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: 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]
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.