Let the Hunt Begin

12 Jan

“How many of you have started to search for jobs?”-Quinnipaic University Campaigns professor

I was asked this back in September and my first reaction was are you kidding me I just started my internship and don’t even know if it’s something I want to eventually pursue. Luckily it was something I became interested in but that still left that question lingering in my head.

Yes I know there are many posts about finding a job but sometimes writing something out yourself helps to put things in perspective. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do. It’s just about that time when all seniors in college are gearing up to lock down after graduation plans. Some are continuing school (I’m so going to miss it) and then others, like me, are looking for that first real job. Here are some helpful steps to get anyone through the process.

  1. Research– Look up companies that provide areas that strike your interest. Public relations agencies specialize in many different areas due to their client base which provides many opportunities. Different areas within a company could lead to gaining new interests in areas you’ve never considered. One way I found companies was through the list found here: O’Dwyer Public Relations News: PR Firm Rankings
  2. List– Make a list of the companies you would definitely consider working for if given the opportunity. This obviously helps to organize your thoughts and interests. I did mine in Excel with columns for the company (clearly), contact name, address, phone number, fax, and email just to name a few.
  3. Investigate– Do more research but this time on the companies individually. Know their background, the CEO, practice areas, and case studies with specific clients (limit to about 2 or 3 that way you’re not overwhelmed). Look up the contacts for the internships/jobs.
  4. Network– Networking with PR students is always great because they know EXACTLY what you’re going through and may be able to help. Also you may be able to help them in their search. From your contacts you’ve found for each company, begin to network with them through LinkedIn and Twitter. Interact with them on a PR and somewhat personal level so they can know the real you. Then when your application comes across their desk they’ll remember you and all the interaction you’ve had prior to you applying.
  5. Gather materials– Since I was in high school, I’ve had a resume and continue to update it after every work experience and project I complete. One of my professors has always recommended that we submit our assignments in PDF format, which I have come to learn have its benefits, like the formatting won’t get distorted. When I send my materials in over the next few months, they will be in a PDF. Over the past 3 years (I started my PR classes my sophomore year), I have developed a lot of writing pieces and they are very scattered throughout my computer in different folders. Making your portfolio all come together will make everything easier so that you’re not looking for a particular piece at the last minute. Also, hopefully over your time in college you have asked professors for recommendations. It also helps employers to see what others see in you and the potential they believe you will have in your career.
  6. Apply– Send in your cover and resume (some companies may also ask for writing samples). This is probably the easiest step. Make sure though you send it the way the company has requested the materials be sent. Even if there is no entry level posted on the company’s website they will most likely accept them. And who knows a month from when you sent materials, you could get a call for a new position that has just opened up.

Hopefully from all of these steps, it leads to an interview. I’ll most likely do a later post on how to approach an interview and the DOs & DON’TS.  If while reading this you found somethings I missed PLEASE let me know so that I can edit. I’d love to share any information you may have.

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4 Responses to “Let the Hunt Begin”

  1. worob January 12, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    Keep getting as much experience as you possibly can. Also, having SM experience is a huge plus. Especially if interviewing with me 🙂

    PR at Sunrise – worob.com

  2. thatShortChick January 12, 2010 at 7:56 pm #

    networking is so unbelievably important. hold onto every business card you get from someone in the industry because you never know who knows someone who knows someone…

  3. Rowena Briones January 13, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

    I definitely agree with your point about research. Before any interview I would thoroughly look through a company’s Web site and write down any questions that I have. That way, when asked if I have any questions, it shows that I have taken some initiative and are very interested in what the company does.

    I also found that bringing a portfolio of all my PR work to an interview really impressed employers and showed them what skill sets I can bring to the table. I usually just had it all in a fancy three-ring binder, but I think a lot of students nowadays have shifted to the online portfolio – which looks great and impressive as well!

    Great post – very helpful for recent grads/young pros out on the job search!

  4. Deanna Southerling January 14, 2010 at 6:47 pm #

    Hey Brittany!

    I just started my job search as well and have recently been getting organized in much the same way you have.

    One practical piece of advice that I received from a professor while I was doing a semester in DC and from someone working in the DoD is that it’s a good idea to go ahead and move where you want to be after graduation even if you don’t already have a job/the job you want. This might seem counter-intuitive since you might think ‘how will I pay my bills,’ especially if you want to live in a metropolis like Chicago or NYC. But these people said that it’s a good idea to do so because you can more easily live with your friends or people you know and thus reduce your rent and if asked for an interview, you won’t have to worry about getting a plane/train/bus ticket and “maximizing your time” while you’re there. You also won’t have to worry about re-locating and having to tell your employer that you can’t start for an additional month while you move. Also, you can get a “filler-job” while you’re waiting for your dream job to support yourself.

    This is the route I’m going to take, I think. It may run out my savings, but for me the pros outweigh the cons.

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