Oh, the places I’ll go... if I could just get that interview!
Meet People: In-person. Yes, the old-fashioned way. Reach out to your LinkedIn/social media contacts and invite them to have coffee with you. Be brave: go to a networking event and introduce yourself to five new people, find out what they do and exchange contact information. Suggest informational interviews with company hiring managers or industry recruiters. Dedicating time to meeting and talking with people live leads to real, genuine connections - often opening up unimaginable doors– both professionally and personally.
Perfect Your Pitch: You’re finally out there meeting people,…but what do you say to them? Make sure, first, you know what you’re looking for! It’s important to be open-minded, but not too vague at the same time. So, take your time to find your clarity about your direction and goals. Then, create an elevator speech (just a couple of sentences) that explains what you’re doing/your expertise and what you are looking to do. For example: “ I just graduated from Indiana University’s Journalism school and moved to Chicago last month. Now, I’m here actively looking for a PR/Communications role with a PR agency or local company.” This quickly gives some insight into you, opens up conversation, and allows for the other person to ask questions, provide suggestions, and exchange contact information.
Share Your Collateral: All of your resumes, cover letters, job search emails, and blog posts/social media efforts are all free of errors, formatted nicely, easy to read, and are an extension of you – your brand – right? You don’t want any of your marketing collateral to cause you collateral damage. Once a door is open for you to have an information meeting, apply for a job, or have an interview, you don’t want it to take a turn for the worse with sloppy writing or inappropriate social media presences. Proofread all of your materials to ensure that they are consistent with your experiences, your accomplishments, your goals, and your brand, overall.Frankly Speaking, making the time to market yourself may feel like a lot of work, or even a little scary, but it will pay off in the end. There are boundless roads ahead for you to travel. Look inwards, be clear about what you want, connect with new people, learn about others’ experiences, showcase your uniqueness, talk about your goals, and be open to opportunities in the least expected places.