Category Archives: Jobs

Polite Persistence: A Guide to Wooing Potential Employers

By Lauren Lewow, Trevett Chair

Oftentimes new grads and college students feel lost as they set out on the path of their first professional job hunt. Here are a few tips that will help you win mentors and friends, even if you don’t clinch the job.

Submitting your resume
It’s easy to fall into the trap of sending your resume and then feeling lots of anxiety. If you sent your email directly to an individual, you’ve got to remember they’re human. We quickly forget that they’re likely juggling multiple projects and reviewing resumes for an open position. It’s best to follow up if you’re really interested in the position. Sending a friendly email every 7-10 days gives the recruiter breathing room, while still showing your interest.

Either way, be sure to proof your text and then proof it again. Even have someone else look over it. You’re looking for grammar, spelling and even formatting mistakes. In PR, your writing must be polished; your ability to express concepts and frame issues is the product clients pay for. If you email a prospective supervisor with errors, they’ll only assume the worst of you.

After the interview
Within a day of your interview, you should send a thank you note. I know this may sound old-fashioned, but do it anyways! Feel free to send an email, or go the extra mile with a hand written note (check out our infographic for more on this). Be sure to add in a few details from your interview to show them that you were listening and interested.

If you don’t clinch the role
Ask where you went wrong. Not many of us like to hear about our weaknesses, but they are critical to our development. Asking where you could improve or what skills you are lacking will help you refine which roles fit you best and how you can obtain them. Asking these tough questions also shows your commitment to your professional development.

Take this one step further and ask the interviewer to coffee or lunch, especially if you feel like you got along very well. Having a mentor who can share insight about the industry is invaluable.

Always be polite and follow up consistently. You’ll build your network and gain insight along the way.

PR_Infographic_1

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Job Interview Tips to Get You Hired

By Kristin Soo Hoo, Treasurer

With summer just around the corner, many of you have already begun the tedious search for an internship or job. You’ve probably spent countless hours perfecting your résumé, crafting a personalized cover letter to each potential employer and nervously awaiting replies.

So what happens when you’ve finally been invited for an interview?

Before you have an anxiety attack, review these interview tips to help you secure your dream job!YP prsa

 Before the interview:

  • Research!

Learn about the company’s history, values, scope of work, case studies, awards/successes and key employees. Identify how the organization differentiates itself in its industry. Then, skillfully tie this information into your interview responses.

  • Remove inappropriate or unprofessional content from your social media profiles.

Employers need to trust their employees to represent the organization in a positive light. Many will turn down candidates because of inappropriate social media content like pictures of excessive partying or posts about participating in illegal activities.

  • Assemble a portfolio for the interviewer to keep.

Insert copies of your cover letter, résumé and relevant work into a solid-colored folder. You can place the papers in sheet protectors to avoid hole-punching.

  • Print business cards.

Use a pre-made design or create your own business cards on relatively sturdy cardstock. You can order them through an office supply store (Office Depot, Staples, etc.) or websites like vistaprint.com. Include your name, phone number, email address, home address and possibly social media links.

  • Review common interview questions, and prepare answers.

There are only three true job interview questions, according to an article in Forbes:

  • Can you do the job?
  • Will you love the job?
  • Can we tolerate working with you?

But here are more examples:

  • Conduct mock interviews.

They will allow you to assess and improve your verbal and nonverbal communication skills. Practicing will help reduce anxiety and discomfort during the actual interview as well.

Interview day:

  • Arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time.

Potential delays include traffic, parking or finding the meeting location.

  • Stand up and introduce yourself with a firm handshake.
  • Think quickly, but feel free to pause for a moment to gather your thoughts.
  • Support your answers with details and stories of personal experiences.
  • At the end of the interview, make sure to ask a few questions.

Write down questions beforehand, such as “what is your company’s corporate culture?” or “why did you choose to work here?”

  • Send a handwritten thank you card.

Impress the interviewer by mailing a short handwritten thank you note. Employers appreciate the personal touch and thoughtfulness, so it will help you stand out.

Most importantly, remember to:

  • Relax
  • Be confident
  • Be yourself

Also, check out job interview do’s and don’ts for recent PR grads.

Question: What additional job interview tips would you like to share?

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Don’t Miss the Entertainment and Sports Panel at Dodger Stadium Wednesday the 14th!

This will be a fantastic event not to be missed!

Come out this coming Wednesday to the great Dodger Stadium and join us at our Entertainment and Sports panel where you will gain valuable insight into the world of sports and entertainment public relations by our esteemed panel of speakers as well as network with Public Relations professionals and peers in the industry!

We have an amazing panel of speakers who will share their invaluable experiences and advice they’ve learned in their many years of professional entertainment and sports public relations and communications practices. Among the speakers there will be Josh Rawitch, Vice President of Communications at the Los Angeles Dodgers, Rita Tateel, President at the Celebrity Source, and Ana Martinez, Vice President of Media Relations at the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

This is an educational event that is relevant to both entry and mid-level PR and communication practitioners, anybody interested in the entertainment or sports industry and those seeking to further their knowledge in PR, communications, sports or entertainment. We want to help you further your career and knowledge! Hope to see you there!

Date:

September 14th, 2011

Time:

7:00 – 9:00 pm

Location:

Dodger Stadium,

1000 Elysian Park Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

 

Cost: $10 for PRSA/PRSSA members and $20 for non-members/guests. (Please note new cost for non-members.)

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Filed under About YP, Events, Internships, Jobs, PR Industry, PR Tips, PRSA

Don’t Miss the PRSA LA Young Professionals Career Development Workshop!

Are you a recent college graduate or soon-to-be grad, on the hunt to start your career? Have you been considering a career change? Then this is the event for you! Join us for an evening of tips and how-to’s from recruiters, HR reps and talent seekers!

Workshop includes:

  • Do’s and Don’t’s of the job search
  • Proper interview etiquette
  • Resume critiques

Date:

April 27, 2011

Time:

Networking begins at 6:30 p.m.

Workshop begins at 7:00 p.m.
Location:  Chandler Chicco Companies

1315 Lincoln Blvd, Suite 270

Santa Monica, CA 90401
Cost: $10 for PRSA/PRSSA members and $20 for non-members/guests. (Please note new cost for non-members.)

To RSVP and pay with cash or check at the door, please reply to this email.
We hope to see you there!  

Best,

Katherine Vander Ark, Katie Keilman and the Young Professionals Board of 2011

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SAVE THE DATE! PRSA-LA YP’s March Mixer

WHAT:

Are you interested in a variety of public relations sectors but aren’t sure which one is right for you? Join us at the first event mixer of the year for a chance to network with multiple public relations professionals representing a wide range of areas!

PR fields represented include:

  • Healthcare
  • Entertainment
  • Sports
  • Corporate
  • Multicultural
  • Nonprofit
  • Environmental
  • Technology

Parking: There is valet directly in front of the restaurant on the right hand side of Culver (just past Irving Place). Or there are two parking garages on the left hand side of Culver. One of them is located on Cardiff Ave (stay in your left hand lane and turn left onto Cardiff and parking garage will be on the right hand side).

Cost: $10 for PRSA/PRSSA members and $20 for non-members/guests (cash or check will be taken at the door) 

To RSVP contact Katrina Keilman, PRSA LA YP Programming Co-Chair at katrinakeilman@gmail.com.

 

WHEN:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Networking begins at 7:00 p.m.

 

WHERE:

 Rush Street – 9546 Washington Blvd. Culver City, CA 90232
*Food will be provided

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Filed under About YP, Events, Jobs, PR Industry, PR Tips, PRSA

New Year’s Resolution to Find a Job or Internship?

Make sure you check out the jobs and internships tabs right here on our PRSA-LA YP WordPress site.  A collaborative effort among all of the board members, both of these pages are updated with new positions as they become available and are made known to us.

Just posted under the jobs tab, is a position at Bay Area tech agency Engage PR, which is at the account executive level.  Engage is also hiring interns.

If you have a lead on a job that might be of interest to any of our members, please feel free to post it as a comment or send us a link via Twitter, and we will get it posted ASAP.  Thanks!

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Times are changing…

With the ubiquity of terms like “emerging” and “improved” in our day-to-day jobs, it’s not hard to remember that everything is changing lightning fast in our field.  Especially true with young professionals, part of the change is job turnover.

A lot has been written about the difference in turnover rates between agency and in-house PR jobs.  Hit the PR pubs (PR Week, Strategist, etc.) for info on that, and we’ll cover it in another post.  This one’s about us.  (Forgive the twinge of narcissism.)

From the beginning of the year, we’ve tried to give a face to the PRSA YP group, taking time to ID board members, post bios and encourage you guys to come introduce yourselves at events.  Just like the environment in the rest of the profession, we’ve undergone a number of changes just in the last few months.  Here’s a snapshot.

Right from the top, our president is no longer Kerry Slaughter.  No, we didn’t hold a coup and overthrow her.  She is now Kerry Sinclair, as she was married last month.  When you see her at an upcoming event, be sure to congratulate her!

Our membership chair, Caitlin Mattias, has accepted an account executive position at industry giant Hill & Knowlton, where she is working with (among others) mobile industry giant Qualcomm.

Right before Caitlin went to H&K, one of the co-chairs responsible for putting on our great events, Eva Groves, left its health care practice to become an associate at health care-focused agency Chandler Chicco.

Finally, I’m on the move too.  After four years at the David James Agency (and a lifetime in southern California), I’ve taken a Sr. AE position at Engage PR and relocated to the Bay Area.  I’ll continue to blog and Tweet from afar.

Through it all, the Young Professionals affinity group for the LA chapter of PRSA continues to grow and remain among the most active.  That’s a testament to all you guys.  Please keep up the enthusiasm, and continue to spread the word about our group!  Also, if there is anything we can do or any suggestions that you have, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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Career Fair Advice

Hi All!  It’s been a while, but as the spring progresses along and we start to see career fairs descend on college campuses, here is a friendly bit of advice we ran across.  Here is an article with career fair advice arranged in three easy groupings of five.  Enjoy!

Sell Yourself at the Career Fair
by Sally Kearsley

A career fair is a great place to gather information about potential employers and make contacts that can lead to your first job. Here’s some advice on how to make the most of your time.

5 things to take to the career fair

Copies of your resume (25 to 40 depending on the size of the event). Be sure it represents your knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) effectively. It needs to look professional—easy to read format on plain white or cream colored paper–and be free of typos. If you are looking at several career options, you may want to have two or more targeted resumes with different career objectives!

A smile, a strong handshake, and a positive attitude. First impressions are important. Approach an employer, smile, and offer your hand when you introduce yourself.

A 30-second “sales pitch.” Hand the recruiter a copy of your resume and be prepared to expand on it quickly! Share basic information about yourself and your career interests like this: “Hello, I’m Carrie Jones. I’m a senior here at Wonderful University and I’m majoring in English. I’m very interested in a marketing career. As you can see on my resume, I just completed an internship in the Marketing Division of the ABC Company in Peoria. I’ve also taken some courses in business marketing. I’m very interested in talking with you about marketing opportunities with your organization.”

Information about the organizations which will be attending. Gather information as you would for a job interview. To maximize the brief time you have with each employer, you need to know how your skills and interests match their needs. And don’t just concentrate on the “big names.” There are often great opportunities with companies with which you are not familiar.

Energy! Career fairs require you to be on your feet moving from table to table for an hour or so. Each time you meet someone, be at your best, as refreshed as possible!

5 things not to do at the career fair

Don’t cruise the booths with a group of friends. Interacting with the recruiters on your own. Make your own positive impression!

Don’t carry your backpack, large purse, or other paraphernalia with you. Carry your resume in a professional-looking portfolio or small briefcase works well. It will keep your resume neat and handy, and gives you a place to file business cards of recruiters that you meet. Usually you can stow your coat, backpack, or other gear in a coatroom.

Don’t come dressed for rugby practice (or any other extremely casual activity). A career fair is a professional activity—perhaps your first contact with a future employer.

Don’t “wing it” with employers. Do your homework! Research the companies just as you would for an interview. You’ll be able to focus on why you want to work for the organization and what you can do for them.

Don’t come during the last half hour of the event. Many employers come a long distance to attend the fair and may need to leave early. If you come late, you may miss the organizations you wanted to contact! (of course, the last half hour is better than not attending!)

5 things to take home from the career fair

Business cards from the recruiters you have met. Use the cards to write follow-up notes to those organizations in which you are most interested.

Notes about contacts you made. Take paper and pen with you to write down important details about particular organizations, including names of people who may not have had business cards. Take a few minutes after you leave each table to jot down these notes!

Information about organizations you have contacted. Most recruiters will have information for you to pick up, including company brochures, computer diskettes or CD’s, position descriptions, and other data. You won’t have time to deal with these at the fair!

A better sense of your career options. If you have used the event correctly, you will have made contact with several organizations that hire people with your skills and interests. In thinking about their needs and your background, evaluate whether each company might be a match for you.

Self-confidence in interacting with employer representatives. A career fair gives you the opportunity to practice your interview skills in a less formidable environment than a formal interview. Use this experience to practice talking about what you have done, what you know, and what your interests are.

What do you think?  Leave us a comment and let us know if you found this post helpful or feel free to leave a link to another article.  (It/you may end up starring in our next career advice-focused post.)  Happy hunting, everyone!

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New LA PR Jobs blog

This new Los Angeles PR jobs blog is a great resource for tips and tricks of the trade, as well as open positions at agencies in the LA area: http://prgigging.blogspot.com/.

Extremely interesting and helpful is the recent post “I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger.”

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Tips to brand yourself online

Check this out! More than 50 tips to branding yourself online from JobMob.

http://jobmob.co.il/blog/personal-branding-online-tips/

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