Three Keys To A Successful Job Hunt

Three Keys To A Successful Job Hunt

By: Jessica Malnik

This is a guest post by Jessica Malnik [on Twitter @JesslicaMalnik], a PR/marketing assistant, social media specialist, videographer and avid blogger. Visit her blog (insert link: http://www.blog.jessicamalnik.com) for social media, technology, public relations and marketing ramblings.


It’s that time of year again where a new set of college seniors are anxiously awaiting the day where they walk across the stage and get their diploma. But, what comes after that can be a very stressful and anxious time as students begin to look for their first job in the “real world.”

While the economy has improved, finding an entry-level job amongst fierce competition is still a daunting task. I’m going to assume that you have started to network, offline and online. That’s the first thing anyone will tell you, since most jobs come from word-of-mouth connections. But, here are three other keys to make the job hunt smoother.

 

Create A Professional Portfolio Website

I firmly believe that all PR, marketing, communications and journalism students should be required to have a website before they graduate college. That’s how important this is. It develops and helps shape your online presence. In this day in age, what appears, or doesn’t appear for the matter, on Google can make or break you in a job search.

Building a website does not have to be an expensive process. There are several great and free website building sites out there, such as Weebly, Wix, Visual CV, About.me, Flavors.me and WordPress. For an additional, $10-$150 per year, you can have your own domain name and host your website yourself using WordPress.

[See Lauren's post on portfolio websites to use and a few examples of her own - http://laurenkgray.com/2011/03/25/job-hunt-via-social-media-create-an-online-portfolio]

 

Be Creative

I think that most people do themselves a disservice by limiting their job applications, cover letters and resumes to the most conservative format. In most cases, this will do you a big disservice. Add your personality (in moderation of course) and creativity to your cover letters and resumes. Showcase your experience in the industry through a clever, non-traditional cover letter or a well-designed resume. Think about how you can set yourself apart from the hundreds of candidates that are gunning for this same position.

 

Read A Lot

This may sound counter-productive. But, it’s so important to self-educate yourself on the latest happenings in your field. Subscribe and read several industry blogs and books. For the PR and marketing industry, I’d recommend these five blogs as a starting point: PR Daily, Communications Conversations, Comms. Corner, Brian Solis and Convince and Convert.

 

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6 comments

  1. Hi Lauren & Jessica!

    Awesome blog post for PR students trying to look for jobs. I’m actually looking to get into the industry by the end of the year and this post had some great advice.

    However, I’m having problems with your first point – creating a professional portfolio website. I understand it’s extremely important to have a body of work that can go along with your cover letter and CV, but as a student I haven’t yet had any practical experience in PR.

    What would you recommend? I have a blog that I write on quite frequently, but the topics are quite diverse – music, movies, etc. Do you think it would be a good idea to post up past university assignments as part of the portfolio? I’m simply stuck on this point.

    Great post!

    Cheers,

    Hao

    1. Hi Hao!

      To start a professional portfolio add ANYTHING you’ve done! Press releases, flyers, handouts, guest blog posts and more! You can check out my portfolio to the left to see what’s in mine. You will definitely GAIN more experience and have more published content, just remember to save it! YES post assignments, presentations and more too!

      Hope this helps!

      -Lauren

  2. Great post, Jessica (and Lauren)! I was at the Social Learning Summit in DC this weekend and an American University professor said that he thought it was unconscionable that we let students graduate today without a LinkedIn profile in today’s economy. I agree.

    I am presenting this weekend at Brown to a scholars in a teaching fellowship and I am going to talk about online portfolios and the importance of reading. I think those two pieces of advice are so important across all professions.

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