Tag Archives: senior

The Senior Chronicles, Pt. II: When Should I Start Looking for a Job?

Happy Monday mi amigos/amigas! With Spring winding down very quickly, so I wanted to make sure we got the “Senior Chronicles” going in full force, so you (and by “you” I mean “WE”) can get ready for graduation!

I hope you remember part I of the Senior Chronicles, in case you didn’t, here it is! Senior Chronicles: I am Terrified. It was basically my fear of the unknown (AKA life after graduation, employment, in particular); so I started thinking: why fear it, when I can conquer it? I can’t sit around and wait for  job to land in my lap, I need to get out there and TAKE IT! So, the Senior Chronicles is all about the job hunt, kiddies, and the 2nd post in this series is a great starting point:

WHEN SHOULD I LOOK FOR A JOB?!?!?!?!?

PR is a unique field for many reasons, one reason is the industry hiring practices: while a bank or a hospital may have regular hiring intervals, PR agencies, organizations, etc. only hire on an as-needed basis. Meaning, if they have a new account, or somebody leaves, then they need people. This puts us graduating seniors in a sticky situation because traditionally, in the summer, things slow down a bit in the PR world, so chances are, not much hiring is going on. Which is a bummer, because who wants to spend the Summer on your parent’s couch?

Another thing to think about is how quickly a PR agency hires its folks: from posting the job announcement to getting that warm body in the seat, it is only about a 3-5 week process, so if you don’t graduate until May, applying for a great job in February probably isn’t a good idea. I know, at this point, you’re probably saying:

SO WHEN SHOULD I START LOOKING FOR A FREAKIN’ JOB JESS?!?!?!

My answer? Yesterday! You should be always keeping your eyes open for announcements and openings; but not JUST announcements, look out for when an agency gets a new client, loses a client, merges or get’s bought. These are all indicators of jobs lost or created. BUT the catch is, don’t start applying just yet. Hiring managers are looking to fill these openings ASAP, and if you can’t start, it will mostly likely just frustrate them.

So what have I been doing? I’m glad you asked.

Starting back in NOVEMBER, I started connecting with agencies, recruiter, HR people and hiring managers on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, on email, via telephone, carrier pigeon…you name it (except the carrier pigeon…they freak me out!) and let them know while I am not graduating for quite some time, that I would like the opportunity to forward my resume and stay in touch. I got a lot of great feedback and it served a few purposes:

  1. It got my resume in front of them; which means they know my name and were able to go over the experience I had thusfar
  2. I was able to give them my blog and social media information; so they could see my work, links, influence level, etc.
  3. It gave me a reason to call them again in a few months, with an updated copy of my resume.

Believe it or not, I got some really great feedback, a few “call us when you graduate!” emails and I even had to turn down TWO interview requests, because I hadn’t yet graduated (which sucked!). The point is, I got my name in their box and let them know that I will be open for business soon.

I am going to follow up with all of them very soon, letting my contacts know that I graduated. BUT first, I am going to spend two months doing a full-time post-graduate internship in NEW YORK CITY!!!! That’s right, I got the job and I am ready to rock it out (more on that later)!!!

Well that’s it for this installment of “The Senior Chronicles” check back next Monday for my take on the “perfect entry-level resume” with a very special guest (oooh…mystery, suspense…) until then…

XOXOXO,

Jess_AsPRing

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The Senior Chronicles: I am Terrified.

I have no idea what I’m doing…

Hey there people and happy Monday! As I get closer and closer to graduation, I am noticing a few things:

  • ALOT of you are also getting close to graduation (congratulations!!!)
  • We all have the same questions: how do I get a job? When should I start looking? What will my first paycheck look like? Is it OK to do a post-grad internship?

I  want to help!!! Now, I’m no expert (far from it); in fact, I am a young woman who is on the same journey as you, but I am going to chronicle my experiences and let you know what did and what didn’t work for me and offer as much insight and advice as possible. So let’s get started:

I. Am. Terrified.

There, I said it, I said the sentence on many of our minds that we are afraid to say out loud. Like most of you, I have been trying to get good grades, interning to gain experience, networking and constantly updating my resume. But I’m still scared about my life post-grad and my career options; the competition is fierce and many entry-level positions either come from an agency’s internship pool or it’s hired out before it’s even listed! Thousands of people are all vying for the same 10 positions, so where do I fit in?

The truth is, I really don’t know where I will be in a few months, or how this job search will work out for me. What I do know is, I can’t give up. You don’t know this, but PR is not my first career: before PR found me, I was a paralegal, a recreation administrator, a teaching assistant, a tour guide…pretty much every job you can think of. When I (literally) landed in PR it was like a breath of fresh air: I love it, I love what I do and I can’t let fear stop me. And you shouldn’t let it stop you either.

The next few months will be a busy time for us, we need to graduate, finish our Spring internships, AND look for a post-graduate position. Now’s not the time to let fear or exhaustion slow you down. I’ll be chronicling my experiences and hopefully you will all chime in, let’s do this together!

Until next time…

XOXOXO,
Jess_AsPRing

Senioritis: 5 Tips to Get YOU Through the Home Stretch

Hey all, when was the last time I wrote? IDK, I’ve been super busy with the internship and school and being sick (bleh. I know, right?).

Today isn’t about PR, per say…it’s about something A LOT of us are going through at the moment: Senioritis.

Senioritis, a serious condition

Many of us are nearing the end of our college careers; we are entering our last semesters (or quarters, in my case) and applying for graduation and fighting to show up because: we’re almost done. If you’re anything like me, you weren’t too fond of going to class in the first (a little something I called “freshmanitis”) place, so this “light at the end of the tunnel” business isn’t making it any easier. BUT I know that these last 6 months are very important to me: I need to be making contacts and networking and polishing my resume and kicking butt in school AND in my internship. So I’ve listed 5 tips that I have personally been utilizing to help me get through the stretch:

  1. Write it down: I think I really am becoming a senior (as in AARP card senior, not just graduating) because it is getting harder and harder to simply remember information told to me or that I read. I have taken to carrying around small notebooks with my everywhere and making voice notes on my iPhone. I can’t afford to slip up this late in the game, so I have to write everything down just to keep it straight.
  2. Keep a datebook: I am a little old-fashioned, I love the little leather-bound date books, getting a new one at the beginning of every year is heaven; all blank and full of possibility. Until I look over and realize it’s October and the only thing I’ve written down in the book is my mum’s birthday (on the wrong day, no less). I try to have my life planned out a week to 2 weeks in advance these days, because I have a lot of obligations and keeping appointments in my datebook helps me stay on time and prepared.
  3. Know when to take a break: Hey, it’s okay to let off some steam! Now is NOT the time to freak out and shut down, you are about to be thrust into the “real world” buddy and there AIN’T no summer break (sucks, right?), so you need to start teaching yourself to know when you need to take a step back. You are good to no one if you’re burned out and overwhelmed. Chilax a little; take a walk, write in a journal, play ultimate frisbee (eww.)- just whatever it takes to get you centered.
  4. Don’t get lazy: This is not the time to pat yourself on the back for a job well done, getting your degree and all. This is the “prime time, grind time” (liked that? I knew you would) because sweetheart, you’re gonna need a job and this is the time to start looking for one. Put out feelers, ask your professors who they know, attend networking events for students and have someone look at your resume. Chances are, this is the resume you’ll go out into the world with, start working on it now and it will be ready later.
  5. Remember, college is just a small part of your life: The average lifespan of an adult (in the US, at least) is 77.1 years old and college was only 4 (maybe 5, or 6…no judgment) years of your life; that’s only 5.18% of your life. TOTAL. So keep in mind that you have the rest of your life, so enjoy these last few months and you won’t regret participating a little more, hanging out with friends, just being a kid. Because after this? It gets real. Trust me.

That’s all I’ve got for you today. For my non-college senior readers: sorry! This was probably really boring and I will get back to more “PR” stuff later. For my seniors (Class of 2013!!!) remember: keep your head down and power through, it will all be over really soon. Until next time!

XOXOXO, Jess_AsPRing