PR Through The Eyes Of A Young Professional

Posts Tagged ‘professionals’

It’s NOT a Hobby, It’s Freelance!

In Freelance, Jobs, Lessons Learned, Public Relations on August 18, 2011 at 10:52 am

 

In my previous posting I discussed how freelance work contributes to your ability to strengthen your skills and credibility while on the job hunt. Now the question becomes, “How do I put this on a resume?” This issue can be overwhelming for applicants. While you don’t want it to seem like the job you are applying for isn’t your main focus, you also don’t want to underestimate your experience in your field. From my experience it is important to let employers know that you are driven and dedicated to your field. Many employers will be impressed by your proactive approach to stay connected to the field. Here are a few tips on how to list your experience.

List infrequent projects cautiously

If you pick up freelance projects infrequently and do not intend to make freelancing a full time career, omit them from your resume. The only time you would list occasional freelance work is if it allows you to fill any gaps in your professional experience.

If you freelance regularly, have worked as a contractor for a period longer than three months, or have ever owned your own business, indicate that experience on your resume. Highlight those attributes of the job experience that qualify you as a perfect candidate for the job that you are seeking.

List your job responsibilities in the same way that you would for any other full-time job you’ve held; focus on those responsibilities which best meet your career objective and quantify your achievements when possible. Exemplify your self-starter attitude under the Qualifications section of your resume. Make sure to list any employable skills you have acquired or strengthened while you were self employed.

Be prepared for the following questions

Even after you have listed the details of your employment on your resume, you may still get several questions from your potential employer about them. Questions may be along the following lines:

  • Were you self-employed because you were in between jobs, or because you wanted to start your own business?
  • Are you still working on your own, as a freelancer or a consultant? If so, do you intent to continue this work in addition to your full time job?
  • Is your self-employment presenting a conflict of interest for the company?
  • Are you working as a freelancer or a contractor on part-time basis, and never intend to have this replace full-time employment?
  • Does your long-term career goal include owning your own business?

You can see that all of these questions are valid from your potential employer’s point of view. Companies don’t want to spend the time and resources to hire you, train you and provide you with benefits only to have you quit after a year to start your own business.

Show your commitment to the job

As a final indication of your commitment to the job you are seeking. Make sure that your cover letter or email addresses anticipated concerns of your potential employer. Make references to anything on your resume that may raise questions. If you still own your own business, but are looking for full-time work, for example, make sure to let your employer know what your long-term professional goals are and how you intend to balance your roles at both businesses.

Avoid apologizing for how you make an income. Your resume and cover letter should present you as a credible and passionate professional. Focus on the positive experiences and skills you have acquired as a freelancer, and make sure to let the employer know how these will benefit the company if you are their chosen candidate.

 

We’re Back!!!

In Public Relations, Uncategorized on February 1, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Yes, after a 5 month hiatus, New Kids on the Block is BACK!!

We promise our lack of presence hasn’t been been in vain. We’re introducing brand new writers, fresh content, and so much more.

We invite you to join the conversation and become a part of the New Kids on the Block community.

If you’re a ‘New Kid on the Block’ practicing PR, marketing, social media, or any other communications discipline, who would be interested in contributing a post,  just let us know! We’d be happy to have you!

Stay tuned for more great posts!

Peace, NKOB

Finding Your PRofessional Niche

In Internship, Jobs, Public Relations, Social Media, Specialty, Young Professionals on February 25, 2010 at 11:48 pm

One of the hardest things for me as a young professional has been trying to identify my professional niche. Entertainment, health care, technology, education, …. So many to choose from.

The weird thing is, I’ve never had a specific specialty that I wanted to focus on within public relations. As a student in college I was simply enamored by the concept of PR. After realizing how powerful public relations could be, I immersed myself in learning as much as I could.  In regard to identifying a specialty, I assumed it would come with time and experience.

During my time in the profession, I have encountered several fellow  practitioners who also share my “generalist” approach to identifying a specialty. Most PRofessionals are satisfied with this approach because it doesn’t limit them in their field. The “well-rounded” strategy is the best, and it is the road I’ve taken in securing my status as a truly dedicated practitioner.

But there are several professionals who feel lost without having a specialty to focus on. But if you MUST, here are some things you may want to consider while on your search:

1. Various Internships: Prior to obtaining  full-time employment try doing as many internships  as you can in different areas of PR (at least three) to get a variety of experiences. Hopefully you will be able to identify one or more areas you find most interesting.

2. Agency Job: If you aren’t able to get as many internships as you would like while in school, then try seeking employment at an agency where they have a variety of practices. Working at an agency generally gives you an opportunity to work with  different clients and teams, allowing you to have your hand in various projects.

3.  Your Passion: What are you passionate about?  If you have always been interested and knowledgeable in the music or fashion industry, try collaborating your professional passion with your personal passion. Work will never feel like work again.

If you apply these 3 little tips I am confident you will be on the right path to identifying your PRofessional specialty.  Yet I insist that you don’t stress yourself about finding one specific area.  You will be more marketable to employers if you’ve had a variety of experiences, thus not limiting yourself professionally.

One of my favorite quotes:

To find a career to which you are adapted by nature, and then to work hard at it, is about as near to a formula for success and happiness as the world provides. One of the fortunate aspects of this formula is that, granted the right career has been found, the hard work takes care of itself. Then hard work is not hard work at all.

Mark Sullivan(1874 – 1952)

You’re Such A Liar! … Right?

In Public Relations, Social Media on January 22, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Like a million other professionals, I am a member of the LinkedIn community. Initially I joined as a prerequisite for a good grade in my graduate social media class. Nonetheless I’ve found it to be an extremely useful resource.  I’ve connected with at least 15 groups on the social networking site  that are specifically dedicated to the public relations industry. Every day I receive RSS feeds from each group full of current job listings, professional advice, pertinent industry news, new product launches, etc.  Recently I received an email from one of my groups with a topic on the discussion board called “PR and Lying”.

 Well PR 101 teaches us not to repeat any negatives, so from now on lying will be referred to as the “L-Word” …I don’t wish to actively participate in the negative branding of my profession. 

Moving on…

 Nevertheless, I knew this was going to be an interesting discussion.  We all know that unfortunately Public Relation Pros and Lawyers are perceived to be the biggest liars out of any other profession (I guess you could throw politicians and career criminals in the pot too.). And it is this school of thought that has burdened the field of PR that we as professionals have tried to so assiduously shake.

But back to the discussion board…

A member of the group, who shall remain nameless, posted a discussion that he and his company were conducting research and wanted “PR people to complete a survey for a report on ethics in public relations”. Simple enough right? Wrong!

While most professionals in the community were extremely receptive to the survey, others felt the survey was too black and white and left no room for explanations or variables.

 Too many “yes or no” questions make people nervous.

But nevertheless, the professionals of the group went to bat for their profession proclaiming, in a collective voice: PR professionals are not liars (I mean L-worder’s)! But don’t get me wrong the gloves did come off and mud was thrown… the biggest disagreement between the professionals was how do you define lying? And with many insisting that withholding information is different from lying entirely. Despite the conflict the need for this type of conversation is imperative to  the professions evolution.

No matter how hard we try, pr practitioners are still fighting their inner demons about lying.  But let’s see what we can all agree on:

1)     2+2= 4 (or at least last time I checked) – this can be classified as an absolute truth; nothing can change this.  2+2 will not equal 5 tomorrow. We can agree this is the truth

2)   No one likes a liar. People don’t say: “Hey that guy’s a great liar, he’s so awesome!!” The act of  lying is looked down on in every society. Liars are never (knowingly) revered.

But when the participants were asked “when is it justifiable to lie professionally?” , most agreed NEVER but some said:

When the lie will not damage your reputation, the clients business or breach the need to meet the public interest

If the lying is innocuous

Lie is a strong word and there is a big difference between withholding information and lying…(there’s more but I’m withholding it hahaha (in my villain voice))

???!!!

All depends on the specific situation at a given point

Harmless lies to avoid hurting someone People don’t necessarily want to know the truth when they ask “Do I look fat in this??”

To avoid war and/or death

When someone’s life could be in danger

As professionals we want to do better.  There is still so much to be discussed.  Therefore I implore you to start the discussion in your offices and boardrooms  about Half Truths and Whole Lies. Let the journey begin.

Check out the complete survey and results:

http://www.pwkpr.com/downloads/Graphs200110.pdf
http://www.pwkpr.com/downloads/FurtherComments200110.pdf