Monthly Archives: February 2014
Posted by debrajchico
Good morning J445 Job Hunters. I hope you’re enjoying this nice RAINY morning in Chico, California. I had a wonderful time jogging in Bidwell Park with my dogs in the rain. It felt like such a novelty.
We have an action-packed class session lined up for Monday. We’ll be covering elevator pitches, cover letters and lining up your references. All incredibly important elements of your job-hunting tool kit.
Check out each assignment sheet in the homework tab before class. And, take a look at the following online resources:
Elevator Pitches: SHIFT Communications has a great piece about networking with professionals while you’re still in college. Take particular note of the entry about elevator pitches, which are useful in situations like this Friday’s site visit to Sacramento PR agencies, career fairs hosted on campus, in-class opportunities to network with alumni (we have five coming soon!), etc.
Cover Letters: I like to think of cover letters as mini-feature stories that connect you to a company. However, many students feel challenged to craft a cover letter that goes beyond the templates you can find online. The Daily Muse has an interesting piece which might help, The Mind Trick That Will Change the Way You Write Cover Letters Forever.
References: Sometimes references can make or break your ability to get a job offer. Oftentimes, students don’t think about the time and effort it takes to line up the right group of people to be your reference, the key questions you need to ask them BEFORE you put them on your list, and how to manage the relationship during the job-hunt process.
LinkedIn Profiles: I’m slowly making my way through these. I’ll be emailing your critique sheets once I’ve got them all done.
Posted by debrajchico
Greetings J445 Job Hunters.
Most of you have already retrieved your resumes. For those who have not, I’ll bring them to class Monday. I wanted to highlight some content from Amanda Locke’s resume, which I think can benefit many of you.
One of the challenges with describing your experience is to identify achievements that you’ve accomplished. In class I mentioned it’s fine to identify that you wrote and distributed news releases, but a sign of an achievement would actually be working with a reporter to secure news media coverage.
We’ve also discussed grabbing your baseline metrics in any social media work. This is where Locke’s resume comes into this discussion. Last semester she was doing PR for The Orion and helping to launch The Orion’s new smartphone app. One of her entries on her resume is this:
- “Increased app downloads by 120 percent among Chico State students within four months.”
That statement clearly shows an impact of her PR efforts. And, it gives a potential employer a nice range of interview questions to toss her way:
- Tell me how you made this happen?
- What specific tactics did you employ?
- How did you track the results?
- When you spotted weaknesses in your efforts, how did you adjust your plan?
She can now practice the STAR approach to answering these types of questions: Situation, Task, Action, Result.
Achievements are not always easy to quantify, but it’s worth your time and effort to figure out how to identify accomplishments vs. just focusing on the tactical elements of your experience.
As always, I’m happy to brainstorm with you individually to uncover ways of identifying achievements in your work endeavors.