Twitter is known for the casual messages and fast paced updates, but this doesn’t mean you should throw discretion to the wind. While colleges are preparing to welcome back crazy, rambunctious and oh so studious groups of 20-somethings, I was busy developing a few unconventional words of social media wisdom that may have been missed at that 8:00 a.m. lecture last semester.
- Private Twitters = Shifty Eyes: Twitter is an undeniably fabulous asset for public relations students (Hell, I even had a few job interviews because of my Twitter presence) and when you hide your twitter feed, it looks like you’re hiding something bigger. When you limit your profile, you also limit your opportunities and connections. If you feel the need to privatize your twitter feed, create two accounts – one public and one private – to ensure you aren’t missing any great networking opportunities.
- Bios Are A First Impression: Your Twitter bio may be the first thing that potential employers view and when you proudly announce that you are a member of #TeamDropout or #TeamAlwaysHigh, things probably won’t work out in your favor. Try adding your Alma Mater, your course of study, a graduation year and a few of your personal interests. Avoid offensive language, politically incorrect slurs and try your best to shy away from using words like “expert” or “guru.” And finally, unless you truly are Nicki Minaj, please do not refer to yourself as “Barbie” — working at your local fast food establishment doesn’t mean you have the right to refer to yourself as an enviable starlet.
- Would Dad Be Shocked: Does the thought of your father reading your Twitter feed make you shudder? If you answered yes, then we have a problem. When you’re tweeting anything that you wouldn’t want your parents to see, odds are potential employers will be just as offended as dear old dad. If you are serious about finding a job, think of Twitter as one big job interview with thousands of agencies and firms – you never know who is reading your feed and for what reason. Make sure that you are tweeting relevant industry articles, participating in tweet chats and accurately spotlighting your personality. Stay away from the play-by-play of last night’s frat party, at all costs. And to be honest, no one wants to know what happens behind closed doors.
- Don’t Be Shy — @ Reply: A Twitter feed that contains only self-generated ramblings with no follower interaction is defying the nature of the network. Grow your followers, meet new people and watch as the opportunities present themselves. Generate content that will welcome replies and retweets – you’ll be amazed as new industry contacts pop up.
- The Power of a Handle: Do not, for the love of all things holy, make your Twitter handle anything other than your name or a variation of it. Things like xoKittyKat690x…unacceptable. First, ew. Second, Myspace much? Third, you are 20 years old — act like it. If a potential employer is trying to find you, do you honestly believe that “fastNhard09” will come up in a search? Of course not. So Sasha Fierce, if you seriously cannot pull yourself away from your secret identity, use your private profile for certain handles and your public profile for professional handles.
I wholeheartedly believe in the power of social networking and, with some discretion, social media is capable of changing lives and career paths. If you follow these four simple guidelines, your trip into the PR industry could be smooth sailing – it definitely worked for me.
If I forgot anything, please feel free to add it!
What are my “favorite” inspirational words that have verbally assaulted me nearly everyday since graduation?
“Don’t worry. If you don’t get this position, something better is coming.”
Now, I thoroughly appreciate these kind Hallmark-inspired words, but the definition of ‘better’ is different for everyone. What happens if the position that I am fighting for is, in my mind, the best? How can anything possibly one-up a…dream job?
Today, I had my second round of interviews for the internship with the Philadelphia Eagles. I had been obsessing over this position since my first round of interviews in April (as I have mentioned in prior posts). In the 24 hours leading up to my 11am interviews, I heard those twelve little words from acquaintances, friends, family, and supervisors. I cannot take it anymore; I love the support and confidence, but a few too many pats on the back makes me wonder if everyone is preparing me for the “Thanks but no thanks” phone call.
I am a very superstitious person, and hearing “…but something better is coming” fills my usually cheery mind with scariness, spiders and sadness. As Buddha once said, “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” I see myself working in that office, loving my job and feeling blessed to have been given the opportunity to prove myself in the PR/Community Relations world of sports entertainment.
You know the saying, “Seeing is believing.” Well how about “Believing is becoming.”
I live by this phrase. Try and fill me with doubt, but I see myself getting this position and that is half of the battle.
I finally got a call back for the interview that took place at the end of April (trust me, waiting that long to hear back was torturous). I will be the first to say… I. AM. ECSTATIC.
Judging by my level of excitement, you’d probably think they offered me the position. However, you’d be wrong. I scheduled a second interview for two weeks from tomorrow (yes, more waiting).
But something is very different about this time. While waiting for other interviewers to return my phone calls and emails since graduation, I found myself thinking about this position. I would just say to myself, “I’m just greedy, I want it all.” But now, when I look back at the past six weeks of “unemployment” during my post-grad status, I noticed that this position has been in the back of my mind the entire time. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about this position and how it can AND will change my life. I have even written several blog posts about it!
I can envision myself working with this franchise, forming relationships and enjoying the countless hours at the office, on the field or commuting to and from work. From the beginning of this blog, I have preached about doing what you love, and this is my passion.
Keep your fingers crossed for both myself and my friend (who is fighting for a similar position) and I will let you know when we get the position. <=== I have to keep a good attitude. “The Secret” says so.
We Were Made For Each Other
I put in my time. I had not one, not two, but three unpaid internship while in college. I was the struggling college student who worked through being broke for the “experience.” I appreciate all the time I spent at those three companies, learning and doing things that I had only read about. I wouldn’t trade my experience gained at my internships for anything in the world.
After saying this, however, I need to bring up another issue. Are companies taking advantage of the job market and desperate fresh-out-of-college job seekers? As a qualified applicant searching for an entry-level in public relations, I have been seeing more “paid” internships for applicants holding degrees. So why would a company call a legitimate position an internship? I think it obvious that a large-scale corporation of any kind offering an hourly wage of $8.00 or less would be frowned upon, so they call that same position an internship.
Since the fate of the American job market remains to be seen, job hunters are settling for this measily wage because there are two options:
- Ride on a high (poverty-ridden) horse for months, struggling to pay rent & finally decide to take a job at your local friendly fast-food provider. You make more than minimum wage but only learn the difference between peanut oil and olive oil.
- Humble yourself, work ridiculously long hours for minimum wage, but learn the ins and outs of any given field. Hopefully a door will open at the end of the journey, thus making the entire internship that much better.
Of course I would choose Option 2. I just think if a company would create true positions and offer real salaries, both the economy and the confidence of Americans would heal. But until that time, pass me that paid internship.
"To Know the Road Ahead, Ask Those Coming Back"
Since graduation I have had five interviews. I thought I was one of the lucky ones until I realized I will be having to make an extremely difficult decision in the upcoming weeks (if all goes as I hope and think it will).
OPTION A: Before graduation, I had interviewed with an NFL team for a position in community relations. “What could this position be,” you may ask. Aye, there’s the rub. It is an intern-level position. Now before you shudder in disbelief that I may be considering an internship position post-graduation, I need to let it be known that it will be paid. I do use the term “paid” loosely; it would be minimum wage, without benefits (bites finger). Yes. After four years, thousands of dollars and three unpaid internships, would the next step be to a paid internship? I’ve been teetering back and forth; the job description is me in a nutshell. Player appearances, media coverage, promotions, event planning…everything I love to do, and coincidentally, everything at which I excel.
OPTION B: I recently had two telephone interviews with a digital ad sales company in New York (if you don’t know me, New York is my promised land). My third interview is tomorrow afternoon at the New York City satellite location. The company prides itself on the benefits offered by the 30-something executives. With the founder being just a little younger than 35, the company knows what is enticing to its younger-than-normal team; it offers health, vision, dental and little perks like car washes and happy hours. The position for which I am interviewing isn’t necessarily in the field of public relations but the closely related and perhaps, more profitable, marketing and ad sales. This company is showing promise of growing into one of the world’s premiere digital ad sales firms, and perhaps I should hop on the tail of this comet while I have the chance.
But the question remains; is it better to take a salary position with benefits which is not necessarily in your field or a “paid” internship that promises of growth and demands all skills you’ve acquired during your collegiate career? To make it simple; a career for money or a gig for passion?