Blog Archives

Deadline Day is Approaching Fast

Greetings J445 Job Hunters.  We’re 25 DAYS to graduation! And, 4+ days until your Online Portfolio, video Elevator Pitch and Cover Letters are due.

Amazing how time is flying by!

In Monday’s class we’ll be highlighting your work on the big screen. We’re definitely going to watch the video elevator pitches. If time allows, we’ll dive into your portfolio work samples too.

I have office hours tomorrow from 9:30 – 11 a.m. if you need assistance. This is your last chance before the assignments are due to get my help.

Some articles that may be helpful:

LinkedIn note: while you’re polishing your work for the online portfolio, don’t forget to place your best pieces inside your LinkedIn profile. And, be sure to update the website link in your contact area. You want to make it as easy as possible for potential employers to view your skill sets.

I look forward to seeing your online sites in the next few days.


How to stand out from the job-hunting crowd

Happy Wednesday J445 Job Hunters. Standing out in positive ways from your competitors is the focus of our next class session.

Our guest speaker is Kristina Richmann who graduated from our program in 2011. Kristina is now a senior account executive with Vantage PR. She specializes in public relations and social media marketing. Her clients have been featured in top technology and mainstream publications, including ABC News, FOXBusiness, The Wall Street Journal, Ars Technica, GigaOM, Lifehacker, Engadget and more.

During her 8 a.m. chat she’ll identify specific things you can do during the job hunt to separate yourself from the competition. We’ll also have time for questions you have about the job-hunt process.

At 9 a.m. she’ll be in TGC discussing crisis PR and working with journalists to secure media coverage. Everyone is welcome to attend this session if you’re interested.

Be sure to check out the course Guest Speaker Policy if you have not already done so.

Also, your big project — portfolio, video elevator pitch and cover letter — is due in 19 days. Are you making solid progress on it? If not, come see me next week during office hours for whatever assistance you need.




We’re 48 Days from Graduation. Is time flying or dragging?

Happy April J455 job hunters. With only 48 days to go I can’t seem to decide if time is flying by or starting to drag its feet. Tell me how you’re feeling about the speed with which we’re headed to graduation May 18:

We’ve got a jam-packed month ahead of us. Here’s what’s on tap:

April 7: Guest Speaker Danielle Salvato-Earl
Danielle is an account manager at Kulesa Faul PR in the Bay Area. She’s going to discuss in the ins and outs of interviewing.

April 7 is also the start of Mandatory Advising Week and open applications for Tehama Group Communications’ fall team.

April 14: Guest Speaker Kristina Richmann
Kristina is a senior account executive at Vantage PR where she works with technology clients focusing on mobile, advertising, interactive TV, music, connected car, smart grid and telecom sectors. She’ll be sharing how to stand out in positive ways during the job hunt process.

April 16: Crocker & Crocker Summer Internship Info Session (see last week’s email).

April 18: San Francisco site visit trip.

April 21: SETs & Walt & Co.
8 – 8:50 a.m.: Student evaluations of teachers and Q&A for the portfolio assignment.

9-9:50 a.m. Guest Speaker Ian Twamley from Walt & Co. will be discussing what to expect in your first six to nine months on the job.

10 – Noon: Ian will be conducting first round interviews for Walt & Co.’s paid summer internship program. See my post on the department’s Facebook page for more info. Resume should be submitted to Walt & Co. before the end of this week to be considered for internship spot.

April 28: Portfolio Deadline
The big assignment is due: online portfolio, cover letter and video elevator pitch. We’ll be doing class presentations of your work.

Let’s take a collective deep breath, then dive on in!


Ready to Negotiate Your Salary?

Greetings J445 Job Hunters.

Monday’s class session is going to focus on a very important topic: MONEY!

We’re going to have a guest speaker who will teach you how to negotiate your salary. This topic definitely covers money, but as you’ll soon discover, there are other elements of your compensation package that you can negotiate with a potential employer.

Our guest speaker is Jodie Rettinhouse, career adviser with Chico State’s Career Center. I often get emails from alumni who tell me they got more starting pay or other perks in their first job because they followed the tactics that Jodie outlines.

The Daily Muse has a nice collection of links to articles about how to ask for a raise, negotiate your salary, and the homework you need to do before you start the process. Check those out here.

Money is often a challenging topic for soon-to-be professionals to cover. Last year, Forbes produced this piece, 11 Essential Money Tips for New College Grads, which you might find helpful.

Jodie is going to be the first of five guest speakers we’ll have in the coming weeks. Be sure to review the Guest Speaker Policy and come prepared to engage.



Identifying Your Achievements

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.


Start Crafting Your Professional Bio for Social Platforms

Hi J445 Job Hunters. I hope you got a lot out of yesterday’s whirlwind resume class. Just a reminder that I’m happy to go through resume drafts with you during office hours, which are:

  • Today: 11 a.m. – noon
  • Thursday: 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Since we’re focused on resumes now and diving into LinkedIn Monday, I thought I’d share a few interesting sources with you. Yesterday, I recommended The Daily Muse. These two articles I originally found there:

The New Resume Tool You (and Recruiters) Will Love

How to Write a Professional Bio for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+

One more gem about professional social bios is this one from CNN, Twitter Bios: Don’t Be A Rock Star Guru.

Regardless of your political beliefs, you have to admit that Hillary Clinton has a pretty sweet Twitter bio. I’m going to be reworking mine, which is accurate, but dull. Let’s see what you come up with in the coming weeks.

Best, @DebraJChico

Getting Your Resume into Shape

Happy Rainy Saturday Job Hunters!

What’s Happening in Monday’s Class?
-We’ll meet in the Mac Lab; remember this is our home for the remainder of the semester.
-Your job hunter’s profile is due at start of class. Remember that you are submitting it in both print and electronic formats (send to my email: by 8 a.m.).
-Our primary focus will be your traditional resume. Be sure to read the articles highlighted in the course schedule; in particular the one that focuses on content differences between LinkedIn and your print resume.

In-Class Exercises
You need to bring to class both a  printout of your resume and the Microsoft Word electronic file.

We’re going to use the electronic version to create a word cloud of your resume content. This is a great way to analyze what words or phrases may jump out to those scanning your resume.

We’re going to do a critique exercise with your print version to review format and overall content.

Then, you’ll have one week to make improvements to your resume before you submit it to me for grading. When it comes to me for grading, it must include the internship you’re doing for JOUR 445.

Have a great weekend.


Monday’s #J445 Class

#J445: We’re going to dive into job hunting in Monday’s class. Don’t forget we’re meeting in the Mac Lab, not Tehama 130.

Here’s what’s on tap:

  • Discuss grabbing your social media metrics and what these mean for assignments you’ll have this semester.
  • Broad review of the range of job-hunting tools you’ll be creating this semester.
  • An overview of our guest speakers and their role in our course.
  • Dive into your first task, which is the Job Hunter’s Profile.

Have a wonderful weekend. I’ll see you Monday at 8 a.m.