Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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Flaunt What You’ve Got: Keeping an Online Portfolio

July 23, 2014

By: Lindsey Zimmerman @lindseyzim716

Any time you go through the tedious-yet-rewarding process of applying for internships and jobs, it’s almost a given that you’ll be asked to provide a writing sample at some point. A solid example of excellent writing can really put you ahead of the game as more and more PR industry employers are looking for candidates who really have a way with words. With that being said, it’s not always easy to pick out just one or two pieces of writing to showcase, especially if you’re like me and you’ve been writing for a wide variety of student publications and blogs all throughout college.

This is where the online portfolio can really come in handy. Everyone in the public relations industry, from the seasoned professional to the aspiring student, knows that a portfolio is crucial for showing what you’ve accomplished in your career. In today’s increasingly digital and technological society, it’s easier than ever before to keep all of your professional work organized in one place.

I use clippings.me for my online portfolio and keep a link to it right at the top of my email signature so that it catches people’s eye and (hopefully) intrigues them enough to click. I like clippings.me because of the easy, eye-catching organizational options. Every piece of work I’ve done, both for student organizations and for internships, is listed and organized first by publication and then by date. I also have a link to my resume at the very top. This site works well for written work, which is the bulk of what I have, but if you’re interested in showing off your design skills, Mashable has this great list of options for building a more artistic online portfolio.

An online portfolio is a great way to show off your work every chance you get. You can link to it on any social network, from your Twitter bio to your LinkedIn profile, in order to show off your work to anyone who may come across your online presence. It’s also a great way to keep your work organized when you need to provide a sample – simply scroll through your online portfolio and pick something out, as opposed to searching through old blogs and digital files to find that one perfect piece that really showcases what you have to offer.

Beyond showing off your creative talents, this is a great way to prove to potential employers and others in your network that you know how to stay organized, as well as consistent with your personal brand. Customize the layout and design of your site to match your blog, resume, business cards or anything else that reflects your professional self.

With an online portfolio, the possibilities are endless. If you don’t have one already, set aside some time to put one together and link to it wherever you see fit. In the long run, it will only be beneficial.

Using A Cover Letter to Stand Out from the Crowd

July 2, 2014

By: Austin Ambrose @tex_ambrose7

Most applications ask you for three pieces: a resume, work samples and a cover letter. Each piece plays an essential part in the selection process. Resumes are important but also very basic. A resume just gives the people hiring a chance to ensure you are qualified for the position. Work samples show your skills. However, there are plenty of people capable of doing those same skills as you.

How are you supposed to stand out from the rest of the pool?

The answer is your cover letter. Cover letters give you a chance to explain how well you will fit well into the company or organization. There is no need to restate what you already have on your resume and work samples. The cover letter is your opportunity to show what you know about the company and how you fit into the goals and culture already established.

A cover letter does require more work than a resume or writing sample

You have to do your homework and learn all that you can about the company. By having specific information about the company, they will realize that you either know the company or you were willing to do the work to figure it out. Either one is good.

You want to show how your goals and values match those of the company

The cover letter is meant to show who you are as a person. Cover letters are also great to showcase information not on your resume, or expand on a topic that was mentioned in your resume.

Be specific

Tell them exactly why you are the person they should hire.  Give them specific examples of what you have accomplished and how that will translate into the position. Explain to them how your previous experiences have equipped you to take on this position. This is not a time to be modest, but make sure you don’t cross that line into bragging. Sound confident and informed. A good employer will see through any BS and know when you are not being sincere. Show some of your professional personality.

Let the cover letter do all the talking

Your resume and work samples can only do the small talk. You have to pull out the real talker if you want to get anywhere. Remember that cover letters should always be specific to the position you are applying for. It’s not a bad idea to have a template that you can adapt for each position. The idea of a universalcover letter does not exist. Take advantage of the opportunity the company gives you to prove you should be hired. At the very least, a strong cover letter will get you to the interview round. Lastly, Be yourself and take pride in your accomplishments.

How to Reintroduce your Personal Brand

April 21, 2014 1 Comment

In an age where employers expect to learn everything there is to know about a job candidate from a simple Google search, maintaining your personal brand online is a must.

But what if you don’t feel like you’re being perceived quite right?

No need to worry! Here are a few tips adapted from Scripps PRSSA’s professional adviser Dan Farkas and professional marketing consultant Dorie Clark to help guide you in the right direction.

jayz

credit: adage

1) Figure out what makes you different

Unfortunately, there are a lot of resumes out there that look just like yours. This makes it important to find details about yourself that set you apart from your competitors. Do you know how to use a certain computer program? Did you study abroad in a foreign country?

Leveraging your special skills and experiences can help you make your personal brand more unique.

2) Develop your story and share it with others

Look at where you are in life and how you got there. Writing your own narrative allows you to examine how your experiences have shaped you. This exercise also helps you learn where your values lie.

Once you figure out your story, you’ll need to put it out there. A personal blog or website is a great place to start. Find three social media channels that you consistently post content to that you want to make public. Then, use these social networks to communicate your fresh, new brand to the rest of the world.

3) Prove your worth

Like the saying goes, if you talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk. For example, if your brand communicates that you’re well organized, people should see this in real life.

Remember, your brand shouldn’t paint a fictional picture of who you wish you were.  Communicating your goals and hopes for the future is ok, but make sure you remain honest. Saying you’re a neurosurgeon and saying you’re an aspiring neurosurgeon is not the same thing.

world traveller

credit: allwomenstalk.com

Hopefully, using these tips will help you define your brand more clearly on the web.

How do you communicate your personal brand online? Leave us a comment below!

Tips for the Career Fair

February 14, 2013

By: Whitney Hatano 

If the warm weather and sunshine hasn’t been enough of a clue that spring is among us, then maybe the Spring Career & Internship Fair will be. The fair will be held on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 from 10:00am-3:00pm in Baker Ballroom. Most college students attend at least one career fair in their years at school. At first the concept of a career fair may seem extremely nerve racking and stressful but in the end it is a worthwhile experience. Try not to fret too much; here are a few tips for success at this year’s career fair!

A common piece of advice is to dress professionally! It doesn’t matter whether one is searching for a life long career or just attending the fair for the first time. Chances of a business taking you seriously while you’re still in your PJs are slim to none. First impressions are very crucial and you never know whom you’re going to meet. Being overdressed is more forgivable than being underdressed. The dressed up also does not mean putting on your going out outfit, make sure to clean up and look appropriate.

One of the most important tips is to do your research before the event. With long lines and packed rooms, it’s hard to scope out the entire fair without feeling even more overwhelmed than you probably already are. You also need to take into consideration that not every booth is suitable for you. Researching the companies present beforehand will make it easier for you to filter out which booths are worth stopping at. On the same note, be careful not to rule out any options because you may just be surprised about what a company has to offer. Research different companies by visiting their websites and reading their values and option positions to get a feel for their business. Social media is also becoming a great tool for companies, so try checking out their Twitter or like their Facebook page, too!

Maintaining a positive attitude throughout the day can be tiresome, but keep that smile and handshake firm. If you show you’re genuinely interested in the employer, then they’re going to be just as enthusiastic to give you more information about themselves. Bringing your resume is only half of the battle; you have to have an impressive personality too. Potential employers are not going to want to hire someone who isn’t going to add to their company rapport. Try not to sell yourself too much though, employers want to hear about the real you, not a pitch you’ve repeated to every other booth.

These are only a few tips that can be used to make your career fair experience successful. Just remember to look professional, do your research and bring you’re a-game. Career fairs shouldn’t be scary; they are here to assist students in meeting new people and creating a professional network for free! 

 

Another successful #AskOUrPRos chat!

April 25, 2012

On April 25, ImPRessions and professional adviser, M.J. Clark, held their third #AskOUrPRos twitter chat. Industry professionals offered suggestions to students about creating and maintaining resumes, portfolios and digital portfolios. The conversation was great! And students used the opportunity to network with professionals while getting advice on marketing themselves for jobs and internships. Graduating students also benefited from the chat, as professionals discussed their personal tips and tricks for updating resumes and portfolios.

We’d like to thank all of our participants, professionals and students alike. Our next #AskOUrPRos chat is May 22, and we hope to see you all there!

To see a recap of our chat, check out our Storify.

PRSSA National Affiliation: resume building

February 27, 2012

By Nicole Bersani, CEO

Every month or so, the leaders in various PRSSA Nationally Affiliated student-run firms from around the country gather to talk about ways to make their firm better. The most recent call on Tuesday, Feb. 21 covered resume building with organizer, Jessica Noonan, PRSSA National Vice President of Professional Development, and  guest, Joe Clarkson, PRSSA National VP of Internships/Job Services. Both gave great advice that I would like to share with the rest of our members…

  • While some students might not have agency internship experience but want to intern or work at agencies, joining a student-run firm is a great way to showcase your experiences and display that you have work that could mirror agency experience (via Jessica). In ImPRessions for example, members can work on various accounts throughout their four years at Ohio University — some even work on more than one per year.
  • “There is no real magic formula for resumes.” -Joe. Try to demonstrate specifics such as using the number of media outlets that covered your client during a certain release, the amount of money you raised in fundraising for your client’s event or the increase in retweets, mentions, etc. while you did social media for your client.
  • Avoid being vague (via Joe). You might not have all the specific information/results from your client about the work you did, but try to gather as much information you can, ask your client if they can share their results and/or approve the results you have.
  • Be specific but also explain – don’t assume everyone knows what you’re talking about on your resume (via Joe). On my resume, I have it listed as “ImPRessions, PRSSA Nationally Affiliated student-run firm, CEO.” Because I also mention my involvement in PRSSA, I mention that organization in a separate line as “Public Relations Student Society of America, Hugh M. Culbertson Chapter, Executive Board Member” and therefore do not need to write out PRSSA twice. Also, make sure to label that you are an account associate, account executive or account supervisor for Express, Cardinal Health, etc. and not ImPRessions unless you are on the internal account. For example, Sam Barlett is the account supervisor for the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, College Book Store and ButtOut Ohio accounts in ImPRessions. If you have a sub-title such as social media coordinator, graphic designer, etc. then make sure to make that clear as well but also mention that role was while you were an account associate.
  • Highlight key terms and content (via Joe). Key words such as “team,” “community,” and “leader” are good examples of words to add. Also, any certain names of companies, events and software programs can be excellent key terms. Check also the company’s website that you are applying to — copy words they mention in their mission statement and on the application if it’s applicable to your resume.

If you ever need help with how to display your ImPRessions work on your resume, please do not hesitate to contact me at nicolebersani@gmail.com, our firm at ouimpressions@gmail.com, stop in our office hours on Wednesdays or reach out to our professional adviser, M.J. Clark at mjclark@wowway.com. Also, more resume tips specific to ImPRessions members can also be found in our 2011-2012 Brand Standards Manual.

If you ever have any questions for Jessica, Joe or anyone else on the PRSSA Naitonal Committee, their contact information can be found on the PRSSA National website.

Members, alumni, professors…any additional tips you recommend?

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