5 Tips for a Resume Rescue

Image via Flickr Creative Commons-Charlotte West

Image via Flickr Creative Commons-Charlotte West

As my college career draws to a close, I’ve had the lovely task of creating the perfect resume to score me a job in the PR workforce. And boy, is it work! Luckily, I’ve had the guidance of my wonderful PR professors, career center advisers, and my former-writer dad. I’d like to share some of the tips that helped me craft a clean, descriptive and stand-out resume.

Oust Outdated Objectives

  • The days of having an objective on your resume are long gone.
  • Objectives give the impression “This is what I want,” when it really should be “This is what I have to give.”

Say Bye-bye to Highschool Highlights

  • You were President of the Vegan Club? Captain of the lacrosse team? Good for you, but leave it off your resume.
  • Highschool accomplishments are far outdated and don’t highlight your recent or current accomplishments.

Add Some Numbers

  • Let’s say you increased participation at a certain event, or beefed up a company’s social media content. Wonderful, but by how much?
  • Including statistics and numbers helps show that you can measure your success and analyze your work efficiently.

“Keep it Simple, Stupid”

  • Don’t chalk your resume full of bold, dark text.
  • Leave a good majority of the page without any text, images, or content.
  • The white space makes it look clean and sophisticated.

Edit, Edit, Edit

  • Once you think you have the perfect resume, send it to your friend/professor/dad/cousin/advisor/anyone who will lend you their helping eyes.
  • It’s important to have several people edit your resume and help you correct things you may have missed.
  • Make sure you have absolutely no typos, grammar errors, or design mistakes.

Hopefully these tips will help you craft your best resume possible and score you that big job! I’ll keep you posted on how my resume rescues and job hunt works out!

Tips for Your Next Interview

Image via Flickr Creative Commons, xianrendujia

Image via Flickr Creative Commons, xianrendujia

Interviews can be a terrifying thing. It feels like a million things can go wrong. Am I talking too fast? Do they think I’m qualified enough? Do I have lipstick on my teeth? I’ve been lucky enough to get some practice with interviewing within the past few months and the following tips helped to ease my nerves and kick up my confidence. With these tips under your belt, hopefully you can walk out of the office feeling like you aced it. And more importantly, get a call back! Here are some of the most helpful tips for before, during, and after your next big interview.

Before

Look the part

You know what they say: it is better to be overdressed than underdressed. Even if you know it is a more casual company, show up in your finest suit and slacks. Make sure your hemlines are long enough and you are not showing too much skin. Keep your makeup, accessories and perfume to a minimum. After all, you don’t want anything to distract from your shining personality and fabulous credentials, even if its the latest blue Mac eyeshadow.

Do your research

Spend a couple hours researching the place you are interviewing. Find out what work they have done in the past, know their company mantra, discover where employees went to college. This lets the company know you’ve done your homework and are interested in what they’re like.

Come prepared

Obviously, you will want to bring your resume, portfolio, and business cards. But don’t forget to bring something to write things down in. I always find myself taking a couple notes during the interview. Also, if you feel you might be forgetful mid-interview, jot down a couple questions to ask them before going into the interview. Last but not least, leave your skinny vanilla latte at home or chug it down before entering the building.

During

Say “thank you”

It is so important to express your thanks to the interviewer. They have a busy schedule and about 1 million other things on their to-do list. Right after you introduce yourself, say a quick thanks for meeting with you to your *hopefully* new employer. Don’t forget to do this again at the end of the interview as well.

Smile

Do you ever notice that a smiling person always seems nicer than someone sporting a cold expression-less face? Make sure to exude happiness. Don’t get me wrong, don’t be grinning from ear to ear when telling them your “biggest failure,” but know what time to laugh and bear that toothy smile of yours.

Make eye contact

This is something that I think many people struggle with, yet it is so vital to positively communicating with people. Make sure you maintain steady eye contact with your interviewer. Hold that stare of yours for even longer that you think, taking short breaks to look down or glance somewhere else. Eye contact lets the interviewer know you are actively listening, and also helps show you’re confident.

After

Get connected

If you haven’t already, request to connect with your interviewer on LinkedIn, or follow them on Twitter. When adding them on LinkedIn, make sure to include a short message thanking them for their time.

Send some snail mail

Be the stand out that you are and send an old school, handwritten note. In the note, thank them for their time and include a personal bit about something you talked about in the interview. A handwritten thank-you sets you apart from the other interviewees and shows the interviewer that you follow through.

Tricks of the Trade: Sports PR

Photo via Flickr Commons,  CarolMunro.This past week I heard the 411 on sports PR from Craig Pintens, the senior associate athletic director of marketing and public relations. Pintens knows how the world of sports PR works: he’s been doing it for over 10 years. If you want to find out who is behind all of the University of Oregon’s PR magic, it is this guy. Pintens has dealt with everything from Chip Kelly’s departure, LaMichael James volatile ways and  the NCAA sanctions. Thankfully, the Allen Hall team and I had the opportunity to hear his advice on what the world of sports is like. Here are some of my favorite tips he gave us.

 Know your brand. 

  • Ask yourself, who are we?
  • What is our story?
  • How do we accomplish our goals?

Social media is huge.

  • It is the most important advancement in sports PR since 1995.
  • Be on relevant platforms.
  • Link content from Twitter, to Instagram, to Facebook.

Be engaged. 

  • Be fan centric.
  • Social media is for the fans.
  • Post unique content. If you have special access to certain things, take advantage of that.
  • Influence > growth. Because influence will eventually lead to growth.

Measure your efforts. 

  • Even if you can’t access expensive measurement tools like Topsy, you can use others.
  • Facebook and Twitter have great free analytics.
  • Find trends within your most popular posts and post according to those trends.

“It’s only a crisis if you make it a crisis.”

  • Crisis is one of the most overused terms in PR.
  • It’s almost impossible to have a plan.
  • You can’t have an exact plan because each crisis is unique.
  • But, you can have a protocol.
  • Rely on experience, instinct, and other informed people.

Sports PR is definitely a different monster than other facets of PR. But, you can tell that the basics of PR still hold true. Hopefully you can use this advice if you decide to go down the sports PR path!

Digital Strategy: Here’s What Ya Gotta Do

Image via Creative Commons, IntelFreePress.

Image via Creative Commons, IntelFreePress.

“Digital.” A word I hear over and over again in the PR world. Even though it’s  all the rage, I embarrassingly have to admit that I wasn’t quite sure all that it encompassed. Thanks to TJ Kelly, executive vice president at Edelman Digital, I have a much better understanding of the digital side of PR and how to make content that stands out and gets you or your brand noticed! Take a peak of TJ’s great advice on digital strategy.

“Trust and reputation are more important than ever.”

  • Reputation is the expectation of the future based on what you’ve done in the past.
  • Look at tools like the Edelman Trust Barometer for research on global trust within government, companies and brands.
  • Trust in CEOs and government officials is on the decline.
  • Trust in experts and educators is on the rise.

“You need to have a good story.”

  • Find a story in unexpected places.
  • Who are the best people to tell stories on behalf of your company or brand?
  • Look at companies like Shell and Ben and Jerry’s for brands that do storytelling well.

“Have a master content narrative.”

  • Know what your narrative is.
  • How are you pushing your brand into the story?
  • Do that by having structure, themes and a framework.

“Build your editorial strategy.”

  • Spot a trend.
  • Monitor that trend.
  • Take that trend and turn it into content.

“Remember the continuum.”

  • PR is a continuum of payed, owned and earned.
  • Paid and earned are starting to merge more.
  • Take advantage of earned media.

“Don’t forget about email.”

  • Email marketing is key and is still pervasive for 99% of audiences.
  • Keep it short and sweet.
  • Take advantage of the higher bandwithes: use more imagery.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.”

  • 64% people need to see content 3 to 5 times to believe it.
  • The audience needs that content on different channels and media.
  • Remember, social media is great but life on social media is short.

“Remember that we live in a multiscreen world.”

  • Think about content and how it relates to those different screens.
  • Should something appear solely on television? Over email? Or on social media platforms?

“Don’t forget to…”

  • Always have a finish or continuance to a campaign.
  • Measure results and optimize for the future.

Social Media Advice

buttonsThe other week in our Allen Hall meeting, we were lucky enough to host Bailey Koharick, the marketing manager for Palo Alto Software. As their social media manager, Bailey knows the ins and outs of the social media world and how to make a brand successful across all platforms. She gave us some insightful advice on social media marketing and PR and I’ve listed just some of her suggestions below. So check them out and use them in your next social media plan!

Be on your toes.

  • Chose good times to post or tweet.
  • Use cultural references.
  • Be the three C’s (clear, concise and concrete).

Prove your worth.

  • Measure. Your. Efforts.
  • Use Twitter, Facebook and Twitter analytics and analytical tools. 

Quality, not quantity.

  • Don’t buy your followers.
  • Interact with your followers and other brands.
  • Make personal connections.

Keep learning and know the trends.

  • Go to webinars, read newsletters and check out other brands.
  • Be aware of brand highs and lows.
  • Do some research.

Develop a personality and be human.

  • Have a brainstorm session and create a persona for the brand.
  • You’re not a robot, have a personable voice.
  • Build relationships with followers.
  • Be friendly.

Know the rules.

  • Company values
  • Competitors.
  • Buzzwords.

And finally,

  • Be gracious.
  • Give credit where credit is due.
  • Use images.

Must-have Skills for PR Newbies

Image via Flickr, Eric Perry

Image via Flickr, Eric Perry

Hello everyone, happy hump day! I hope the image above gave you a laugh. I think it’s a fun portrayal of the fluid yet separate worlds of communications, marketing and advertising. Anyways, this afternoon I was strolling through my PR blog roll and came across an article that seemed tailor-made for me. I’ve recently thought a lot about the future and where my education and internships will take me. The article, 4 skills PR newbies should possess “if they want a job) has answered a lot of my questions about what skills I need to have to succeed in PR. I’m confident that by the time I graduate, I’ll possess the skills noted through my education and with the guidance of my incredible PR professors and boss’. So check out the article and see what skills are important in the professional PR world!