Unfortunately, some companies still don’t understand in a slow economy they should increase their pubIic relations efforts, not reduce them. Sadly, this is confirmed by the notices I’ve received in recent weeks from PR colleagues who have been “liberated” from their current positions. A few liberations didn’t surprise me due to industry conditions, but others caught me totally off-guard. Below I’ve compiled some thoughts and resources. I encourage you to add resources you’ve found helpful to aid our peers in their time of need.
Update your résumé
Customize your resume and cover letter for each job you apply for based on the posted job description. There are many free sites and resources available online including
Résumés that Get You the Job, an audio program that provides tried-and- true tips for creating a great resumé.
Take advantage of holiday social events. There’s no harm in letting people know you are looking for a new position and when appropriate, to ask to leverage their personal and professional contacts within the companies you target for employment. Attend and volunteer for events hosted by IABC and PRSA. Before you venture out to power-network your way back to employment or to a better job, check out some excellent networking tips in Karen Susman’s weekly newsletter.
Leverage your social network
Keep your online profiles up to date. There’s nothing worse than reaching out to contacts only when you need a job, so please don’t be that person. Go through your contacts, recommend their work, and ask former colleagues and managers to provide a recommendation of your work as well. Prospective employers will most likely conduct some preliminary research on professional and social networking sites based on your application and you should make certain your profile accurately reflects the hirable you.
Freshen up your skills
If you are not already active in social media, take advantage of this time and join conversations where you can contribute and build your profile. If you don’t know where to start, keep your eyes out for the BurrellesLuce free social media overview presentation, scheduled for later this month. (You may also download two BurrellesLuce white papers, Conversation Builds Community and Social Media Provides Opportunity, here.) If you are already an active participant, then build your profile as a thought leader in your area of expertise. All professional communicators and PR practitioners must be well versed in social media.
Take advantage of the holiday season
While looking for a job during the holiday season is certainly challenging, there is also an advantage in that your competition slows their efforts during this time. Many companies want to fill key spots before the New Year in an effort to kick off 2009 with a full staff.
Send thank-you notes
Send thank-you notes to everyone who encourages you, opens doors, and provides advice, counsel and insight whether you use it or not. A thank-you note goes a long way and allows you to stand out as someone people will want to help in the future.
Please share other resources and your thoughts here so our peers can minimize their down time and quickly get back on track to inform, influence and persuade.