “if CEO’s/volunteers/leaders are not interested in what you are writing at first then they won’t continue reading about what you are trying to offer.”

Melissa gave three tips for those of us who are preparing to start our careers. First she encourages us to never give up. “Keep putting your name out there and people will eventually listen and want your services.” Second, she recommends starting small. “Don’t think you can get big companies right out of the gate. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your Rolodex be large at first.” Finally, Melissa said that it is important to always have a backup plan. “If a group sees that you are panicking then they will panic,” she said, “things will go wrong but you have to fix them quickly and not let the whole event go down as a failure.”

After interviewing Melissa I am definitely more likely to want a career in the PR industry. Melissa loves planning events and she has the perfect personality for it. She’s very people-oriented and pays great attention to detail, which I believe are two of the most important skills for an events coordinator to have. I’m not sure yet if event planning is the aspect of PR that I want to go into, but Melissa’s passion for it does make it seem more enticing. Whatever I end up doing in my career, I hope that I have just a quarter of the drive, work ethic and wisdom that Melissa has so early in her career. Who knows? Maybe it runs in the family.

I think I can honestly say that in every class I have taken for my major, my professors have encouraged me to intern somewhere. Well, I took their advice and this summer I will be doing an internship at a magazine in Savannah. I got the internship because I have a friend at UGA that interned there last summer and she highly recommended it and gave me the name of the person in charge of interns. After getting the internship, I asked my friend for advice about it. She had some really good insight, but the thing that stuck out most in my mind was that she said to talk to and connect with every person that I can. She told me that she made incredible connections during her internship because she was able to go on errands and meet people and also talk to people that came into the office. She said that she has kept in touch with these people and she hopes that they will be able to help her in her job search when she graduates this May. I also talked to one of my friends at GSU, who had done an internship last summer as well, for her advice. She, too, had good ideas, but what I received most from her insight was that it’s extremely helpful to be able to adapt to any situation. She told me that the place where she interned was very laid back, but she was often sent on errands to other businesses that were far more rigid so she had to be as professional as possible on those occasions. The more I thought about this, the more I realized that adaptability is an important skill for everyone to have, not just in the business world but in life in general.

Cornellbusiness.com has a list of the “Five Best Pieces of Job/Internship Advice You Will Ever Get.”  The list includes:

  1. Know what you’re getting into and speak up from the start: Basically, know what’s expected of you and do it to the best of your ability.
  2. Be proactive: You aren’t paying off those student loans for nothing! It’s time to put all of that stuff you learned in endless hours of lectures to work and proactively use what you learned.
  3. Do your homework: This may seem like a no-brainer but it’s pretty important. Know what your company does! Know its products or services, its goals and objectives, the head honchos in the company, even the mission statement is important. The more you know about your company, the better you’ll be at your job.
  4. It’s the little things that count: Know everyone at your company because you never know who you’ll need. Learn the receptionist’s name and say “hi” everyday. Know the custodial staff, the people in the mail room, everyone. “The little things are the big things.”
  5. Network, network, network: Get to know as many people as you can. You can do a great job, but what good is it if no one knows about it? Start by getting to know everyone in your office and they can lead you to people outside of your office.

Finally, here is a YouTube video from the “Intern Queen,” Lauren Berger with quarterlife.com. The video is only about 2 and half minutes long, but it’s packed full of good advice about making the most of your internship, volunteering for any and everything you can, and using social networking in the office.

I hope this was helful. Talk to you soon!

– Allison

To see the notes for this slide show visit Full Frontal PR PowerPoint.

In vogue: adj. “being or in accordance with current social fashions; in the current fashion or style.” That definition courtesy of thefreedictionary.com. “In vogue” brings so many things to mind – the beautiful celebs and models on the cover of Vogue magazine; the beloved all-girl R&B group, En Vogue, with their 80s and 90s hits like “Whatta Man” and “Free Your Mind;” and of course the fabulous Madonna song “Vogue” (“Strike a pose. Strike a pose. Vogue, vogue vogue”). Gotta love it. The latest “in vogue” fashion trends are exciting and fun, and sometimes way out there, but are they appropriate for a job interview? I guess it all depends on the interview situation, the company you’re interviewing for, and how far you decide to take the trend.

An article on omiru.com answers the question “What to Wear to a PR Interview.” In this particular article the question is about what to wear to an interview at a fashion PR firm in New York City. The author says that “the perfect interview outfit for a fashion public relations firm is one part fashion-forward and one part professional.” While the author encourages showing a knowledge of current trends, she also cautions against overdoing it. It is a job interview after all and it’s important to appear professional. According to the author the “chicest outfits mix classics and trends.” Some suggested interview-appropriate fashion trends include “menswear as womenswear (think: tuxedo detailing, high-waisted trouser pants), geometric patterns, dresses, bright colors, ruffles, tie-front blouses, and trapeze shapes.” The author also reminds us not to forget about accessories. She recommends closed toe pumps or ballet flats and a classic work bag. Finally, the author gives an example of the perfect interview outfit: “a shirtdress with interesting detailing, a light overcoat or sweater, a luxurious bag, and a pair of low (closed-toe) heels.” While this advice is directed toward a female at a fashion PR interview, I think that it could be applicable to any type of PR interview because it’s a way to look like you’re in the know on the latest fashion trends while still looking professional. A potential employer may connect your knowledge of current fashion trends with a knowledge of current trends in other areas of PR and you may just get the job thanks to your savvy dressing abilities. It’s a stretch, but, hey, it couldn’t hurt.

An article on businessweek.com titled “You Can’t Wear That to an Interview!” explains the ever-changing attire requirements for job interviews in today’s society. Author Julie Gordon says that while there are still conservative institutions that want to see a “suit and tie for men and a skirt or pants for women,” there is also an increase in more informal job interviews and therefore a more informal dress code. She explains that many college students and recent grads are going to “‘interview events’  – informal drinks with a school alumnus, dinner with potential employers, or an on-campus meeting with a student mentor,” and these events don’t require the classic suit and tie. Gordon also says that there are “some offices that allow for a little more creativity, usually marketing, public relations, and retail.” Gordon quotes Kate Aiken, senior director of college recruiting for the Gap who says “You know what? You don’t have to wear a suit. Wear whatever you want. We usually encourage students to dress for interviews in a manner that expresses their personal style.” According to Gordon, the bottom line for most companies in today’s interview world “is usually not whether you’ve paid $100 for your tie, or headed to the trendiest shop for your Louis Vuitton purse, it’s whether you fit into the corporate culture and look the part.” The article also includes links to men’s and women’s fashion slideshows for job interviews that are definitely worth taking a look at.

Alison Doyle, an about.com guide, posted an article on about.com titled “Dressing for Success – How to Dress for an Interview.” In the article, Doyle starts out by giving some examples of what not to wear to an interview – i.e. a purple sweat suit, a red mini skirt that’s so tight you can’t sit down, and pants that hang below your hips and may force your potential employer to tell you to pull your pants. Take a tip from American Idol contestant General Larry Platt who says you look “like a fool with your pants on the ground” (see video below). Doyle quotes Kim Zoller of Interview Dynamics who says that “55% of another person’s perception of you is based on how you look.” Doyle also gives a list of Zoller’s tips for looking your best without having to spend a lot of money. Tips for women include a “solid color, conservative suit, coordinated blouse, moderate shoes, limited jewelry, etc.” For men she suggests a “solid color, conservative suit, white long sleeve shirt, conservative tie, etc.” More tips are listed in the article.

So here’s my bottom line on dressing for an interview: being “in vogue” is ok, as long as you do it in moderation. Dress for the interview you’re going on. I think it’s definitely important to look professional, but we shouldn’t be afraid to express ourselves. Creativity usually gets you bonus points in the PR world so why not test it out at an interview. Here’s a quote that I like from the blog, Chique St. about dressing for a PR interview: “Ladies. Gentlemen. You are going to a media/PR/Marketing interview. Spice it up! I’m not talking about throwing on your pink feather boa that you bought for the talent show when you were in fifth grade, I’m merely stating that elegance doesn’t have to be in black and white anymore.” So, I think the best way to end this blog post is with a video from one of the most, well, fashion-forward (in a cone-shaped bra sort of way) ladies of the last few decades. Enjoy!

Is social media the job hiring wave of the future? Possibly. It’s amazing how social media can connect you to people all over the world. Interested in a PR job in Chicago? You could easily “connect” with the head of Human Resources at a PR firm in Chicago on LinkedIn. How about a job in finance in China? Try “following” some Chinese financial corporations on Twitter – maybe they’ll turn around and “follow” you too! It seems there’s a new social media site every day; and then a few days later there’s a version of that site for your  cell phone (TwitterBerry anyone?). It’s easier than ever to connect with potential employers. The question is: is this a good thing or a bad thing? Do you want your future boss seeing the drunken pictures you and your friends took last week and then posted on Facebook? Doubtful. However, would you like your potential employer to see your outstanding academic record and all the volunteer work you’ve posted on your LinkedIn account? Definitely. Social media can be very tricky.

Dan Schawbel posted an article called “7 Secrets to Getting Your Next Job Using Social Media” on Mashable.com. According to Schawbel, “there will be 1.5 million college graduates this year, yet the job growth rate is at a six-year low, at 1.3%!” He explains that simply sending a resume to businesses and waiting for a response is a thing of the past. “Social networks are starting to become part of the criteria that both hiring managers and college admissions officers are using to weed out applicants. One in five hiring managers conduct background checks using social networks (primarily Facebook), while one in ten college admissions officers do the same.” He offers seven tips for using social media to find a job.

  1. Conduct a people search instead of a job search
  2. Use attraction-based marketing to get job offers
  3. Be proactive on Twitter
  4. Capitalize on LinkedIn
  5. Advertise your brand using AdWords and Facebook Social Ads
  6. Construct a video resume and upload it to YouTube
  7. Subscribe to blogs that have job listings

I hadn’t thought of some of these things before and I found them really interesting. I think that posting a video resume on YouTube is a very innovative idea if you have the confidence to do it; which I don’t think I have. For a more elaborate description of these seven tips click on the Mashable.com link above.

An article on eHow.com by Kat Hasenauer lists some pros and cons of using social media for job hunting. One pro that she lists is that you can easily reach a wide network. She suggests “tweeting” that you’re looking for a job. Perhaps one of your thousands of followers could suggest something. Another pro is that potential employers can quickly look at your profile and see what your interests are as long as your interests are evident in your social networking activity. One last pro is that it creates conversation. Social networking makes conversation easy and you can ask a question about your resume or your cover letter on a social media site and get answers from hundreds of different people. Hasenauer also lists some cons of social media. The first con is that social media blurs the line between your personal and professional life. Gone are the days when it was ok that your Facebook profile picture featured you in a skanky outfit with a Budweiser in your hand. Not ok anymore. You should appear mature and professional on your profile. The other con that she lists is that it could create awkward current employment situations. This means that if you already have a job you should be careful about using social networking to openly search for a new job. It’s probably not a good idea to tweet that you’re looking for a new job when your current boss is one of your Twitter followers. I doubt he/she would take it very well.

“The best way to get a job is through networking.” This is how Rachel Levy begins her article on About.com titled “How to Use Social Media in Your Job Search.” We’ve all heard this phrase hundreds of times. So many times, perhaps, that we tend to want to respond with “DUH!” Maybe that’s just me… Anyway, because we’ve all heard this so many times, it must be true. But what about online social networking? Well Ms. Levy thinks social networking has the potential to work just as well as face-to-face networking; possibly even better. She talks about the three best (in my opinion) social media sites for job-search networking. The first she lists is LinkedIn. Levy says that if you’re not on LinkedIn you definitely need to hop on the bandwagon. She explains the different ways you can use LinkedIn in your job search including performing company searches, browsing job listings, mass e-mailing your LinkedIn connections, and linking your blog and Twitter accounts. Next she talks about Twitter. Levy says that the “best part of Twitter is that it allows you to connect with people you don’t know, based on common interests.” The valuable assets of Twitter that she lists include basic networking, job posting, and connecting to all kinds of people and companies. Finally, Levy discusses Facebook. While she admits that she, like most of us, uses Facebook simply for connecting with friends and family she also says that it can be a great way to network and find potential jobs. The Facebook tools that she lists for job hunting are notes and status updates which can both be used for informing people of your employment situation and ask for help or suggestions.

In my opinion, social media is a great thing. I think it makes it easy to connect with people based on your interests and to learn more about other people. On the flipside, social media makes it easy for other people to learn a lot about you too. It’s a way for you to create your own brand and then to sell it. So, what do you want to tell the world? Are you a mature professional with well-rounded interests or are you a wild child who just likes to have fun (not always a bad thing depending on your career path – think Lindsay Lohan). So, figure out who you want to be, adapt your profiles, and start networking.

Talk to you soon!

– Allison

Comment #1

 “Cover Letter Tips” – Stephanie Medlin

http://stephaniemedlin.wordpress.com/

January 27, 2010

Hey Stephanie! I really enjoyed your blog and I think it had a lot of great advice. I like that you included expressing your enthusiasm for the job. I think it’s important to let your potential employer know that you really want the job and are looking forward to being a part of the company. I also like that you included not using cliches and jargon because I feel like that makes you sound pretentious or like you’re trying too hard. Finally, I thought it was good advice to have an objective for your cover letter. It’s probably easier to write if you have a specific message that you’re trying to convey with your cover letter. Finally, I liked that you added what not to include in your cover letter like salary information and avoiding lies and negative language. Can’t wait to read the next one!

Comment # 2

Internship Advice (PRCA 3711) – Danielle Barrett

http://dsmilez.wordpress.com/

April 10, 2010

I really enjoyed your blog. I, too, have heard that word a million times since starting college, and all of those phrases about how an internship can advance your career. I considered just taking the senior seminar class and skipping the internship, but eventually all of those phrases got to me and I decided to take the intern route instead. I start my internship in May so your friends’ tips are really helpful. Maranda’s internship seems like it was really cool and I think she had some good advice. I agree that it’s a good idea to take as many credits as you can so that you can learn as much as possible while still in school.  I also liked Shameria’s advice about keeping in touch with the company and asking questions. I think asking questions is one of the best things you can do to advance your career.

Comment # 3

Informational Interview Recap – Kristin Bixby

http://kbixby1.wordpress.com/

April 10, 2010

Hi Kristin! I thought this interview was really informative. I’m surprised by how much Allie uses social media. If Facebook is what it takes to get a job today then I may be in better shape for the job market than I thought I was! Allie’s job seems like it’s really fun. It’s cool that she’s getting to be a part of launching the iTunes app for her company. It’s also good to know that all of the press releases we’re learning to write in school will come in handy when we get out in the real world. Allie’s tips were helpful and I will definitely keep them in mind and try to do as many internships as I possibly can.

Comment # 4

Internship Advice – Meghan Callahan

http://meghancallahan99.wordpress.com/

April 10, 2010

Hi Meghan! I really liked your blog post. I’m going to be interning at Savannah Magazine this summer and I’m so excited about it. I’ve heard good things about it from other people I know who have interned there and you seem to enjoy it as well. I thought that you had some really good advice especially about having a good attitude and being enthusiastic about your job. I definitely agree that enthusiasm shows through and I think that enthusiasm for your job makes for a better work environment. I also liked your friend Kelly’s advice about doing your very best no matter how much you hate the job. Laura’s tip about not giving into the casualness of your work environment was really good advice too. I think it’s important to be as professional as possible when it comes to your internship. If you have any advice for me about interning at Savannah Magazine please let me know. I would love to know more about what to expect!

Comment # 5

What to wear to a PR job interview – Jessica Cameron

http://jcam19.wordpress.com/

April 10, 2010

Hey Jessica! I thought you found some good tips for what one should and should not to wear to an interview. The advice about what to wear seems pretty standard; just like what our teachers have been telling us all along. The what not to wear tips were kind of funny. I can imagine someone walking into a job interview with a fanny pack on their waist, huge headphones around their neck and a tongue ring – hah! I guess unless that person were interviewing for a position at a tattoo parlor or something like that they probably wouldn’t get the job. Thanks for the tips!  

Comment # 6

Social Media: Is It A Job Seeker’s Best Friend? – Jeff Carter

http://jeffcarter3.wordpress.com/

April 10, 2010

Hey Jeff! I thought your post was really informative. I liked the real life examples you used about how Twitter and Facebook can cost you a job. I think that today we have to be so careful about what we write on our Facebook statuses and how we comment on our friends’ walls and pictures. It’s frightening to know that we put so much information out there and we really can’t control who will see that information. I thought that Rachel’s three tips were really helpful and I’ll make sure to keep them in mind when I’m using social networking sites.

Comment # 7

PR Real World 2010: Who Owns Social Media ? – Haley Higgs

http://hhiggs.wordpress.com/

April 10, 2010

Hi Haley! I thought that PR Real World was so informative. I didn’t go to the Hospitality, Travel and Tourism session and I think I may have missed out. I pretty much stuck to the sessions about getting a job and what to put on your resume, but that one sound like it was pretty interesting. I’ve never thought about the fact that the effectiveness of social media really can’t be measured before. I think it’s such a powerful tool though. Plus, most social networking sites are free! Companies should be rushing to get their names out there in the social media world.  Thanks for giving me something to think about!

Comment # 8

Career Services Workshop Reaction: Cover Letters and Resumes – Micaela Carter

http://micaelacarter.wordpress.com/

April 15, 2010

Hi Micaela! I’ve been to a couple of resume seminars lately, though not the one that you attended, and I learned a lot of the same things. I think that going to these workshops is one of the best things that we can do as soon-to-be grads to aid us in finding a job as soon as possible. I liked the idea about making a list of everything that you can do and then tailoring that list to the job that you’re applying for. Someone at another workshop I went to mentioned doing that but I had forgotten about it until I read your post. I was also surprised by the fact that the person leading your workshop said that it was ok to have a resume that was longer than one page. Like you, I’d always heard that you had to earn more than one page. Thanks for all the great advice!

Comment # 9

Benefits and Pitfalls of Social Media for Job Seekers – Phillip Edwards

http://pedward4.wordpress.com/

April 15, 2010

Hi Phillip! I agree that social media has many good aspects as well as bad aspects. I also agree that the good and bad parts of social media are based mostly on opinion. Personally, I really enjoy social media. I love using Facebook to connect with friends from high school who I haven’t seen in a while. I also really enjoy Twitter and I find that Twitter tends to be where I get some of my national and world news from. For example, I learned about the earthquakes in Chili and the latest one in China from Twitter before I heard about them anywhere else. It’s amazing what we can learn from social media. However, I understand that the “cons” of social media that you listed are pretty big downfalls. Advertisements and spam are beyond annoying and social media does feel very impersonal.

Comment # 10

Learn from my mistake… – Candice Hall

http://candimichelle.wordpress.com/

April 15, 2010

Hey Candice – I think it’s so great that you posted your internship mistake on your blog. We all make mistakes and the best thing we can do is learn from them, and it’s even better if we can share our mistakes with others so that they can learn from them as well. I will be interning this summer and I’m willing to accept any advice that anyone has to give me so thanks for the tip. I have five different email addresses for some reason and I often neglect a few of them. It’s tough to remember to check them all! However, I will definitely try to learn from you and remember to check my email accounts. Thanks for the great advice!

Comment # 11

How to make your business POP with PODcasting! – Meshae Hankerson

http://meshae.wordpress.com/

April 15, 2010

Hey Meshae – I really have no idea what a podcast is. I’ve heard of them and I’ve even thought about trying to watch one or figure out how they work, but I’ve never gotten around to it. However, thanks to your blog post, I now have a much better idea. You explained the basics of a podcast in a clear and concise manner and that is exactly how I like my explanations. I also never knew that podcasts could be so great for a business. I think it would be a great idea for a company to create a podcast describing an upcoming campaign or product launch. It’s also really cool that “fans” of companies can sign up for “podcatching” and watch podcasts at their convenience. That seems like such a great way to build brand loyalty. Thanks for the explanation and I will definitely check out some podcasts now!

Comment # 12

Cover Letter Tips – John Keith

http://jkeith1906.wordpress.com/

April 15, 2010

Hi John – I think you gave some really good advice. Cover letters are not exactly my forte. I never seem to know what to say and I struggle with, like you said, selling myself without selling myself. It’s a difficult balance to strike. I liked how you suggested thinking of your cover letter as a commercial for yourself. I’d never really thought of it that way but it is very similar to a commercial. Commercials tell consumers why the products that they’re selling are so great and why consumers should purchase them. I guess in much the same way your cover letter is explaining to a potential employer all of your great attributes and why he or she should hire you. I also thought that it was good advice to suggest making your cover letter as professional as possible. A cover letter that is unprofessional could prevent a potential employer from even glancing at your resume. Great advice! Thanks!

Comment # 13

The PR Pro: Rachel Miller – Kristen Kelley

http://kris10ly.wordpress.com/

April 15, 2010

Hey Kristen! Rachel seems like a really great mentor with some excellent advice. I feel like I’ve been beaten over the head with the word “networking,” but I guess that since everyone continues to talk about it, it must be pretty important. I liked your advice about writing down where you met the person, what they looked like and what you talked about on the back of their business card. That information would be really helpful if you decided to send them a follow up email or if you saw them at another event. I also liked Rachel’s comment about remembering that customer service is key. I think that is great advice no matter what industry you’re in. I’m currently a server at a restaurant in Savannah and I rely on tips for income, so I know firsthand that if your customers aren’t happy then you will not make money.  Thanks for the advice!  

Comment # 14

What comes up when YOU are “Googled”? – Sarah Kemp

http://skemp1.wordpress.com/

April 15, 2010

Hey Sarah! Social media is such a great tool for keeping in touch with friends and learning about what’s going on in the world. However, it’s so scary that what we post on our Facebook pages could prevent us from getting a job! I never thought about the fact that employers think of us as representatives of their companies, and if we are careless with the information we post about ourselves online, then that could reflect badly on our companies. It’s so important to be careful about what we write on Twitter and Facebook and to screen any pictures of us that are posted on the Internet. I really liked the slideshow that you posted. I liked her advice about using the Internet to your advantage and learning how to obtain jobs that aren’t posted on Websites like Monster.com. I was unaware that so many jobs were not advertised on the Internet and were instead mainly advertised via word of mouth. Thanks for the tips!

Comment # 15

Interviewing a PR Professional – Ally Kupcewicz

http://allykup123.wordpress.com/

April 15, 2010

Hi Ally – I think that it’s awesome that your mom is in PR. I think that will really give you a head start on your career because you’ve seen what she goes through on a daily basis and how she learns to deal with crises and other major PR events. I’m jealous! I liked that your mom basically reaffirmed what all of our teachers have been telling us about how important writing is in PR. I also appreciated the three tips she gave to soon-to-be grads. I absolutely agree that getting as much experience as possible is the best way for us to land a great job after graduation. I also liked her tip about not being afraid to call an employer after an interview. I’m hesitant to do something like that because I don’t want to seem pushy, but I liked that your mom said it was good to show initiative. Thanks for all the tips!

Comment # 16

Interview with PR Pro Christie Richardson – Lauren Lee

http://laurenashelylee.wordpress.com

April 18, 2010

Hi Lauren – I think Christie’s job sounds like a lot of fun but also a lot of work! I can’t imagine working 6 AM to 11 PM every day even if it were only for a week at a time. I’ve heard many stories about how difficult it can be to find a public relations position in a small town and Christie is lucky to have found such a great one. I liked her three tips for those of us preparing to start our careers. It seems to be a recurring theme for PR pros to recommend doing as many internships as possible and also to network, however, I liked Christie’s advice about volunteering. I haven’t heard too many people suggest that but I think it is such a great thing for everyone to do.

Comment # 17

Non-Verbal Communication in an Interview Setting – Brittney Lindsay

http://brittlindsay.wordpress.com/

April 18, 2010

Hi Brittney – I am fascinated by nonverbal communication. I think it is by far one of the most interesting topics I’ve studied during my college career. I liked the do’s and don’ts you found for nonverbal communication during an interview. Personally, if I were preparing to interview someone for a job and they were eating lunch in the lobby of my office or primping in a mirror while I were watching then I would, well, first I’d laugh, but then I’d probably just not even bother interviewing them. Nonverbal comm. makes such a huge impression, and most of the time we don’t even realize that we are sending or receiving these messages. That’s crazy!

Comment # 18

Informational Interview – Carter Salley – Marilyn Lintel

http://marilynpr.wordpress.com/

April 18, 2010

Hey Marilyn! I think it was pretty innovative to interview a PR pro who hasn’t even graduated yet. Carter seems to really be making the most out of his education and putting everything he’s learning to work while he’s still learning it. I wish that I were more like him! I liked Carter’s three tips for people just starting out in PR. He gave a different perspective from the tips that I’ve read from others’ PR pro interviews. I liked that he talked about personality being such an important factor, because I think that your personality is a major part of why people get hired. If you have a personality that’s too boring or too wild for the position that you’re interviewing for, then you most likely will not get the job. Great interview – thanks!

Comment # 19

Hula and Interning…A Lot More in Common Than You Would Think – Shannon McCloud

http://smccloud.wordpress.com/

April 18, 2010

Hey Shannon! I’m glad to hear that you like your internship, but I’m sorry you’re not enjoying Atlanta. Not that I blame you! I’m from Savannah and I think I would go nuts if I had to live without the river and the beach. I think it’s really cool that you went to Hawaii for vacation and picked up a new hobby; especially a hobby that is so “Hawaii” like hula. I also like how you’ve learned such important life lessons from studying your new craft. The hula proverb you gave was pretty great advice. I’m impressed by how you were able to apply hula to your schoolwork and to your life. Great job! 

Comment # 20

Internships – Stephanie Medlin

http://stephaniemedlin.wordpress.com/

April 18, 2010

Hey Stephanie! I thought this blog was really informative. I keep hearing how important internships are for getting your career started. I’ll start my first internship next month and I’m really excited! I was lucky enough to kind of just fall into my internship, but I really want to do more than one and your idea about prospecting was helpful. It sounds like a good bit of work but definitely worth it. I looked into the Disney College Program last year and that sounded like a lot of fun and I may try looking back into that for my second internship. Thanks for all the great tips!

Comment # 21

Social networking beneficial for Long Beach businesses – Lauren Parr

http://laur22.wordpress.com/

April 18, 2010

Hi Lauren! It is insane how important social networking has become in today’s world. Just a few years ago MySpace and Facebook were used almost exclusively by middle and highschoolers and college students just to talk and express themselves, and now businesses thrive on them! That’s nuts. I think that the restaurant’s idea about asking a question on a social networking site and rewarding correct answers with free desserts and other coupons is such a great idea. I work at a restaurant in Savannah and my boss uses Facebook to advertise the daily lunch specials, upcoming bands, and drink specials. He also uses it to keep in touch with “regulars” and to build a bigger customer base for the restaurant. He’s been in the restaurant business for a long time and swears that Facebook is a better advertising tool than any other form he’s ever used before including TV, radio and print ads. I think that’s pretty impressive.

Comment # 22

Sometimes things don’t have to be said at all… – Sarah Monahan

http://samonahan.wordpress.com/

April 19, 2010

Hi Sarah – I think that nonverbal communication is such an interesting topic. I love learning more about it and trying to pick up on other people’s nonverbal cues. I think it helps to learn about the impact of nonverbal communication so that we can be more aware of our own nonverbal cues and prevent ourselves from sending out negative messages; especially in an interview setting. It’s good that you were able to pick up on your changing nonverbal signals as well as your boyfriend’s during your argument. I think that if we can learn to recognize the nonverbal messages we’re sending out to the people that we’re most comfortable with, then we’ll be better able to control those messages when we are in situations with people that we are less comfortable around (i.e. a potential employer).

Comment # 23

Cover Letter: PRCA 3711 – Ashley Renfroe

http://ashleyprisfunrenfroe.wordpress.com/

April 19, 2010

Hi Ashley – A cover letter is such an important part of the job seeking process. It’s also, in my opinion, one of the hardest parts of getting a job. It’s so difficult to know what a potential employer wants to see in a cover letter and what will keep them interested and make them want to call you in for an interview. I wish that we could just write one generic cover letter that told a little about ourselves (all of the great things, of course), and we could just send that out to a bunch of different companies. Unfortunately, like you said, we have to customize each cover letter for the position we’re applying for and hope that the person reading it likes what we have to say. However, I think that being in a major that requires us to write so much will give us an advantage over people in other majors with less writing experience.

Comment # 24

PR Popping Up Everywhere – Meg Tidmore

http://matidmore.wordpress.com/

April 19, 2010

Hi Meg – I really liked what you said about living for yourself and not living through celebrities. I think most of us have a tendency to get caught up in the glamour and drama of celebrities’ lives. I have to admit I’m a bit of an entertainment news fan and I do enjoy a celebrity scandal. However, I hate how the media has to beat a story to death. I am MORE than sick of hearing about Tiger Woods and all of his mistresses, and I really don’t care about how he comes across in his press conferences. He is an awesome golfer, not the president. So what if he gives a less than believable public apology? He didn’t win the Masters but he played well and I applaud him for continuing with his sport and getting on with his life.

Comment # 25

Social Media in a Job Seeker’s Life – Lindsey Townson

http://prstudent2professional.wordpress.com/

April 19, 2010

Hey Lindsey – That is more than cool that you got a job interview via Twitter! I’m so impressed. I have a Twitter account but I really don’t use it very much. However, I think now I might test out your method and follow some companies to see if I can find a job after graduation. Social media is such an interesting phenomenon. I can’t believe how powerful these sites are that we use to talk to our friends and post pictures from the weekend. They have the ability to make or break our careers. It seems like you are using social media to your advantage and I think we should all take a tip from you. Thanks and congratulations!


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