Choose Wisely

As February comes to a close and March starts to creep up on students reminding them that the year is almost over, I find myself less conscious of summer plans and more conscious of the changes coming with this year. Normally, this is the time when I am thinking about what classes I will take next semester, where I want to travel this summer and how I can celebrate the end of another school year. Not this year. I am thrilled to be graduating, as I think almost everyone is, however I cannot help but feel like there are things we have missed.

No, I’m not talking about soaking up the “college life”, or enjoying the “best days of our lives” more, but preparation. Preparation particularly in the form of portfolios, resumes, etc keeps looming in my head. I’ve had countless classes that have focused on this subject one week, or so, out of the semester, yet I am left wondering. Often times we have received varying opinions and methods of how we should go about creating and distributing our portfolios and/or resumes. I have been told everything from do not do a resume whatsoever to only having print copies of portfolios to creating an online portfolio and website, not to mention every possible mash up in between.

With the job market the way it is these days I feel that  importance should be placed on developing, not only the skills to proactively market ourselves, but the confidence to to know we chose our methods wisely. Personally, I feel like that is something we could all spend more time on during our last semester. It is a harsh world out there, especially right now and in such a competitive and high strung career. Stressing over whether or not I have successfully created what is debatable as the single most important thing to gain stability after graduation seems like it should have been taken care of long ago. I’ve done my own research and monitored what others are doing, such as this in this LinkedIn Chat, but I would feel a hundred times better if the things I’m being told would sync up.

What do you think? Which route or mash up have you taken?

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4 Responses to Choose Wisely

  1. dsmith says:

    During my four years here at Cronkite, I have undoubtedly become more news conscious to say the least. I have been keeping a list of places that seem like cool and creative work environments, especially ones that I have read articles about. Some of these places are back home in Boston and others are scattered. I think I’m going to live by the corny phrase “wherever the wind blows” in job searching especially since I know that in this economy I cant afford to be picky. I update my resume as frequently as possible and plan on sending it out to organizations on my list. That’s my plan. I don’t personally think there is a right or wrong way to do things but I could be wrong. Let me know if I’m missing something!

  2. aguido says:

    I agree that just keeping your resume updated is practically all you can do. I’m not going to lie–I am outright terrified to step into this job market. People are losing their jobs left and right, budgets are deflating and there just isn’t as much demand as there once was. Of course, jobs are still required, and I think we are lucky to be in PR actually. Although people are less willing to spend money, I think there is a great need for PR. There are just so many competing businesses right now, it is all looking pretty competitive out there so I can see businesses really needing people in our field now to make them stand out.

    With that said, I think the best way to get any job is practice practice practice. A nice thing about the Cronkite program is it forces us to get internships related to our field and we therefore have some great experience to throw on our resumes. Employers don’t want to waste their time training someone on every single trick in the book, there just isn’t that patience to grow an employee anymore. They would prefer someone who has done similar things before. I know that doesn’t necessarily help out graduates who may have worked bartending through school (not to say that doesn’t provide a set of skills itself, however) and need to suddenly find a PR job, but hopefully we’ve all had some great internship to include on there.

  3. hhoma says:

    Although I have a year left of school, this is a topic that I think about often. I have print journalism experience from a past internship, through which I have collected many writing samples. I want to include these in my PR portfolio (especially since I don’t have much PR experience at this point, and I don’t want to show a portfolio that appears lacking), but I don’t know the best way to present it all together.

    I, too, feel that we are told many conflicting pieces of advice when it comes to resume writing, interviewing and portfolios. And as that LinkedIn Chat showed, people all over the Internet and from many different positions in the PR world have differing opinions. It is impossible to know what one employer wants and doesn’t want.

    Another thing I’ve been wondering about is how to contact people you’ve networked with in the past but haven’t spoken to for some time. When I worked as a news reporting intern, I often worked with PR professionals, and there was one, in particular, who I would love to reconnect with. We met more than a year and a half ago and have not been in touch since. She knew that I was pursuing PR, even though I was currently doing print journalism. I would love to contact her and reintroduce myself, as well as ask whether her PR firm has any internship opportunities. I don’t know if I should email her and attach my resume, or if I should bring my resume and portfolio in person to her office, or… Any suggestions?

  4. Dawn Gilpin says:

    Remember that a key part of this class blogging assignment is to link to current trends and issues in PR, and join in the online professional community. You need to find a post somewhere that relates to this topic so that you can link to it. A link to a chat on LinkedIn is not enough, because it doesn’t make this post part of a conversation.

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