By Kaylee Weatherly, Collegiate Outreach Chair
Congratulations, graduates! You did it. You made it through a long, stressful journey and now you have a bright, new degree. Many of you have probably worked at internships during school, and hopefully they have offered you a position at the time of graduation. But if you’re going down a different path or it seems like you’re tackling extreme job anxiety, don’t worry. Here are a couple of ways to help you through the graduation stress and help you land your first entry-level job. The important thing is to hang in there. You’re going to make it!
1. Take baby steps – You can’t expect to be excellent when you start out as a beginner. And that’s okay. What’s most important is to take small steps each day to get to where you want to be. Tweak a few sentences on your resume and cover letter. Reach out for guidance to someone you haven’t spoken to in your professional network and ask for recommendations and suggestions. Everyone has a different perspective and possibly new ideas for traveling down the career path.
2. Become a PRSA Member – I’m not just suggesting this because Young Professionals is a chapter of PRSA. But honestly, they have incredible amounts of resources on how to write a killer cover letter and tailor your resume. They also have a job board of hundreds of open public relations and communications positions. Check out their PRSA Job Center and listen to their free webinars that cover career resources.
3. Talk to your network – Don’t underestimate your contacts. Let them know you’re in the job market and what kind of job or industry you are interested in pursuing. You’re not asking them for a job — you’re merely asking them to keep their ear to the ground or to help make a connection on LinkedIn. You never know if they are friends or relatives with an industry professional that is looking for a new account coordinator or communications specialist.
4. Use social media – We’re in the industry where social media is an everyday tool in our jobs. So why wouldn’t we use it in our own personal job search? We can use our many different social media platforms to follow job search engines and industry markets on Twitter and Pinterest to search for infographics on interview tips and job tools. Click here to read about more ways to use social media in the job hunt.
5. Take advantage of your alumni’s career resources- Remember that awesome school you just graduated from? They probably have a great career resource center. Schedule a one-on-one meeting with a career counselor to go over your resume or practice typical interview questions. They’re there to help, and trust me – they are a big help.
Not sure if you want to enter the job search, continue with your internship or go on to graduate school? I cover that in my previous blog post here.
By VaShon Pruitt, Program Co-Chair
Another professional organization falls victim to the allure of 140 characters. The Washington Redskins have been engulfed in controversy, due to owner Dan Snyders’ unwillingness to change the team’s name after facing pressure by disgruntled fans and more importantly, Native Americans who find the racial slur offensive. The Redskins have carried the name since 1937, but the continued vocalization by offended Native Americans in addition to fifty United States Senators calling for a changing of the name, has brought what many believe to be a malicious insult to Native Americans to the forefront of the National Football League.
In an effort to counter attack against the name-change movement, the Redskins on Thursday, May 30, decided to dive headfirst into what would prove to be a social media nightmare by urging fans to “Tweet @senatorreid to show your #RedskinsPride and tell him what the team means to you.” One would have to believe the out-of-touch Redskins’ executives did not seek the counsel of a PR professional prior to pressing send, as proper counsel could have easily combated such poor decision-making. But hey, I’m an owner whose team has a valuation of 1.7 billion dollars, thanks to my own genius. Why would I need the counsel of PR before making this decision? I just want to “engage” my audience, says everyone who thinks they know the “secret sauce” to having success on social media.
As PR professionals, it is not only our job to be experts in media relations, but it is also our duty to provide the best counsel possible to our clients. Media crisis can easily be adverted with a proper plan in place, however, with the rise of social media and the “need” to get consumers engaged in real-time, more times than not, the proper channels are not taken, resulting in the sudden rise of social media crisis as of late.
Social media has proven time and time again that it is one of the most unpredictable tools of our day. There is no 1+1= 2 formula to success, and once you press send, be prepared to embrace the storm – be it a slight overcast or a thunderstorm of little blue flocking birds tweeting to the same cadence.