As we look forward to better weather this Spring — and after all this snow, do we ever! — it is also a time to look forward to the initial job search for many college graduates. As my previous post might suggest, the job market in PR seems to be opening up a bit. But, that doesn’t mean there’s a job for every graduate out there this Spring.
So, what will make the difference between those who do find that coveted job and those who continue to wait tables at O’Charleys? What makes the difference between success and more waiting?
After watching and advising and hiring for more than 30 years, I have some of the answers. I shared some of those with PR graduate students Saturday in a workshop on the Job Search. Here are some highlights:
- Treat the search like is was your actual job. It’s that serious and important.
- It’s essentially a PR campaign with you as the client and a job as the goal.
- Everything counts and must be done right. From business cards to an effective and compelling cover letter, from a powerful targeted resume and solid job interview skills, from solid research into people and companies to use of the new tools of the internet and social media, they all must be in the mix.
- Get into the 21st Century and actively use the social media tools that are available. Jobs are being posted on LinkedIn and Twitter. Are you there? Do you have a professional presence online?
- Network, network, network. This is the secret. Most will get their new job through who they know or get to know.
None of this is a big secret, yet year after year I see graduates who simply don’t do it all — and consequently fail. And, I see those who do a comprehensive and complete search succeed — even in a bad market.
If you are graduating this May (or August), start now. Build your campaign and execute it vigorously and with passion. And pay attention to the details. They all count. They all make a difference.