Category Archives: J444 PR Job Hunt
Here is the final post in prepping your social media accounts for your entry-level job hunt in PR.
On each social channel you use, you want to post content that demonstrates your knowledge of and interest in the industries and companies you want to work for. If you want to work in tech PR (that’s where the jobs are in SF Bay Area), then you want your social media channels to highlight the:
- Work of companies in the space,
- News media outlets that cover this space (including individual reporters),
- Trends happening within the space,
- Movers and shakers within the space (the innovators, the researchers, the interesting personalities, the people at the companies you want to connect with), and
- Your perspective on these topics, personalities, etc.
So, how do you get started?
- Create a list of companies you’re most interested in and the PR agencies or creative services firms that do a lot of the work for those companies. If you ultimately want to work at Microsoft, for example, then you might want to follow WE Communications, one of Microsoft’s PR agencies, since most entry-level jobs are through an agency, not an in-house comms position.
- After companies, seek out top tier news media outlets, freelancers and bloggers that track these companies and industries. Then, seek other influencers.
- Use the tools of each channel to help you track their content. For example, Twitter Lists are an efficient way to track 10 people who work at the same company and understand what these employees post about the company.
- Use your social listening skills: take note of the industry trends, news, people, etc. that people are talking about. If you don’t know or understand some of the key topics they’re discussing then put those into an excel file and start researching what they mean. This will help you have great content to throw into interview conversations, cover letters, etc.
- Engage with the content once you’re a little bit up to speed. Engagement means writing responses to content, sharing content and adding your own note as to why an article is important to examine, etc.
Your professional social media accounts should also showcase who you are — what you’re doing in your internships and classes, activities you take part in for fun and relaxation, etc. Just use common sense before you post: is this content you want a potential employer to see and to know about me?
It takes time and effort to build a professional social media footprint. Remember the key point from the first post: quality is more important than quantity when getting started. Set aside time in your weekly schedule to build this out and build your online reputation.
If you have other tips to share, include them in the comments below.
Image courtesy of pexels.com
OK, JOUR 444 job hunters, now that you’ve completed a social media audit and analyzed your social media footprint, it’s time to select the top social media channels you want to invest your effort and energy on.
You do not have to be active on every social media channel . Chances are, if you’re trying to be active on too many channels you’re probably not doing a great job at most of them given how much time and energy it takes to do it well for each channel. When deciding how many social media channels you want to use professionally, keep in mind how much time you have to dedicate to producing great content each week. Go for quality, not quantity.
So, which channels MUST you be active on? This depends on the type of entry-level PR job you seek and what industry you’re going for; start your secondary research there. Here are some very general guidelines:
- LinkedIn: all job seekers should have stellar profiles. We’ll go into this soon in class. There’s a lot of online content for those who want to get a running start.
- Account Coordinators/Assistant Account Executives: these entry-level positions at PR agencies will typically involve a range of tasks including news media relations, B2B or B2C communications, and some aspects of social media.
- Twitter is important for many PR agencies because journalists use it. Having a presence here could be very helpful.
- If you’re aiming for lifestyle PR, you might consider Instagram or Pinterest.
- Social Media Coordinators: these jobs will expect to see great content on a wider variety of channels. Again, do your research. Some companies may value Reddit where others value Yelp. These jobs will also expect you’re using social media management tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer, and that you understand social media analytics tools like those used in JOUR 342.
Prepping Your Channels
Once you’ve selected the few social media channels you want to focus on, you need to start building your professional personal profiles. This includes:
- Name: make sure that the name you’re using on social channels is very close to the name that is on your resume and LinkedIn accounts. You want employers to find your social content easily. However, also be aware if you have a really common name, like mine, you might include your middle initial or some other approach. I use DebraJChico for most of my social channels given how common my name is. Consistency and linking to your resume/LinkedIn is key.
- Photo: have a professional looking head shot on each channel. Again, do your research. What’s professional in the lifestyle industry may not be the same thing for the consumer tech industry. Look at the photos used by employees at the companies you most want to work for. Then, make yours slightly more professional.
- Write an effective bio for the channel. See the resources below.
- Keep it open: The professional social media channels you select need to be open for others to find and explore. If it’s all locked down, companies are not going to see your great content.
Now is a good time to talk to your in-person and digital friends. You want to make sure they know you are job hunting and that you’re focused on using these channels for professional purposes. Keep the weekend party photos to your strictly personal accounts that you have locked down (and, remember, they really aren’t that locked down so be cautious what you or your friends put online).
In Friday’s post, we’ll get started on building your social media content.
20+ Social Media Do’s and Don’ts Every College Grad Should Know from Top Resume.
How to Upgrade Your Social Media Presence for Your Post-College Job Hunt from Fast Company
If you have resources to add to this discussion, please put them in them in the comments.
Image credit: Pexels.com
Since we’re limited on JOUR 444 class time, this week I’ll be sharing three posts focusing on how to use social media effectively before and during the job hunt process. These posts will cover:
- Understanding your social media footprint (Today)
- Selecting and prepping your social media accounts (Wednesday)
- Figuring out who to follow and what content you should be publishing (Friday)
Understand Your Social Media Footprint
The first step in the process is to conduct a social media audit so you can understand your social media footprint. The audit forces you to pull together and analyze all of the social media accounts and content you’ve created over the years. The basic steps for an audit are:
- Create an excel file and identify every social media account you have ever created.
- Hyperlink to each account and identify the last time you actually posted to that account in your Excel file.
- Do a Google search to see if you can find any other accounts that you might have forgotten; do you remember the ones you started in junior high school? Get those in your Excel file too!
- Analyze each account for its usefulness (both the channel and the content): some may be appropriate for the job hunt and professional life while others may be great for staying connected with family and friends.
This question always comes up: what should I do with the old social media accounts I never use anymore? You have two choices: 1) delete them if they have zero utility, or 2) keep them but consider putting in a post that encourages people to follow you on your active social media accounts.
While you are analyzing each account, be sure to review the actual posts you’ve made on these accounts. Flag any content that may cause you problems during the job search. Remember, these posts are already living in the digital world so deleting them will not make them go completely away.
Flag content you are concerned about, maybe create a new sheet in your Excel file to track these posts. Put hyperlinks to them in your Excel file (screenshots would work too). Then, you can strategize as to how to appropriately explain those posts to any potential employer that asks about them.
Resources to Get You Started
- Why You Need to Understand and Own Your Social Media Footprint from Schoology Exchange.
- How to Spring Clean Your Social Media Platforms (and Make Them Recruiter-Ready) from The Muse.
- Social Profile Checker from Salt Agency
- Best monitoring tools for personal branding from Karen Freeberg
- Entering the Job Market? Conduct a Personal Social Media Audit from The Buzz Bin
On Wednesday we’ll look at which channels you should be using and how to set a professional foundation for each.
If you have great resources to share with others on this topic, please post those to the comments area.
Image courtesy of pexels.com.
I hope everyone is having a great first week of spring 2018. Only 114 days to go!
Please take note of the following:
- LinkedIn: if you’re not already connected with me on LinkedIn, do NOT send me a request to connect until we start discussing that homework assignment.
- Need to create materials ASAP? Several of you have hit me up to get started on cover letters, portfolios, etc. immediately. If you need to get something going for a job prospect before we get to it in the class, the first thing you should do is go through the JOUR 444 course schedule and use the hyperlinks provided around the specific task. The second thing you should do is read the homework/suggested activity assignment sheets. There are more hyperlinks there. The third thing you should do is look at The Muse and The Avid Careerist for help. Then, come see me during office hours with your draft in hand.
Big LinkedIn change this week: if you have an active LinkedIn account right now, you might want to go into your privacy settings and make some changes ASAP. Why? Check out this blog post from Avid Careerist.
Spring Break in Seattle?
I’m thinking about trying to get a spring break trip to Seattle going. We would meet J&PR alumni at their place of work and learn about job opportunities in the area. The potential companies we might visit include: Microsoft Corporation (our alum heads their gaming division and VR sector), WE Communications, Eddie Bauer, Zulily, and several PR agencies. In order to make this happen, I would need a minimum of 10 students who would be willing to commit to go on the trip. You’d have to pay your own way and agree to all of our site visit requirements (university risk management, professional dress, follow the schedule I set, etc.).
I can’t tell you how much it would cost, but you’d need to think about: airfare, accommodations (cheaper if you share hotel rooms/Airbnb spaces, etc.), food, transportation around the city (they have BART type of system), etc. I would not dictate where you stay, just where the time and place to meet me each morning.
Most likely our travel dates would be: arrive in Seattle Sunday, March 18 and leave late Wednesday night, March 21 or early March 22.
If this sounds like something you’d like to do, send me an email.