Posts Tagged ‘ career advice ’

A List of 4 Links from my Mentor at GottaMentor

  1. Top 5 Recruiting Mistakes Smart People Make
  2. Using Social Media To Create Job Leads
  3. Don’t Let Your Online Profile Sabotage Your Job Prospects
  4. Why Your Elevator Pitch is So Important and How to NAIL IT!!

Job Hunting Advice from My Mentor @ GottaMentor

The economy sucks.  Not news.  But are you prepared to be a job hunter in 2009?  According to GottaMentor.com, having an established network in 2009 is the best way to job hunt.  Here are the highlights from the blog my Mentor sent me, but you should check it out for the full article.  Let me know in the comments if you agree, disagree or have similar experiences with network success.

1. Develop a short list of people who can potentially help.

2. Make smart requests that are easy for them to respond with “yes.”

3. Make it easy for them to help you.

There’s a lot of information in this post, for both new professionals and seasoned pros.  If you’re not already on GottaMentor, nows a good time to start networking as a mentor or mentee.

ZM

Determine Your Variables, the Intership Experiment

 Internships are experiments in developing a career.  They can’t be completely controlled.  There are independent and dependent variables, and success or failure hinges on defining the variables before you begin (kind of  like all experiments).  

What’s my boss going to be like?  Am I going to be a glorified secretary?  How much am I going to learn?  Is it paid?  All of these are variables most likely out of your control.  Don’t fret!  There are two websites that can help take some of the stress away when searching for the variables.

Number 1 is QuarterLife.  This website is…. a lot of things rolled into one.  Almost to the point of being overwhelming.  Is it a site for an online webisode?  A social networking site for young creatives?  Or a place to find internships?  I think it’s a little bit of all of these.

However, upon digging into the website, I was actually a little underwhelmed with the content.  I got the feeling that the blog was created just so someone could say, “I have a blog that goes with my website.”  From what I could see the the posts read more like a “FAQ” page.  Before I visited the site, I was hoping for personal stories from the trenches, tips on intern interviews, resume advice or anything besides what I found.  The “Intern Queen” definitely didn’t deliver.  One thing I notice (and you can see it in the photo above) is that the Intern Queen Court is made up of all insanely good looking people.   I mean look at them!!

Overall, the internship directory is a great resource.  Especially if you’re looking for a creative internship in CA, FL, PA and NY.

Number 2 is InternRatings.com.  LOVE IT!!!  I’ll start off with the one thing I’m not crazy about: the colors.  It’s almost a little too girly, but since the vivacious duo behind Internratings.com are girls I’ll let it slide a little.  Now the PROS: as soon as you enter the site you see a big, interactive map of the US.  From there you can select the state to find internships that have been rated by peers who have been-there-done=that.  At the bottom of the BIG OL’ MAP OF THE US, there are the most recent reviews, the best and worst of the rated internships.  You can also search by location, industry and company name.  

This is very much a great resource in all ways.  It’s new, so it’s up to you to share your experience and help create the content on this site.

Both of these websites are worth bookmarking as you experiment with your career.

Have you had an experience with either of these websites?  What do you think?  Feel free to leave comments or even your own story about an internship experience.

ZM

 

 

 

what makes a PRofessional?

With a title like making a PRofessional, I’m surprised I haven’t already covered exactly what makes a PRofessional.  So I took the question to all my friends on HARO for their opinions on what makes a PRofessional, what doesn’t make a PRofessional and how important is accreditation like APR — not just for individuals, but for the entire industry!

I was pleasantly surprised with the responses I received.  So, in all its glory, here is what I got:

  • Can I get an order of Experience, with a side of a Degree?
    • Experience counts over a degree… for most.  Out of about 40 responses, only 4 said a degree was an absolute necessity.  That’s only 10%.  Most established Professionals said that being seasoned in the niche one works was more important than a piece of paper from an accredited university.  Remember my earlier post about impatience being a virtue?  Don’t wait to get started building your amazing, PRofessional portfolio.  Cause even with a degree, you still need experience.  At least three years from what I’ve seen for most entry level jobs.
  • Know your Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of the Media
    • Before you pitch a story do yourself and every other PR pro a favor…  Seriously.  Research your writer.  Read at least THREE of his or her writings and, if he or she has one, read their blog or friend them on a social media platform.  And do this before you pitch.   I’ve said it in an interview… bad pitchers would be the one thing I would change about what we do.  KNOW YOUR MEDIA!!!  KNOW YOUR REPORTER/WRITER/EDITOR!!!  Look here if you want to see some bad examples of media relations.
  • Like the Song Says… Smile Like You Mean It
    • Did you know that just smiling can change your whole attitude?  Yeah, that’s right.  And apparently employers are looking for personable people with positive  personalities (that hurt my soul a little).  Take that alliteration to heart because it could help you win in an interview and show your soon-to-be boss that you have what it takes to build great relationships with reporters, clients and fellow employees.  So turn your frowny face upside down and make it an awkward smile.

 

The responses didn’t stop there.  Here are some qualities PRofessionals are expected to have:

 

  • Remember that degree we talked about…?
    • Even though most hiring Professionals said experience was more important than a degree, you still need one.  And it doesn’t have to be in PR.  It can be in English, journalism, marketing or another communications field.  Some employers even prefer that new hires have a background in the media and it’s no surprise that many PRofessionals  come from journalism.  You know, because we do so much work with the media (see the second tip above). 
  • Don’t Be Pushy
    • This is kind of like smiling.  It’s important to be persistent, but know when to call it quits.  No one likes to be pushed into a corner and although being pushy may get you one or two stories in the media, continuing an abrasive behavior will strain your relationships.
  • Write Well
    • Writing is to PR what latex gloves are to doctors… Everything begins with latex gloves.  It is imperative to have good writing skills in PR.  You must be capable of communicating efficiently in your writing.  You must be capable of telling your client’s story in your writing.  You must be capable of persuading in your writing.  Writing is in everything we do as PRofessionals: pitching, creating press releases and newsletters, developing speeches…  Everything.
  • Think On Your Feet
    • ‘Nuf said.

 

Then there was the A. P. R.  Most PRofessionals seem to not carry the three letters behind their name that means they went through boot camp like training, studied like grad school students and reassessed their whole career.  With complete respect to the APR, I really feel like this is just a major accomplishment, not an industry be all, end all.  It sets a standard for the industry, but you don’t have to have it to practice PR and it certainly doesn’t give you the power to fly.  However, it’s an accomplishment I want to have.  With that said: Zackery Moore, APR… Yeah… that sounds cool.

 

ZM

 

P.S. I do not have an APR, just wanted to see what it felt like to write it behind my name.  Feels fancy.

Guest Post: Job Hunting Advice for College Seniors

Note: this post comes from Gotta Mentor and was written by Gotta Mentor CEO and Co-founder Ron Mitchell.  You can find the original post here.  Check back on making a PRofessional as I give you updates about any successes I have with this site.

What I would do as a college senior looking for a job in this environment

There are no simple answers if you are looking for a job as a college senior right now, but here are three things you should consider:

1) Take a job where you will learn the most
Pre-1980, college students took jobs where they thought they would get the most job security. They went to the big companies like IBM, GM and GE. In the 80`s and 90`s college seniors started to focus on where they could make the most money like Wall Street. In the 2000`s, students started to focus on where they could enjoy the best lifestyle like the dot coms. Well today, the focus should be on where you can learn the most. This may mean that you make less money and have less flexibility. But in the long run the skills that you develop will set you free and enable you to chart a career path that you will have control over.

2) Go Abroad
What I am going to say here, may seem contradictory to what I have written above but it is not. Get your butt out of the country. This may mean studying for an extra year or taking some menial type of job abroad. In this case the type of job does not matter. Don`t worry about what you learn on the job, because learning about a different culture is just as important. Learning a language is just as (if not more) important. Tops on my list to go to would be China, India and Brazil. Big markets that are only going to become more important to the global economy.

3) Don`t cop out and go to law or business school right away. 
I know that many of you are taking your LSATs, GMATs and GREs. Don`t cop out! Even in a good economy, I would tell you to work for a few years before going to graduate school. These schools will always be there for you. Once you go and saddle yourself with even more school debt, you will have even less opportunity to find or do the things you want to do. You have very little risk as a young person to go and try something different.

Gotta No Clue…? Introducing Gotta Mentor for All Your Questions

If you’re looking for an mentor, I think you should check out Gotta Mentor.  

It connects high school, undergrad, grad and new professionals with weathered (or fresh) veterans from a variety of industries.  There is even a “General” catergory of professionals so it’s definitely O.K. if you don’t know what you want to be when you grow-up.

I’m in the process of creating a profile, but this seems like an awesome resource.  

Most of my success comes from creating great relationships with mentors.  And anyone who knows me will know that I wholey support finding someone to model your career goals after. 

The next post on my blog will be a guest post of sorts from the CEO and co-founder from Gotta Mentor.

 
ZM