Tag Archives: job search

What I’ve Learned From The Job Search So Far

Hey readers, happy 2015! Can you believe it’s already January 7th? I feel like August was yesterday, and now I am a graduate of Ohio University. Strangely, that doesn’t scare me so much anymore. Yes, I am a bit bored because all of my friends are in Ohio (miss you all!), but with a new year comes my first job. I’ve been prepping for this since September, and I have plenty of tips already for those of you in the same boat, or who will be come May. Check them out below!

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1. Don’t waste your time by applying months and months in advance. Internships are not the same application process as jobs are. If you are looking for advertising or PR jobs, you’re better off waiting until Thanksgiving or so to start applying. I say this because budgets start new at the beginning of the year, and companies have the money for new hires. I’ve also noticed I’m getting more responses back for the jobs I waited to apply to. If you’re graduating in May and you’ve already applied for jobs this past semester, you wasted your time.

2. Do start connecting with contacts before applying. I know an Alumni Network is a powerful one, but don’t be that annoying graduating senior who is just bugging Alumni for jobs. You may be qualified, but start talking to them before it’s really crunch time – you won’t seem like the desperate college kid trying to get a job. Also, be genuinely interested in their advice, they’ve done this before.

3. Research. I use all types of ways to find jobs – websites, social media, LinkedIn, etc. Use all of them. Make an excel sheet of the jobs you find, but never apply through anything but a contact or that company’s specific website, unless it’s your only option. Also, make sure you research the company and understand the job description before writing the cover letter and editing your resume. Recruiters hate typos, but they hate a generic cover letter and resume more.

4. Even if you’re sure that’s the job for you, keep applying. I have a third round interview coming up, I have a great feeling, however it’s best not to stop until you have an offer in your hand. You never know, after that third round interview you may not get the offer. So keep applying, and don’t give up if a rejection comes your way.

5. Don’t forget about finding the right fit. I’ve heard this from professionals many times. I’ve never been the type to settle, I tried for a week and I was miserable. If you and that company don’t mix or it’s not the job you want, pass. I know it’s hard because we are all worried about student loans and rent, but it’s like a pair of high heels – if they don’t fit right you’ll be in pain or tripping over them all night. Don’t give up, keep trying to find that perfect fit.

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If you just graduated and still don’t have a job, it’s okay. Hiring will happen this month and the next, I promise! If you’re graduating in May, start doing your research now. If you’re interested in the ‘intern to hire’ type jobs, applications will be due soon. So whether you just graduated or are graduating in May, get your resume, social media and personal website ready. Job hunting season has begun!

What it Takes to Have a Good Personal Website

pr girlThe past year I’ve been the Director of Communications for Ohio University’s student-run PR firm ImPRessions, and in my role I have not only learned what ‘good’ social media is, but what it takes to have a good blog or website. For starters, it’s not just about pushing out content. While you want a lot of content, don’t sacrifice the quality. Also, EDIT YOUR CONTENT. I’ve been sent blogs that were 1200 words, and I edited them down to 650. Content is king, and don’t ever send out a blog without editing it.

When looking back at my first blogs on High Heels, High Hope, I feel like I need to go back and fix them. It’s amazing how within a year your writing skills can go from good to great. And recently, I was asked “what makes a good personal website?” So after some thought and procrastination from researching Deutsche Welle for a paper, I decided to make a blog about it. My tips are below:

  1. Keep it simple. We all want to have beautiful color schemes with tons of images, a Twitter feed on the side, with a plug-in here and here. STOP IT. Keep your personal website simple, because today that’s what is aesthetically pleasing to most audiences. If you have a bunch of “fluff” (as I call it), you aren’t doing it right.
  2. Remember your brand. While you want to keep things simple, think of color scheme. I use black, grey, white and teal. I added in a black and white photo of Chicago, with a pop of teal at the top. It matches who I am – classic with a pop of fresh air.
  3. Don’t restrain yourself to one topic. I love to write about PR and talk about it non-stop, but you can’t limit yourself. You’ll just end up with a lot of writers block.
  4. Add in your resume and portfolio. While my portfolio section needs refining and I need to add in my recent resume, those sections are so crucial to a personal website. If you’re not a blogger, make sure those two sections are organized and always up to date. If you have a blog, also keep up with it once a month to show that you didn’t forget about your website.
  5. Be social. If you are a college student looking for a job in business or communications, the time is over for being inappropriate on social media. Private social media profiles are only a small hurdle for HR people. Get out of the shadows and put a Twitter or Instagram feed on your personal website – it makes it easier for an employer to find out who you really are online.
  6. Buy your domain. If you’ve had your website for over a year, buy your domain. I recently did, and on WordPress it cost $21. Not too bad if you ask me. Now no one else can have kellymshayes.com.
  7. Content is king, and remember to not use the oxford comma. Give up on MLA and APA – those are in the past and AP Style is your new friend. Also do yourself a favor, stop using the oxford comma – people don’t like it. Trust me, I edit out the oxford comma all the time.

In the end you want to keep everything fairly simple. Don’t have a long, artistic bio. Just say who you are, what you’ve done and how you’re going to be a kick-butt employee some day. You’re obviously not a slacker because you have a great personal website, so run with it and success will follow.

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I can’t wait for big-city living where the cobblestones won’t put my heels into an early grave.

x Kelly