Tag Archives: Employment

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

 

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’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!

 

Internships can be scary

I have always been told that there are parts of your internship that will freak you out a little but on Wednesday I had a shocking yet frightening task to do: writing a speech for my boss to use in parliament. As soon as he walked out of the room, I immediately started cursing to myself. He had 10 minutes to speak and I had to write the entire speech on an abortion legislation going through the Dáil right now. The first challenge was writing about something I have an opposite viewpoint on and the second was actually writing the speech.

Luckily I did have research from another Deputy that was given to me to use as a source and I know my T.D.’s style. At first I was having trouble with the length. The issue could have been talked about in four minutes but in the end, my boss said he could talk for another half hour if he wanted to.

My first draft: too short. Second draft: grammar/editing mistakes. Third draft’s a charm, or so I thought. It turned out my boss was later given 20 minutes after I had already left work. He was also given extra time on his other speech that night as well. When I did walk in to the office the next morning and he had said it went well and was able to add things/make it work I felt so relieved. I sunk in my chair for a second just enthralled that it went well.

Moral of the story here is there are tasks you will have to do at your internship that will scare you and you will be cursing to yourself. The fact that I wrote a speech that was used in Parliament was a pretty big deal for me and I may have the chance to do it again since my boss liked it.

One thing I will tell you and it’s a little hypocritical, but don’t be afraid. You can for the first few seconds but then focus, put on your big girl/big boy pants and get to work. Your internship is meant to challenge you, so if you are scared/nervous you must be doing something right.

This is why you should always wear high heels when you are scared, they are the understated weapon and you’ll still look good while freaking out on the inside.

x KMSH