Tag Archives: guest blogger

The Senior Chronicles, Part III: The Perfect Entry-Level Résumé

Hey there peeps, have I got a treat for you! Today we are going to be talking about the one document that can make or break your career: the résumé.  A résumé is the meat of the “career packet sandwich”: it doesn’t matter how great your portfolio is, how well-polished and personalized your cover letter is or how great you interact with the agency on Twitter, if your résumé doesn’t put foreward the best picture of you? It’s a done deal. Luckily for you, I have called in the big guns to give us some help: Jessica H. Hernandez is the founder and CEO of Great Resumes Fast, an online résumé consultancy that delivers brilliant résumés for all industries at all levels, at a very reasonable price. Additionally, Jessica (who has a fantastic name, if I do say so myself) is a nationally-recognized résumé expert, appearing in International Business TimesMSN.comMonster.com, etc. Basically, her advice is golden and I’ve got the exclusive scoop for you in 5…4…3..2…

  1. Should an entry-level resume be in chronological order or in order of most relevant experience? How much of our past experience should we include? It really depends on each job seeker’s job search goals but 99% of the time you always want to include the most relevant information in the top portion of the resume and then follow it with a chronological listing of your previous experience. Additionally, you should include up to ten years of past work experience but most entry level job seekers won’t have that long of a work history. So include what you do have at the time.
  2. Please make or break a myth for us: should our entry-level resume only be one page? Most entry-level resumes are only one page because of limited work history not because of a resume rule that stipulates it should only be one page. There is no rule that your resume has to stick to one page.
  3. What are some good tips for what to put on an entry-level resume that does not have much experience? You can include relevant coursework, internships, volunteer experience, and relevant extracurricular activities if they are professional and would help you in finding a job.
  4. How do we highlight our strengths against more experienced (ie, a few years out of school, etc.) competitors? Always emphasize your relevant experience and expertise. Speak to the needs of the employer. How has your past experience equipped you to successfully tackle the challenges that this employer is facing? If you can prove that you can overcome their obstacles you’ve suddenly positioned yourself as the most desirable candidate.
  5. How will social media and personal branding play into our resumes? How much weight should we, as entry-level job seekers, put into it? If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile you need to get one. It’s the number one way recruiters are finding candidates – even entry level ones! You should always seek to “brand” yourself. Even if you have very little actual work experience you still have gifts, talents, and skills that are marketable to employers and that make you unique and unlike any other candidate. Focus on marketing those.

Well, you heard it hear first people: “one-page résumé only” is a total myth and you need to get on Linkedin, ASAP. Jessica is a great resource and you can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. She’s a great resource and regularly publishes great info and articles. I’m known to be pretty helpful, myself 😉 so don’t forget to connect with me!

The next Senior Chronicles will deal with social media and your résumé, how much is too much? Should you put your Twitter on your résumé? We’ll answer all of these q’s and more!

Until next time!

XOXOXO, Jess_AsPRing

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Guest Post: Friendleagues, my term for when you can’t find the word for “My colleague/friend I met through Twitter”

Hey guys! Today I am so honored to have my 2nd guest blogger (this little blog is just rolling, ain’t it?), a good friend of mine, Meilani Kieu, another up and coming PR pro who has taken social networking to the next level, hope you enjoy her post!

Friendleagues, my term for when you can’t find the word for “My colleague/friend I met through Twitter” 
 
Hello Jess asPRing readers! My name is Meilani and I am guest blogging for Jess today. Jess was kind enough to guest blog switch with me, so she will be writing for my blog as well (brandingmeilani.wordpress.com) We wanted to blog about something we are both familiar with, and since we met through social media, what better topic to talk about than relationships formed through the internet? (Not the creepy type, I promise!)
I found Jess because she took the initiative to share her content through whatever means necessary. She started an incredibly popular thread on LinkedIn which lead me to her blog, leading me to her Twitter and finally leading me to our relationship today. I saw Jess’ posts and was blown away by her tenacity and helpfulness on her blog. As a beginner in PR, it was refreshing to see another industry newbie taking the leap and documenting the journey for others to learn from and follow along. After a few tweets back and forth, Jess convinced my to start my own blog, and I discovered a new friend and colleague to share my journey with!
Now, it may seem daunting to reach out to a total stranger via social media, but with a little research, a great relationship can come out of it. Remember, when it comes to these kinds of relationships, just like PR, it is all about mutually beneficial relationships. It is not all about one person doing all the talking or one person doing all the asking. It is a constant exchange. These relationships, while still professional, are different than your typical mentor-apprentice relationships because both people are pouring into each other. Whether it is words of support, retweets or referrals, this person is there for you in a way that even some of your closest friends can’t be. Why? They understand exactly what you are going through. Unless you live in some PR sorority house, your closest pals probably aren’t climbing the Public Relations ladder alongside you. This person, although you may never meet face to face, has your back in a unique way. So what are you waiting for? Make that first move.
Scenario: You have just found a young professional that interns at an agency that you would love to one day work at. This professional has a killer blog and has an active Twitter life. You would love to ask some questions about the internship, but don’t know how to initiate the conversation. What to do?
1. Research. Get to know this person. You obviously admire this person. What else can you get to know about him or her? What does the Twitter bio say? Does he or she have a LinkedIn or any other online portfolio? Get to know the person before you reach out.
2. Say hello. Send a polite, professionally crafted message introducing yourself, how you found the person and what you are hoping to learn from him or her. If you live in the same area and do feel so bold, invite them to meet over coffee. (Informational interview meets friend date.)
3. Engage online. Even if you have already connected privately, don’t be shy about your new relationship. If you tweet an article that you think he or she may find interesting, let them know! If they posted a new article, share it with your own followers. This plays in to the mutual part of the relationship. Even if this person is more experienced than you, you can still be beneficial to him.
4. Follow up. The relationship shouldn’t end with a thank you note and a cordial goodbye. Even if you are engaging online publicly, share with your new online buddy what is going on through email where it isn’t displayed for the whole world to see. If you need to vent about a tough day at work or share about an exciting event coming up, let your relationship become more authentic by opening yourself up. Just because your relationship is virtual doesn’t mean that it is not real. I personally would much rather have a friend that works in PR alongside me than a person I connected with once on LinkedIn because I liked her blog.
Well, that’s all for now folks! Thanks again for reading this. It sure was fun to be a part of Jess asPRing! I wish you the best of luck in finding that special online friendleague (my awkward combo for friend and colleague.) Don’t ever be shy to reach out and connect with me. I was fortunate enough that Jess was kind enough to connect with me, and I am pretty darn sure she would love to connect with you as well. She’s pretty amazing and makes for a great friendleague!
Best of luck guys,
Meilani

Meilani Kieu is a student at Biola University in Los Angeles. She is studying Communications/PR with the hopes of working in the consumer PR industry. She currently works as a PR intern for Konnect Public Relations in LA. When she isn’t studying or working, Meilani finds herself attempting hot yoga or blogging. You can follow her on Twitter  @MeilaniKieu or www.brandmeilani.wordpress.com

The Senior Chronicles, Part IV: Should You Put Social Media on your Resume?

Happy Monday peeps! I’ve got another installment of the “Senior Chronicles” ready for you, choked full of advice from industry professionals. Today’s question: should I put my social networks on my résumé? More specifically, which should you add, because let’s face it, they are going to check anyway. I didn’t feel qualified to answer this question, so I decided to reach out to some seriously talented and experienced ladies in the PR and social media fields to help me out. The question I asked them was simple, “should entry-level PR pros and interns add social media profiles to their resumes? If so, how?” The answers were anything but simple: they were helpful, loaded with great advice and great to read…check it out:

Tressa Robbins, an awesome Missouri-based VP (and all around Goddess of help for us young careerists) had this to say, I’d say, yes, it’s okay to include your social media information on your resume – assuming you’ve already done a “scrub” and ensured your social media profile / page(s) are professionally appropriate. I would stick mostly to your LinkedIn profile, Twitter (assuming your feed is somehow PR-related)…Think: is it appropriate for my grandmother to view/read? Tressa even included a super helpful graphic:

Deirdre Breakenridge, not only runs her own company but she’s also the co-creator of the wildly popular #prstudchat (check it out. Seriously) and she gave some practical advice and some good ideas of how to use social networks to your advantage:
Today, professionals need to take a good look at all of their social media profiles and how they portray their social brands. It’s important to remember that “what happens on Facebook doesn’t stay on Facebook.” Who you are online caries forward into the first interview. Compiling social profiles in a way that expresses individuality, unique personality and enthusiasm is a great way to make one applicant stand out over another in the eyes of a potential employer. I’ve seen students create interactive resumes with their social information, as well as About.me portfolios. These types of interactive resumes give an interviewer a good solid look at job seeker’s personal brand; what he or she stands for as a young professional.

My next expert is Lindsay Olson, a top-notch staffing expert…so you know she’s seen her fair share of resumes! She had this to say:
Yes, entry-level PR pros should include their relevant social media profiles. Most employers are going to look for them at some point anyway. Entry-level PR pros should take some time to make sure their profiles show relevant information. Industry related tweets, blog posts, Facebook group memberships can all give an employer some insight into the candidate’s level of engagement in the industry. It also give the candidate an opportunity to showcase some of their knowledge. A good tool to integrate all the of social media profiles and save the valuable space on your resume by not listing every single social media profile is an About.me profile where you can add all of your social media profiles in one page for employers to quickly find you and then only list your about.me address on your resume. It should be included with your name, phone number, email, then social media profiles.

Imelda Dulcich, a Seattle-based PR pro and a real friend and mentor of mine, had so much amazing insight into this topic and included a great graphic:
With a background in Public Relations, you already know that everything you send out should be targeted to your reader (or audience). Before sending your resume for a job position, do some research on the company. Are they likely to appreciate your Social Media savvy?

If so, use a heading such as the one I use above – a PDF resume that allows the prospective client or employer click on each of your platforms. One caveat: consider each social media platform and determine whether it reflects the image you want to convey. You can add or subtract platforms based on the job. Using About Me (the personal page all about you) in your footer is a simplified way to share your social media information without oversaturating the look of your resume. An extra step I take is putting a WiseStamp in my email signature, which allows others to see and join my platforms. Here’s a screen shot from my email page.

The last expert I asked is someone I really look up to, Shonali Burke of Waxing Unlyrical, a former VP who now runs her own consultancy:
I think this depends on the position. If you’re applying for an entry-level position where you know social media is going to be a large part of what you are expected to work on, certainly. But is your blog on mountain-climbing really going to be relevant to interning at a lawyer’s office? (Maybe yes, all the lawyers are mountain climbers and that will help you get hired! But you see what I mean). If it is relevant to the job you hope to do, include it. If not, but you’re proud of it, I’d consider including it in an “other interests” or “extra-curricular” section.

 The other thing you should consider is whether including all your social media profiles will give the impression that you’re too busy with all that “social media stuff” to really focus on the work at hand. Most of us who live & work in the social space have figured out how to manage our time, but remember that all employers aren’t as used to it as we are. So put yourself in their shoes, and try to think as they would. Again, this ties back to how relevant your activity is to the job you’ll be doing.
I do think that a link to/the URL for your LinkedIn profile should be included, because that is basically your online resume (even if you have your own resume site).
Shonali made an excellent point about whether you run the risk of appearing too busy with all the social media. What do you think?
Well kiddies, that was a lot of information and I know your brain is having a “good advice overload” right now. Never fear, your engines will cool back down and then you’ll probably get to polishing up that Twitter feed and updating your resume.
Until next time,
XOXOXO, Jess_AsPRing

Guest Blogger: Advice from @comminternships

Happy Monday fellow PR Newbies! I am so excited that today there is a guest blogger ! Meet Steven from @comminternships, without further ado, here we go:

My name is Steven Chappell, and I have been a professional journalist, college media adviser and journalism educator for more than 25 years. During that time, I have watched the field of mass communication evolve at an ever-increasing pace, and as an early adopter of new media technologies, I am always looking to the next big thing to teach my students. Twitter has become one of those next big things. I knew there had to be a way to use Twitter as an aggregator to inform students about available internships. As a result, @comminternships was born.

The feed launched in the fall of 2010 with a focus just on local internships for my students in Iowa. However, shortly after the feed launched, students I taught in other states began asking if there were internships for them I could list. By mid-spring of 2011, I had begun aggregating about 25 Twitter feeds that regularly tweet jobs and internships in communications fields, and by the start of 2012, that number had grown to more than 100 feeds.
As the feed has grown, I have kept the focus primarily on entry-level jobs and internships for students in journalism and public relations, but have expanded it to include jobs in design, marketing, advertising, and, of course, social media. Right now, the hashtags affiliated with the feed are #internship, #jourintern (for journalism internships), #printern (for public relations internships), #socialmediaintern, #designintern, #advertisingintern, #entryleveljournalism, #entrylevelpr, #entrylevelsm, #entryleveldesign and #entrylevelads (for entry level jobs requiring three years or fewer of experience). I always check the link for each job before tweeting the internship, and I try to weed out internships that are unpaid slave jobs, and limit them to jobs that I feel will provide the intern relevant experience. I also usually modify the tweet to include the employer and location of the job or internship, so students not interested in relocating can skip over those internships.
This blog will focus primarily on public relations jobs and internships, but may occasionally venture out into other fields as well, as I strongly believe all communicators should have a multimedia focus. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for future topics, don’t hesitate to contact me through the feed @comminternships or via e-mail: steven@comminternships.com.
Steven Chappell is a 25-year media veteran, having worked as a professional journalist, college media adviser, professional consultant and social media expert. He’s also a Grammar-Nazi (@thegrammarnazi in addition to @comminternships), so be careful what you email him. Grammar mistakes are forgiven when accompanied by his favorite food, a bacon-wrapped habanero pepper stuffed with cream cheese cooked on the grill.