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Oust Outdated Objectives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  • Highschool accomplishments are far outdated and don’t highlight your recent or current accomplishments.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.

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 Tips to Ditch according to Ragan’s PR Daily

Image via Jason Howie.

Image via Jason Howie.

I recently came across this insightful article by Jackson Wightman on Ragan’s PR Daily discussing some of the biggest social media myths. I enjoyed this article because it helped me realized some of these things I’ve been hearing all along in my PR experiences are downright wrong. To me, it’s almost the same as hearing “don’t go outside with wet hair if it’s cold,” just to hear that this actually has no effect on your chance of getting a cold. Go check out the article to get a full 411 on what social media tips to avoid, but just incase you don’t, I’ve listed three of my favorite “tips to ditch” below. Take a look and make sure you don’t fall trap to these faux pas!

1) “You need to be present on all social media platforms.”

This is one tip I’ve heard many a time. People say it’s better to be on all social media platforms just a little then be focused on just a few. I’m glad to hear this is one piece of advice to avoid because I’ve always thought quality over quantity. You should focus on platforms where your audience is and where you can achieve the most with your brand.

2) “Email is extinct.”

I can’t remember a time that I was taught any PR-related email information. Personally, I’ve always found email to be quite useful and in past internships this was one of the biggest platforms we used to raise awareness, garner donations and engage with our audience. As Wightman states, “Email is an essential part of lead nurturing and enables you to segment content. Despite what the charlatans say, for many people email is still the preferred channel for communication.” So keep on sending those emails and drafting those pitches because email is here to stay!

3) “All your updates can be automated.”

Thankfully this is one tip I’ve never been told, but one I’ve seen many times. Are you ever going through a company’s Facebook feed and all you see is automated, robot-like posts? This is one of my biggest pet peeves and I believe it does nothing but hurt companies. Social media is all about interaction and engagement with your audience, so why would you only publish automated “read this article” content? Hopefully all content creators will take note that this tip is long gone and simply not acceptable in today’s social media world.

9 Media Relations Tips According to a PR Pro

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons, NapInterrupted.

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons, NapInterrupted.

This week at my Allen Hall Public Relations meeting, we had the opportunity to hear about media relations from the self-proclaimed “shiny new toy” PR instructor at the UO SOJC, Kathryn Kuttis. Kathryn is well-buffed in media relations, seeing as she was a vice president at Edelman in NYC for over six years. She gave us the ins and outs of the media relations world of PR and I’ve listed nine of her tips below.

Build trust with the media

  • Give accurate information.
  • Make sure you deliver on the stuff you said you would deliver on.
  • Know what is newsworthy.

Think like a reporter

  • Do research on reporters.
  • Ask simple questions like “What was the last thing you wrote about?”
  • Find out their beat.
  • They want you to know what they cover.

Know what their audience wants to hear about

  • Read their publication.
  • Research their audience.
  • Are they a Wallstreet Journal types or Newsweek? Finance or politics?

Be clear and concise

  • Use easy to understand language.
  • Practice your pitch to cut out buzzwords.
  • Boil things down till they are easy to understand.

Find the newsworthy story angle

  • What is newsworthy?
  • What is relevant.
  • Reporters want to know why I should write about it now.

Link stories to trends

  • What “buckets” or trends can you put your client in? Hopefully they fill more than one.
  • Things like education, obesity, urban farming, politics, and sports are all great ones.
  • These trends elevate your pitch and help you approach the media through an issue.

Be balanced

  • When giving them factsheets, give some background surrounding your issue.
  • dont just pitch your stories, pitch stories about your trend.

Make the pitch

  • Start with what you can give them.
  • Give them a quick slice of your “story.”
  • Supply them with a person to talk to for more.

Be professional

  • Start with phrases like “Is this a bad time?” “I saw your article last week…”
  • Be polite.
  • Keep your “professional fence” up.
  • Build a reputation with reporters.

Kathryn gave us some great advice and insight into the world of media relations. She stressed the fact that the relationship between PR Pro and reporter is mutually beneficial and works both ways. Hopefully you learned something from her advice because I know I did. Thanks again Kathryn!

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.