Gearing Up to Revamp That Resume

ResumeThe beginning of the school year is the perfect time to update your resume. Many of us just wrapped up our last days at respective jobs and internships and will be starting new positions for the school year. Equipped with an additional few months of experience, the rub with this is deciding what to eliminate from your current resume.

Follow these tips to make sure your resume is in prime shape for the year:

1. Sell Yourself A brief description of you, your passions and objectives is always a great touch. Think of a few adjectives that best define you and use that sum up who you before you go into what you have done.

2. Put Your Best Foot Forward FIRST Your most proud or impressing achievements should go at the top of your resume. This will change over time but you always want potential employers to see your best work right away. Your resume gets you the interview, not the job. Start it off with your crown jewel.

3. Less is More When it comes to the length of your resume, less is more and one page will always suffice. Keeping the summaries brief will also make it so that your proudest and most recent accomplishments are highlighted. You don’t want your resume to be junky! You can always elaborate and give more detail once you are in the interviewing process.

4. Make it Job Specific Because you only have a page to summarize your education and experience, it is important to tailor your resume to the job that you apply for. You don’t have to list everything you have ever done. Think about the position you are applying for and list what it most relevant to that position when you find yourself having to choose what to post.

5. Design Matters Make good use of your white space. Your resume should have a clean flow and be easy to read. Paragraphs are a no-no. Use bullet points and only say what is necessary.

6. Make the Most of What you Have As a college student it is more or less expected that you have had no “real work experience.” Summer jobs, volunteer work and extracurricular activities are hard work and respectable commitments.  Be sure to include these as well as executive positions held and or any special recognition that you receive.

7. Show Your Personality Adding a splash of color can make your resume stand out, just don’t over do it!

-Malindi Robinson is currently undecided but will be applying to the Scripps strategic communications program this fall as a sophomore. Follow her at @fillemalindi.

Dealing with THAT Group Member

HangoverMemeAs summer dwindles to a close and thank you cards are left on internship coordinators desks, you’re probably reflecting on the internship experience you had, the portfolio work you gained and challenges faced. One thing is for sure; the people we worked with always leave a lasting impact – good or bad.

At times co-workers can feel like the most difficult part of the job.  Every job environment presents the opportunity to work with a “flip-flopper,” “avoider,” or “know-it all.” When tumultuous situations arrive it can be tough finding the best solution. Here are some “what if” situations:

What if I work with a “work hoarder” that doesn’t delegate tasks or assignments?

“First, ask the co-worker if they need help. Express interest in the project,” said Julia Fleming, Assistant Director of Employer Relations for the Career and Leadership Development Center.

For example, if the project deals with creating new marketing approaches for a brand, explain to your co-worker you’re looking to gain portfolio work this summer and would like to take on the project. Be honest and tell them what you’re looking to gain from your internship.

What if I work with a fellow intern that doesn’t communicate?

“Communicate problems tend to happen in large settings with leveled employees,” said Fleming. “Take preventive action by getting to know everyone’s strengths and values.”

This will help you figure out how to use everyone’s assets in teamwork. Making an effort to know your co-workers’ personalities is way to make sure you’re kept in the loop on projects. Again, it’s important to discuss the communication issues with your co-worker on first offensives. If it continues politely address the issue in group discussion. Talking about issues in a group creates a culture of openness and trust. It’s extremely important not to micro-manage.

What if a co-worker takes credit for my work?

“Ask them to reconnect and be direct with your co-worker,” said Fleming. “It’s best to avoid confrontation.”

Open-minded communication is a must for a positive solution. Help them feel a part the team and make sure they feel valued. If they feel valued it’s more likely they will be more open with the group.

If you have more questions concerning “toxic team members” or are seeking career and leadership assistant visit the Career and Leadership Development Center in Baker Center 5th floor.

-Melaina Lewis is a junior studying strategic communications. Keep up with her at @melaina_lewis.

Twitter Lessons from @OU_Confessions and @OUCrushes

TwitterTwo anonymous twitter accounts created by Ohio University students quickly caught the attention of fellow bobcats starting in the spring of 2013.

The twitter accounts, OU Crushes and OU Confessions urge students to share their most intimate secrets, and personal issues with strangers, while they remain unidentified to followers.

The twitter account OU Crushes prompts Bobcats to share their love interests with followers, while OU Confessions invites Bobcats to share confessions of any nature.  These confessions may range from heartfelt to down right disturbing.  The unpredictable nature of the twitter account may be one of the many reasons why this account has become so popular.

OU Confessions was started by an OU sophomore who said she was looking to break her post-spring break boredom by trying something new.  Two OU juniors and one senior said they experienced a different sort of inspiration before creating the account, OU Crushes.  At the time, they all had crushes on fellow students in their classesConfessions, and they decided to create the account after they found themselves too shy to admit their own affections.  All four of these students have opted to remain anonymous creators of these accounts.

Both OU Crushes and OU Confessions operate similarly.  Users can make anonymous submissions of 140 characters or less through links on the accounts’ homepages. The administrators of the accounts can then select submissions and post them to their Twitter feed. At no point are the administrators of either account made aware of the submitters’ identities.

Although these tweets may be seen as offensive or unprofessional, we may be able to learn a thing or two from the creators of these accounts.  One lesson that may be taken away from their success is, how to “gain and retain followers.”

Gain and Retain

The anonymous creators of these two twitter accounts have not only been successful at starting these accounts, but they have conquered the art of maintaining them.

OU Crushes managed to gain 6,300 followers in only three weeks time.  About five months later, OU Crushes now has a total of 7,552 followers, coming in second place to OU Confessions, which now has 10,585 followers.

Both of these accounts used some of the same tactics to gain and retain their followers, starting with persistence.

1. Persistence is Key Both of these accounts have gained followers rapidly, and continue to keep those followers because they are constantly posting new tweets.  OU Crushes and OU Confessions now average at least five tweets a day, and when they originated they posted at least 10 tweets with a 24-hour span.

The creators made sure that it would be impossible to forget about the existence of either of these accounts.  It is time consuming to maintain anonymous accounts, but they have never failed to keep up with their followers’ expectations.

2. Relating to Your Audience In order to keep followers, you have to post material that keeps your followers interested. OU Confessions and OU Crushes are known for posting unpredictable content, which often includes x-rated material. These accounts were created for Ohio University students, so the tweets they post are geared towards an audience of Bobcats.  In order to keep followers interested, these accounts have to sort through tweets sent into them, and choose the material they want to repost on their Twitter feed.

They do a great job of sorting, because they often repost tweets that include information that only OU students, or alumni can relate to.  They mention the names of buildings on campus, uptown bars, and sororities or fraternities for example.  They also keep their audience interested by crossing boundaries that no one has crossed before.  There aren’t many twitter accounts that are bold enough to somehow associate themselves with Ohio University, yet post content that would be considered x-rated.

3. Think Outside the Box Everything originates from an idea.  The creators of these accounts implemented an idea that had never been attempted at Ohio University, and they ended up with great success.  When working in a professional setting, it may be easy to lose sight of your creativity and innovativeness, but these accounts may teach you how important it is to implement your ideas.

-Tori Carras is a organizational communication major with specializations in strategic communications and marketing. Follow her at @tcarras2.

An Internship Completed, New Skills Gained

A crash course in some of the most basic, yet crucial skills that I learned while interning with PR Newswire.PR Newswire

With every new experience, there are new lessons and skills learned and my summer internship at PR Newswire was no exception. My internship was an incredible learning experience filled daily with so much knowledge and excitement. Reflecting back on my internship, most of what I learned was specific to PR Newswire; however, there are three main skills that can be applied to any sector of the PR world.

1. The art of crafting a good release. Even though PR Newswire does not write any press releases for their clients, I learned what sets a good release apart from a bad one. A good release is well written (you’d be surprised at the number of poorly written releases that have gone across the wire) and includes a photo/video. More people are inclined to click on something with a photo than without one, so having a multimedia component is essential and will generate more views.

A good news release will also include hyperlinks throughout the release that link back to only relevant sites to help further tell the story. The headline should be short and attention grabbing with a longer sub-headline. For every release written, there should be at least three keywords that should be appear in the headline, sub-headline and throughout the release which will help boost SEO results.

2. Mixing business with Twitter. Tweeting for any brand or business is much different than tweeting from your own personal Twitter account. Just as there is an art to crafting a good release, there is also a rulebook on drafting a tweet. Even though Twitter allows for up to 140 characters, your tweet should always be less than that (around 100-120 characters) to allow for retweets and responses. Every tweet should include one or two hashtags (any more than that looks like spam) and a photo or link. There have been studies that show that more people click on the link if it is inserted in the middle of the tweet rather than at the end.

3. Keyboard shortcuts. I’m sure a few of you are chuckling as you read this as it seems like a pretty basic and silly skill to be talking about. However, throughout my internship I learned the value in mastering keyboard shortcuts. Everyone in the office uses these shortcuts as they allow your work to flow more seamlessly, as you can do everything from the keyboard, and increase productivity. In the fast-paced industry that is PR, anything that saves you a little bit of time is worth doing!

While these skills may seem extremely basic, they are the foundation of the ever-changing PR industry and imperative to getting a brand’s message in front of the right audience!

-Kathleen Marincic will be a junior studying strategic communications. Follow her at @kathmarincic.

5 Challenges of Switching a Major into the Journalism School

ScrippsSwitching your major in college is one thing, but switching into the prestigious E.W. Scripps School of Journalism is another story.  Personally, I didn’t know what I wanted to major in coming into college, so I scanned through the majors offered at Ohio University as I was applying.  By the time I got my acceptance letter, I had forgotten what I even chose to major in.  As I’m going into my sophomore year, I’m about to apply to the J-School for spring semester.

I imagine many other students are in the same boat, and probably facing the same challenges as I am. Make sure to keep the following in mind before applying for the school.

1) Recommendation Letters One of the main challenges I’m facing with this process is finding people who can write recommendation letters about my journalistic abilities. Since I did just realize this year that I love writing, I only took two journalism classes.  One of which was a huge lecture hall, so there’s no way my professor would even know my name, let alone write me a letter recommending me. This upcoming semester, I’m taking two more journalism classes, so I’ll be looking to build a relationship with my professors in hope that they will be able to write me a recommendation letter.

2) Examples of journalism work Having just realized that I want to be a journalism major this past year, it’s been challenging to get professional samples of work to be able to submit with my application.  However, I did talk to a professor in Scripps, who suggested I join ImPRessions and PRSSA.  From there, I have learned so much already, and he also suggested that I join as many clubs that I can.

3) The Pressure I thought getting into college my freshman year was stressful, but now that I’m already enrolled at Ohio University, there’s so much pressure to get into the major I want because if I don’t, I might not graduate on time.  If denied acceptance into the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, it is required to wait a whole year to reapply.

4) Resume building Not having much experience in anything related to journalism makes it hard to have a perfect resume that makes you look like you know what you’re doing with your life.  Using InDesign to create your resume at least gives it a professional look.   Also, asking professors and other J-School students to critique your resume will help make it get that much closer to perfection.

5) Getting help It’s challenging having to ask for help because you don’t know what you’re doing.  Transferring your major to journalism is a difficult process, but asking for help is the only way you’ll make it.  Email professors, go talk to an adviser, anything helps to get you going in the right direction.

Applying for the J-School is a challenging process, but it will be worth it in the end.  I’m looking forward to saying that I’m officially part of the J-School.  I have met many wonderful people as I’m applying this upcoming semester.

-Meredith Broadwater is a sophomore studying media arts and studies but will be applying to the journalism school in the fall. Follow her at @Meredithbroad.



Should You Switch Journalism Tracks?

JournalismEntering my freshman year at Ohio University, I wanted to be a journalist. To me, being a journalist meant working for a newspaper or magazine in New York City and writing every day for the rest of my career. This seemed exciting, but little did I know that this was only the very beginning of where journalism could take me.

I’ve always enjoyed exploring and trying new things, so I signed up for plenty of clubs outside of print journalism. One of those clubs was PRSSA. At the beginning of the year, I didn’t really understand what public relations consisted of or how to build a career out of it, so I kept a close eye on the strategic communications track in order to learn more.

Everyone talked about ImPRessions and how it went hand in hand with PRSSA, so second semester I decided to sign up for ImPRessions as well. After getting hands on experience and getting a better look at what public relations really is, I knew this was the right track for me. It took a lot of exploring and open-mindedness to discover that this was my path, but I am so glad that I took the time to look outside of the box.

As you probably know, it is very common to change your major at some point during your college career. Going away for the first time allows you to take a better look at yourself and what you want out of life. My views changed drastically in just one year of college, and will most likely continue to grow and develop as I do. With that being said, it is important to stay open to career changes or developments.

You shouldn’t worry about changing your major or track so much that you stay put where you are, because at the end of the day, it is important to be happy and enjoy your career. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I stuck with a major that was no longer the right fit for me because I was scared of what may happen.

If you’re unsure what you want to do or what path you want to take; explore. Take the time to look into different avenues and make sure you talk to people in each of them. I wouldn’t have signed up for ImPRessions or learned as much as I did about public relations if I didn’t talk to people in the strategic communications track. There is no better way to learn about something than by asking questions and finding out the facts. Never be afraid of what may happen if you change your mind and remember to just go for it! At the end of the day, you will be happy you did. I am so glad I took the chance to explore the strategic communications and take the leap to change.

-Jessica Carnprobst is a sophomore studying strategic communications. Follow Jessica at @Jess_Carnprobst.

Four Years, Four Tips: Advice From a Senior in Denial

How is it even possible that I’m less than two weeks away from my last fall semester at Ohio University?!

Like everyone else, I’ve definitely had my ups and downs over these last three years. I went from just “liking” college to considering Athens my home. I began as an often anxious, homesick freshman into an overly confident, self-proclaimed “hot commodity” senior.

923446_4794050935240_452424382_nAlthough I’m in denial of approaching the ‘g-bomb’ and wish there wasn’t a life beyond Court Street, I can confidently say no other university would have given me a better college experience. OU and the J-School have given me the knowledge, resources and skills I will need to face life outside the Athens bricks.

Though I’m far from knowing everything, these four tips have been some of the biggest take-a-ways I’ve gain throughout my college journey.

1. Don’t over think it – I entered the James Hall freshman communications learning community with the plan of getting my byline printed on the pages of a traditional newspaper one day. Fast-forward three short years later – I’m headed in a completely different direction, aspiring to be PRofessional in a big metropolitan city. Believe me, your 18 year-old self won’t have any idea what you want to do for the rest of your life. Don’t pigeon-hole yourself. Get your feet wet in a bunch of different organizations. Enroll in classes that pique your interest, even if they don’t fulfill your major’s requirements. Stop giving yourself a headache! I still don’t know where I’ll end up. But I allow my passion for the field and the ambiguity of a PR career to lead me on my journey.

2. Don’t be ‘red’; be ‘Razzmatazz’– Our resumes apparently get 30 seconds, if that, of a potential employer’s attention. Think of yourself as being one small crayon in a huge box of diverse, colorful crayon box – how will you stand out in a Crayola Rainbow? Follow Farkas’s advice by coming up with your three talking points that will give you the tools to showcase what’s unique and only unique to you to give you the added confidence to walk into your next interview.

3. Channel your inner YOLO and put yourself out there – This summer I made a great connection via Twitter. While attending a non-profit forum for my internship on the power of storytelling, being the Twitter-obsessed PR girl I am, I live tweeted ideas and quotes that the speaker – an up-and-coming local advertising guy – said throughout the event. My tweets got his attention, because they eventually led to several conversations through email, even weeks after his presentation. I was shocked to get such a positive response. (Was it time to call Nev Schulman? Had I been “Catfished?!”) I learned that he too wanted to meet with me because I had impressed him; he appreciated my perseverance and enthusiasm of wanting to learn from him. I never imagine 140 characters would lead me to networking over coffee. Moral of the story – speak up; take risks; get out of your comfort zone. Who cares – YOLO.

4. Work hard, play hard(er) – I often joke to my friends that Alden is my boyfriend because of all the long hours I’ve spent over the years studying within the stacks. Between my rigorous course load, involvement in too many organizations, meetings on meetings on meetings I run to each evening and working to help pay for rent, books and groceries, I like to reward myself by enjoying Athens’s nightlife with my friends. Be dedicated and put your schoolwork first, but make sure you’re having a great time doing it. I have loved being so involved because it has not only helped build my resume, but more importantly, it has also allowed me to meet so many great friends. It’s important and healthy to participate in a balance of work and play.  You owe it to yourself to celebrate making it through the grind of a hectic college schedule – OU Oh Yeah!

Though it’s definitely bitter sweet, I’m so excited to embrace my last year at Ohio University. I’ve even decided to start a yearlong blog on all my “bucket list experiences!” There really is no place like OU and Athens – once a Bobcat always a Bobcat!

-Sara Lowenstein is a senior studying public relations with specializations in sociology and community health. Check her out at @SaraLowenstein.