Posts Tagged ‘Resume’

PRSSA National Conference: Speed Networking & PR Student Questions

Friday, October 21st, 2011

PRSSA_NC_250_160The speed networking session at PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) National Conference was chock-full of driven, ambitious PR students who will soon be looking to become the next generation of communications professionals. I thought I’d share my experience, and solicit feedback, with the @BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers.

How to Craft a Proper Résumé
The predominant question of the day was about the length of their résumés. I responded that if a student is active in PRSSA, works for a student-run firm, and is actively interning, then the résumé could justifiably go beyond one page. However, from what I gather, most large PR agencies, as well as communications professors, advise all students to restrict their résumés to one page without exception – going so far as saying students/candidates will not make the grade and/or the résumé would not get reviewed! 

Subsequently, I advised that they stick to the one-pager, but to note there are samples available, and to be sure to have a portfolio of their work ready to take on an interview. However, I still believe that outside of class and the top tier agencies it is okay to go to a second page if the experience warrants doing so.

Timing Your Job Search
Another question I heard frequently was how soon to begin the job search, to which I snarkily responded, “You haven’t begun yet?” 

Seriously, I advised that they should already be thinking about where they want to go (geographically), whether they want to work for an agency, a corporation or a non-profit, and to begin researching and networking accordingly. For example, in St. Louis (where I’m a PRSA member), there is PRSA, IABC (International Association of Business Communicators) and CSPRC (Community Service Public Relations Council).

Depending on where the student has decided their path will be, they should be networking with the appropriate organization by attending mixers and/or luncheons and getting involved. Or, if they’re not staying in the same geographic market, find those people on Twitter and begin connecting and building relationships.  And, if they are already seniors—especially those that graduate in December—if they haven’t already started this process, then they are behind the eight ball!

There were lots more questions, but these seemed to be the most prevalent. What advice would you give for new and existing PR professionals on the job hunt? Or what questions do you have if you’re looking to start or continue your career in communications?

Your Internet Resume, More Revealing Than You Might Think

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

by Jeffrey Barrett*
virtual-resume_2631535001_2090a40ca2_m.jpgLately, I have been reading resumes, doing phone screens, and running interviews in order to hire some key IT staff here at BurrellesLuce. For potential candidates, guess what, I use systems like Google, LinkedIn, and Twitter to vet resumes. The stories are modified enough to protect the implicated, but they still tell the tale of how an “Internet resume” acts as a way to double check some simple facts.

Rather easily, I discovered the real reason why potential candidates left their last job, how they really learned their skills, and the true interests they have outside of work. Where did I start the search? Simple: by plugging their email address in Google or, if it was really easy, a site that they provided examples and details of on their physical resumes.

Example One
If I ask: Why did you leave your last company last month?

And you reply:
I actually left two weeks ago because I was never able to take a vacation.

But your Twitter account says:
“3 months ago.” And that you were “Off for the 2nd vacation this year!!! So totally enjoying my vacation, never even had to check email!!”

Then a link directing from your Twitter post to your Flickr account states:
“You like to drink a bit much and in front of the camera!”

I think:
“No hire.”

Example Two:
If I ask: So how did you learn how to setup a “flux capacitor”?

And you brag: Oh Doc Emmett Brown showed me that personally a couple years back.

But the flux capacitor help forum shows: You ask for help with your “flax capacitance.” Two people take pity and provide some advice and also tell you to “read the flux capacitor manual” and call you a “noob.” You then start calling them “terrorists.”

I think: No hire.

Example Three:
If I ask: So what do you do to relax?

And you respond: I enjoy photography.

I notice on your Flickr account:  Some very nice working with shadows on your most recent photo.

I then think: My one coworker is also getting into photography lately and this could be a potential hire.

The examples go on and on, but you get the idea. One’s online resume can hurt. At the same time if it’s crafted as carefully as the resume sent in, it could do a lot of good. The pain is that an online resume is simply online actions that I can assemble via simple search tools to uncover the truth behind an applicant’s information, as well as assess their character.

So how much care should they take in their online presence? That is up to them and who they think they will be working for. Personally, I care who works with me and I care that they will be successful at BurrellesLuce. I am motivated to find out as much about a candidate as early on as I can, since I will spend dozens of hours reviewing their resume, calling them, interviewing them and then investing at least 90 days of salary to see if things will work.

How are you using social media to evaluate potential employees?

*Jeff Barrett is the chief web-architect of BurrellesLuce 2.0, the portal used by thousands of PR professionals to monitor, plan, and measure online and print news.