Tag Archives: workplace

I’m BACK…OR 5 Lessons I’ve Learned as an Account Coordinator

Hey there! Did you miss me? You probs did, it’s ok to admit it. I missed you too. But, we need to get down to business: where have I been? Still working as an AC here in New York (which is freezing, BTW).

So, on to what’s really real about this blog post: what have I learned as Account Coordinator? Well, sit yourself down and I will tell you a thing:

  1. I cannot stress how important ORGANIZATION is: Seriously, you guys, organization is something I struggle with every day and when I was in university or reading blogs and they kept talking about organization I was like, “OMG who cares?” but like, everybody cares. And once you’re on 3 (or more) accounts, juggling agendas, reports, coverage, and pitching and securing opportunities? You’ll care, too.
  2. Take ownership of your tasks: What does this mean? Well, let’s say that you are in charge of ALL client agendas (which you probably will be), make them yours. Let your team know that you’ve got them and rock those agendas. The further up you move, the more you will have to take OWNERSHIP of things, so learn this now.
  3. Volunteer to take on additional projects, but don’t take on more than you can handle: Hey, I get it, you want to show people that you are proactive and up for a challenge. BUT if it gets in the way of doing your assigned duties, it kind of negates the desired effect. Make sure you have your job down and then reach for another project
  4. It is OK to be lost/stuck/overwhelmed/whatever: This is a tough business, and contrary to what Kelli Cutrone says, you can always be tough and not ask for help. ASK FOR HELP. Wait, let me repeat that: ASK FOR HELP. If your day is too packed, you don’t know where to start on a new project or you are just plum on your last string, then ask. Let it be known that you need more support. Because keeping your mouth closed won’t help in the end, trust me
  5. The biggest lesson I learned? Don’t every give up! Can I be honest with you? December was a very rough month for me; lots of client expectations, lots of long hours and I honestly felt like I was at the end of my rope. But I was honest with my supervisors and asked for additional support, and at the end of the day I pushed through and did not just throw my hands up. It will get better, I promise!

Well, that’s it in what seems to be the LONGEST post ever -_- Have you learned any lessons in your tenure at your new job? Let me know!

In other exciting news, I am going to sit down and write a few posts on landing your first PR job, because well, I guess I’ve done it and may know a thing or two…look out for it!

XOXO,

Jess_AsPRing

The Senior Chronicles, Part V: Phone Interview Realness

Before you say it, I know I know…where the h*ll have I been? Well, I don’t know; getting ready to graduate (6 more weeks), gearing up for this move to New York City (queue Empire State of Mind) and just trying to stay sane.

Today, I have a short but sweet post continuing the “Senior Chronicles” series: this one is about phone interviews. Lots of agencies and companies are doing phone interviews these days and I think it’s important to have a few tips in your back pocket.

In fact, I am so committed to phone interviews that I already did a post on it (view here), but I decided to go ahead and do another post with 10 more tips from expert resources (like, that aren’t me…)

  1. Remember, this is much like an in-person interview: get dressed and research before-hand (including the agency and your interviewer, if possible)
  2. Pick a quiet place, with good reception
  3. Answer the phone with your name, this way you can straight to it
  4. Prepare a “script” with answers to commonly-asked questions (which I’ll write in another post)
  5. DON’T OVER-TALK, be the listener
  6. Stand up and smile-they can totes hear it in your voice
  7. Have your resume and cover letter in front of you
  8. Make sure you have questions to ask the interviewer (got a post on that for ya ;))
  9. Make sure to ask for a timeframe of when you should be hearing back, and when you can contact the interviewer again
  10. FOLLOW-UP! There are thousands of other hungry entry-level PR pros who are vying for that job, make yourself stand out by writing a follow-up email and maybe even a thank you note via snail mail.

Here are a few links to where I got this expert advice:
Ace Your Phone Interview: 21 Quick & Simple Tips
17 Tips to Ace Your Next Phone Interview
The New Trouble on the Line

And that’s all I’ve got people…until next time

XOXO, Jess_AsPRing

The Senior Chronicles, Part IV: Cover letter help via #Resuchat

Hey peeps! I’m sorry we had to move The Senior Chronicles back a day, but with everything going on in my life and then the Boston tragedy, I didn’t want to post. But today, I’ve got a treat for you: a little over a week ago, I participated in a TwitterChat hosted by Jackalope Jobs, a social-charged job hunting site (go check it out!!!). The chat was all about nailing your cover letter and asked a very important question: Should entry-level cover letters look different from their more experienced counterparts?

The short answer? No. Well, not really…I can’t explain, so let’s get down to what I learned and what hopefully you can learn to!

  1. Question 1: Should entry-level cover letters differ from other professional cover letters?
    1. @CreativeCLs: Yes and no. You don’t have much work experience, so focus on yr potential. But should still be professional yet conversational #resuchat
    2. @TomBolt : Probably not. I’ll be in a minority on that opinion, but the cover letter won’t fix qualifications that aren’t there. #ResuChat
  2. Question 2: What are some elements that must be included? What can be left out?
    1. @Hourly: Include how you can benefit a company. Exclude any repetitions of your resume. #resuchat
    2. @AllThingsBiz: Your value proposition–what makes you different from the other candidates and how can you make a difference at the company? #resuchat
    3. @MikePetras: Cover letters can smooth over gaps in employment or 2 many job changes. Here is a list of probs: bit.ly/brFZK0 #ResuChat
  3. Question 3: What’s the optimum length of an entry-level cover letter?
    1. @TomBolt: Three paragraphs. Not pages and pages. Middle paragraph can be bulleted to show key matches to specs. #ResuChat
    2. @sparkhire: A paragraph or two short paragraphs. Short and sweet, but make it count. #HR has to read a lot these things. #Resuchat
  4. What are some differences between cover letter and resume content?
    1. @ComeRecommended: Resumes showcase your experience. Cover letters illustrate your accomplishments and why you would be an asset. #ResuChat
    2. @MikePetras: Resume = skills, education, accomplishments. Cover letter = why u r a fit & what makes u diff than any other candidate #ResuChat
  5. What are some creative entry-level cover letters you’ve seen?
    1. @kavita1010: #Vine cover letter (link here!)She just got a job! #ResuChat
    2. @ComeRecommended: Writing the cover letter to fit the lyrics of a popular song. #resuchat

That was pretty much it (okay, there was ALOT more, but these were my favorite) and I learned a lot, such as: my cover letter should be short, it needs to bring the emotion where my resume cannot and it’s a chance for me to qualify my experience and tell them WHY they should hire me. Finally, these were 3 pieces of info I really liked and wanted to leave you with:
@TomBolt : Cover ltrs should be in the “T-Cover” format 1) Intro: Tell em why you are writing 2) tell em how you are qualified 3) closing
@Hourly: Include your personality. Don’t be a robot! #resuchat
@bob_firestone: Unlike resumes, Cover Letters let you build EMOTION then backfill with logic/metrics of success/social proof. #resuchat

#ResuChat runs every other Tuesday at 9 PM, EST…so check it out! It was very informative and I learned a lot from all the participants!

That’s it for me, until next time!

XOXOXO,
Jess_AsPRing

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

“Thinking Out Loud” Thursdays: PR Career Discrepancies

Happy (deep breath) “almostfridaysothereforetechnicallyalmostheweekend”. How have you all been? I’ve been fine, just doing a little SOLO PR work…WHAT?! I know,  totes cray, but I have like 2 “clients” I don’t even feel right calling them that. Just 2 people who I am helping get the word out and do some stuff for (more on that later).

Today’s post is about something I’ve been thinking about a LOT lately; as I’ve  been career hunting (like most of you) I have noticed something very strange: while there are a definitely lack of entry-level PR pro positions (say THAT 10 times fast), there seems to be an abundance of upper level/executive positions available…so I’m like hmm…

Think about putting some clothes on dude!

So what happens in the time between the entry-level pro and the senior-level pro? Do people cave under the stress and leave the industry? Do they go in-house? Are PR professionals on some sort of Logan’s Run-type thing where our careers have a time limit (please oh please understand this reference)?

What’s the deal?! What do you think happens? Do we get frustrated and throw the towel in? Or is this all in my head and clearly I am crazy and need to step away from the job boards and put the Espresso down?

Let me know in the comments people! This upcoming Monday, I have a super helpful and super awesome post coming at ya’ about yo resume; so bring yoself back! Until next time…

XOXOXOXO, Jess_AsPRing

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