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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Top 5 Things a Grad Should Do Before a PR Job Interview

  1. Perfect your résumé and portfolio. Be sure both are examples of your writing and knowledge of AP Style. Also be sure to tailor your résumé and cover letter to each job description. Keep your résumé simple, do not include irrelevant information – and try to keep it to one page if possible. Helpful items to include in a portfolio are résumés, evidence of professional affiliations, licenses or certificates, and work samples. See Susan Balcom Waltcom’s article on what to include in a PR portfolio for more tips.
  2. Google Yourself! What is the first thing that comes up when you google your name? Your google results may be saying a lot more than you realize! Make sure it is something positive. To improve your google search results consider starting a blog, or creating a LinkedIn profile.
  3. Use Social Media To Make a Name for Yourself. Twitter is your best friend! Actively tweet and make connections with reporters and PR professionals. Also it is a smart idea to comment on well-known, heavily followed blogs such as the blogs featured on alltop. Clean up your Facebook account; make sure that anything you post is something you wouldn’t find your employer finding.
  4. Be Proficient in New Technology. Being able to say that you have Search Engine Optimization (SEO) knowledge, can create a video news release, use twitter, and use social media monitoring services. This is an area where you can have more or better knowledge/experience than you employer does.
  5. Buy Thank You Cards. This may seem old-school, but you should never under estimate the power of good etiquette. There are many ways to follow-up, but adding a thank you card could be the little something extra that makes an employer spend a little more time looking at your résumé. 

Christine Tsang
University of Minnesota
Blog Assignment