Tag Archives: Business

What’s YOUR Brand Part 2: The Resume

reusme swag

photo credit: Google

Remember the post on how to determine what your brand is? Well if you do, great! If you haven’t read it click here! In regards to part 1, once you get past determining what your brand is you have to execute it. Social media was the first step of execution and now you are on to the resume. My first resume was plain, simple and now that I look back, just really bad. If you do not know how to use InDesign, that’s OK. Trust me. If you are a freshman or a sophomore and are still using Word or Powerpoint, do not fret because you may have not had the experience to work with design programs. My resume is in InDesign and I would make one in Word but once you make the switch, you’re not likely to go back. True fact.

I thought about making this a resume “how to” but to be honest, there is no correct way to do a resume. There are things not to do but it’s very either you did it as correctly as you can. I’ve learned the hard way with terrible resumes but I’m here to let you in on some tips.

Tip 1: Unless you have design skills, please refrain from any uses of color. I use black, gray and purple in my resume. I also made it on InDesign and know how to use Illustrator and Photoshop as well, so it fits my skill set. Some employers hate color but if you are applying to more creative agencies or firms, feel free to use your design skills. It’ll make your resume stand out from the rest. If you want to use InDesign but have no idea how to, ask a friend or take a class. I’m currently taking a graphics class now and it is extremely helpful because I had no clue what these programs really had to offer. One last thing: if you do choose to have color, make sure you have a regular old black and white resume on hand for more conservative companies.

Tip 2: Use numbers. I recently started to do this with my newest resume and it already sounds better. “Used promotion strategies to account for a 35% increase in sales for the month of January.” This sentence is under my job as being a Marketing Representative for Insomnia Cookies. A simple promotions job, which could simply be described as “hand out flyers and free cookies,” turned into quantifiable results. When you use numbers it looks much better than I did this and that. You understood the job/task at hand and did well. You were able to pat yourself on the back for your hard work and great results.

Tip 3: Tailoring. If you’re applying to jobs/internships ranging in different fields and expectations, don’t send them all the same resume. Tailor your resume to the specific application and job requirements. If you’re a sophomore or freshman this is a little harder to do because you don’t have as much experience to tailor but for juniors, seniors and everyone else, read the job description. For instance, I’m applying for internships in fashion PR this summer and I’ll be going through each section and each job to tailor it to what they are looking for. I have a virtual internship right now working with clients who are in the fashion and beauty sectors but it’s only one out of 3-4.

Tip 4: Be different. Figuring out the layout for your resume is difficult but just remember to not to the basic cookie-cutter resume. I hate plain resumes. If you use a Microsoft Word template just walk away from the computer right now and go apply to your local fast food restaurant. Harsh, but it won’t get you a job. I am not saying to make your resume like Elle Woods, where it was pink and smelled nice. That will not get you a job either. But make it your own. What’s YOUR brand? Who is _______? Having a resume that is different from the pack will make you stand out and if it matches the rest of your brand, it looks really nice.

There are so many more tips and tricks I could divulge to you all but this post is getting a little long. My advice is to also make mistakes when it comes to your resume. No resume is perfect but if you make mistakes, you learn. Trust me, my old resume’s are in the trash and that’s where they belong. There are also plenty “how to” resume blogs on the web. Are they all right? No. However, no one is right when it comes to resumes. You can be wrong but if an employer doesn’t like your resume, it happens. Someone out there will and you’ll hopefully be a great candidate and have landed your dream job. Just remember to save all of your sparkle and shine for the interview because glitter and a resume don’t mix.

Best of luck with your brands readers, mine has taken me three years and it’s still not exactly what I want but I’m trying. That’s all we can ever do in this world: try our best and hope for the best.

x KMSH

P.S. I’ll be doing a Part 3 and 4 in the future. Stay tuned!

photo credit: google

photo credit: Google

 

Almost a Senior… DUN DUN DUN…

NYC taxi

Photo credit: Pinterest

It’s official readers… after this semester I will have enough credit hours to be considered a senior. Someone grab me a paper bag now as I hyperventilate. Just kidding! Seriously, I was one of those people who planned to graduate early and I always get the answer “DON’T DO IT!” Too late guys. I worked my butt off with taking 19 credit hours per semester for the past two years to do this and it’s great that you don’t mind sticking around for another semester but I thought of something that would be pretty cool to do during that time: Intern.

I have not yet had the chance to intern in NYC yet. I know right? The girl’s who blog has the words “High Heels” in it hasn’t interned in NYC? Well I went to Ireland instead. Looking at my college checklist, yes I made one freshman year (with a timeline!). My plans were to:

  • Get insanely involved freshman year. Check!
    • Joined a sorority and campus organizations related to my major.
  • Summer of sophomore year I planned to work. Check!
    • Worst job in the entire world… I found out I hated sales.
  • Sophomore year I was going to take tons of credit hours and become a leader in campus organizations. Check!
    •  Was made an Account Executive at ImPRessions and became Alumnae Relations Chair of my sorority.
  • Summer of sophomore year I was going to go to Vietnam with the GLC then intern abroad. Check!
    • I went to Vietnam for two weeks, spent a week back home in Chicago, then went to Ireland and interned for 8 weeks in Irish parliament.
  • Junior year I plan to make Dean’s list, continue leadership positions on campus, have a virtual internship during the semesters, be an Intern Queen Campus Ambassador, continue working for Insomnia Cookies as a Marketing Representative, learn how to cook a decent meal, and have fun!
    • Dean’s list: N/A
    • Continue leadership positions on campus: Check!
    • Have a virtual internship during the semesters: half Check!
    • Be an Intern Queen Campus Ambassador: Check!
    • Continue working for Insomnia Cookies: Check!
    • Learn how to cook a decent meal: N/A (depends by opinion)
    • Have fun: N/A (how do I measure this?)

So what do I have planned for the next year or so? I have an idea. It’s not concrete but I can say I have achieved so much within 3 years of being here at OU. I’ve gained and lost relationships. Found out what I want to do with my life, somewhat. I lived in a foreign country and worked in parliament, who does that?! How was all of this conceivable? Hard work, luck, persistence, passion, confidence, ability to somewhat stay calm and an amazing support system. I do have plans to intern in NYC either this summer or after I’m done early but who knows what will happen next? I’m not thinking about it!

“The higher the better. It’s more about an attitude. High heels empower women in a way.” -Christian Louboutin

x KMSH

P.S. To my family, friends and readers thank you! I couldn’t have achieved this much without all of your support. Mountains have been moved and I don’t know anyone else who has experienced what I have. I am truly thankful.

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

 

Why a Virtual Internship, Why not?

photoI was recently approached with an internship offer this fall, the quirk? It’s virtual. Today I was officially offered the position and I accepted. My roommate made the joke saying she’s not surprised… personally I am. I, like many Scripps students I know, work very hard but sometimes things just don’t end up happening. The one thing that I believe set me a part from other candidates? Passion. Virtual internships are wherever you are and if you aren’t passionate about it, do not expect to be able to work from home. The question is, why did I accept? I am taking 19 credit hours, am a brand ambassador for two companies and do PR for a non-profit. Why in the world would I want another job on my agenda? Because it’s an opportunity I cannot afford to miss. The agency is based in NYC and has clients all around the country. They worked at New York Fashion Week and have many clients in the fashion and beauty industry. That is my dream so I am going to do whatever it takes to get there. Even if it means constant coffee refills and catching up on sleep on the weekends.

Why should you apply to virtual internships? Why not? You get to work at home and usually at your own pace. Yes, these positions are usually not paid but welcome to the world of internships, where paid internships are like pulitzer prizes and only a few people get them. The best of the best applicants are offered paid internships and they usually have passion for what they do. Who knows? Maybe this virtual internship could lead to a summer internship wherever it’s based out of. Maybe even paid if you did an amazing job. My advice to you readers who are fretting about not having as many internships as you should is apply to virtual internships. It can’t hurt right? If you want to stand out from the post-grad cesspool of applicants, you’ll need experience. What better way than working for a great company from your room?

All in all just think about it. The most life changing opportunities are usually the ones we miss out on and regret later. And if you have a dream to be working in NYC after college, virtual internships may be your best bet. PR especially is all about who you know, not just what you know so freshen up your resume and apply.

Here’s a fun article I saw today “The 100 Things Every 20-Something Needs to Realize.”

http://elitedaily.com/life/the-100-things-every-20-something-needs-to-realize/

x KMSH

You have a voice but use it wisely

When you’re an intern, most of your internship will be listening and learning. Internships are for you to learn new things and hone your skills, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a voice. Because I am the only intern in my boss’s office, my boss likes to “pick my brain” as he would say. During your internship you may be asked to give an opinion, idea, etc. but give it wisely. Your voice is very important, especially in the journalism field. Does it mean that you should give your opinion all of the time? No. You don’t want to be the intern that steps on people’s toes or is constantly making comments about every single project and every single task. You’re an intern, embrace it!

I have observed my boss’s social media pages for weeks now and I  have some ideas on how to improve them and gain more followers. I have been a little hesitant but all I have to do is ask if it’s okay to email the two people who do his social media, giving my feedback. Now, I am not going to be rude and say “this, this and that are all wrong. It’s supposed to be this way.” I have experience dealing with social media so I feel like it’s okay to give my opinion and throw out some ideas, but I’ve waited. I could have started off right away throwing out my social media ideas and what needs to be changed. However, I waited till my last week because I was able to make fully observe and take note of what I noticed. I took my time and now I can give strong, credible recommendations on how to improve his social media pages.

“You don’t want your credibility banana to turn brown, but you do want to speak out about what you believe in.” -Bradley Whitford

As you grow as a professional during your undergrad and post-grad years your voice will grow and your opinion will gain value. At the beginning it’s always best to listen, observe and learn about what’s going around you. As you gain more experience you gain the ability to give your opinion and feedback. Your voice will start off shaky but experience helps you hone your voice and figure out what that voice says. Remember though, there will always be someone out there that is smarter and better at their job than you. It’s okay, you have a voice and they have a voice. In journalism, that’s what counts.

You’re an Intern right? Where’s my coffee?

IMG_0556Okay, the general stereotype is that interns get coffee. After 3-5 internships/PR related jobs I can tell you that is not true. If all you do is make copies and get coffee, I’m sorry you have a crappy internship. I am not saying you should be one of those entitled interns who thinks they can do anything and are awesome at what they do. When I was really homesick one day I had one of those moments… thankfully my mom snapped me back into reality through a harsh but needed email. Doing something totally new without any direction is scary, remember my previous post? I had to call medical card and disability services, along with all of these other departments. I had no idea what I was doing. I got frustrated, mad, and all I wanted to do was go home. Like home, home. I said I am not here to do this, this is not PR-related. I was a brat. An entitled little brat, which is how a lot of college students are ending up these days… and according to my mom they make up the unemployment rate for college grads.

coffee

One of the other interns in my program has her first internship this summer. She hasn’t really learned any PR-skills yet but I can’t help but feel sorry for her. She has to do the dishes, buy all of the newspapers for the office, clean up after work and close up. Her main job is putting the newspaper clippings about clients into the computer. She continuously tells me, it’s my first internship so it’s okay. Funny thing is, is that I was originally offered this internship and turned it down.

I wasn’t going to pay all of this money to simply answer phones. Unpaid interns are taken for granted but when I have the skill set and some experience, it would be nice to feel like you’re being put to good use. Not being the office b*. I did advise her that if she doesn’t learn anything soon to just ask and say “Hey, I would really like to learn about this.” Internships are supposed to be a learning experience (don’t forget that Starbucks-run intern).

You will make copies, do busy work, answer phones, make annoying calls and maybe get your boss coffee. However, if it’s the right internship you will also get to do actual work. I started out by creating a media database and mailing lists. Looking up every single pub in my T.D.’s county took almost two days with having to make mailing labels. Now I feel good that he has an entire filing cabinet drawer full of different mailing lists and he will always know that I did all of that. So what if you don’t get to write a press release or social media post right away? Your time will come. If it’s your first internship and you don’t really have the skill set yet, please do not let yourself be the office b* but ask questions and be engaged. You may receive more work if they see you are willing to put in the hard work and learn.

After a few weeks of busy work I now write his press releases and press statements. I am currently in the midst of putting together his first newsletter. I write parliamentary questions on his behalf (he doesn’t even need me to read them back to him anymore), write letters to constituents, write speeches, advise him on social media and many other PR-related tasks. Today my boss said, if I win the lotto tomorrow I am going to give you a piece of paper and you will write down the amount I need to pay you each week to keep you here until I quit politics. It was nice to hear that I have done a great job. Interns are highly underestimated. It’s all work and no pay but one day you’ll look at your office intern and say, I know exactly how you feel. Now where’s my coffee?

x KMSH

P.S. Have you checked out Lauren Berger’s book ‘All Work No Pay’? She’s the queen of interns and it’s on my summer reading list!