Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Professionalism 101 Roundtable

Jessica Laiti, Blair Logan, Michelle Roche, and Don Miller sat down with us to talk about professionalism.

The first topic brought up: putting bad pitches on the internet. Here is some examples of people doing that. What to do about that: establish a relationship with the reporters, do not just rely on emails but call reporters, you have to know your outlets and what they cover (so you do not send inappropriate pitches), and make your pitches good (duh!...though easier said then done).

We next talked about interview skills and tips:
  • Relied too much on Monster and AJC for jobs; call people who go to them when they are not hiring first. (So put your resumes out there!)
  • Request an informational interview when you follow-up about your resume. (and definitely follow-up when you send a resume)
  • Drop a handwritten note in the mail or send an email thanking them for interviewing you.
  • Tell them that you really want the job and what skills you will bring in the thank you note.
  • Be prepared for the interview. Know things about the company and the person you are being interviewing by. Just go on the web site or do a google search
  • Inappropriate to send a text message to anyone in the business.
  • Explanation points do not belong in any business communication...even emails.
  • wear a suit
  • Do not use "yeah" or other slang language. It is not appropriate.
  • Wear dark colors, but also be aware of the company and its environment.
  • You can ask what is appropriate attire: "I was planning to wear a suit to the interview. Is this appropriate?"
  • Bring an extra copy of the resume, samples of your writing, and graphics work (even a CD-R)
Students: we have been warned (AGAIN!) to watch our presence online. Yes, this does mean Facebook.

What is a writing sample: want to see a broad range of what you have done: PR plans, press release, article, pitches. Bring one or two examples of each if you can. Just show that you are a good writer.

Your cover letter (aka pitch letter) is what will get people interested in you. It is more important than the resume!!!! Use cover letter to bring attention to things that are on your resume.

List computer skills on your resume.

Be prepare to do an internship when you get out of college. You need to stay in your first job for a while or companies will not hire you.

Last Bit of Advice:
  • Money is not everything; Find a job that you enjoy

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