During the summer I fell off the InsidePR bandwagon. Not in terms of recording, but in terms of talking about it here. But I’m baaack! And this week, Martin Waxman, Joe Thornley, and I discuss preparing students and young professionals for the business world.
We’ve talked here before about using the social web to find a job, but this discussion is a bit different. With school back in session, these tips are really for those who need to be figuring out how to begin looking for internships or for a full-time job by summer.
1. Remember your personal brand and that online doesn’t forget. The things you put on the web right now create the person that will follow you around for the rest of your life. You’ve likely already heard it’s a bad idea to not let your friends tag you in photos of you doing body shots, but also think about what you say and what others say about you. As employers, we look at everything about you online to determine what kind of employee you might be and whether or not you might fit our culture. Google sees everything so be cautious.
2. I guest lectured at DePaul a few weeks ago and part of the discussion we had there was about creating a blog. Create a blog! Share what you know professionally (either from internships or the job you’ve already begun) and what you’re learning in school. You don’t have to be an expert in your field to write. Becky Johns is a great example of that. She is a young professional, yet she does a great job writing about her experience working, about her interests in photography and (hopefully) skydiving, and about the influencers she meets. Check out I’m Working On It to see what I mean…we all read her blog and most of us have more experience than she does. So don’t be scared by not having experience.
3. This is the one I cannot stress enough. Engage, engage, engage! You have tools available to you that allow you access not only to the people who work at the companies where you think you might like to work, but to their executives. Use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and blogs to build online relationships with these people. Comment on their blogs. You don’t alway have to agree. Give you opinion, throw in new information, and get them to pay attention to you. It’s funny what happens when someone feels like they know you because you’ve taken an interest in their work…if they can’t hire you, they’ll find someone who can!
4. One of the questions we ask when we interview is, “What was the last book you read?” If you can’t answer that or “what magazines, newspapers, or blogs do you subscribe to?” we’re likely not going to hire you. I have a friend who asked that question of a candidate just the other day and the person said, “Oh I don’t have time to read.” Guess what? No job offer for you! Read, read, read, and subscribe. Not only does a job offer depend on it, your job (once you get it) depends on it. Reading makes you smarter, more open-minded, and a better writer. Get in the habit now.
5. Don’t be negative. You would think this goes without saying, but you’d be amazed at how many people complain non-stop online. I am connected with people who complain daily about their jobs, about their bosses, about the fact that they can’t find a job, about everything. Trust me when I say, some of these people are really good friends, but I would never hire them nor recommend them to be hired because they’re so negative. Be a person people want to be around…online and off.
For more tips, listen to today’s episode of InsidePR (or listen just to hear me screw up at the end). For those of you who’ve been in the business world for a bit, what advice do you have for students and young professionals?