Posts Tagged ‘students’

One of the benefits of unemployment (yes, I admit, there are some perks!) has been the time to think, reflect and realize. When you take a step back from your job (or you’re pushed back from it) you can focus more on your field in a broader sense.

During college I changed majors several times. I couldn’t quite find my niche and didn’t feel passionate about my classes. Honestly, I was on the verge of my senior year and my dad kept reminding me that I had four years – and only four years– to graduate. I had been pre-physical therapy but realized I hated math and science. I remained undeclared for about a year and focused on general pre-req classes. I ventured into psychology and enjoyed it, but couldn’t see a career emerging from it. Then I somehow arrived at the department of Communication and Journalism. I started in public relations, taking classes in marketing, communication, PR and journalism. I realized that I loved to write and edit. I was fascinated by my communication classes. I switched my major to comm. after realizing that the communication classes were the ones I really enjoyed (and because I could graduate on time in Comm but not PR… just being honest!)  I left Auburn with an interest in everything I had studied but little direction. Majoring in communication isn’t like majoring in accounting or nursing… you don’t graduate with a job title, you have an entire list of avenues you can choose.

I now realize just how great my time at Auburn was. I enjoyed learning how to speak in front of an audience comfortably and how to work successfully in small groups. Interpersonal communication was my favorite course at Auburn by far. I loved learning how to deal with different types of people and the difference of communication style between men and women or introverts and extroverts (both have really helped in my marriage as well as my professional life!) Over two years later I can actually say that I am passionate about communication. I have realized how broad communication is and everything that it entails and I love it all.

I can wholeheartedly say that communication, in its broadest sense, is my passion. Have you found yours?


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A resume is one of the most important tools of the job search. If you take the time to look, you will find loads of information from dozens of different sources. There are recruiters, career coaches and counselors, professors, professionals, bloggers and more all trying to tell you how to write your resume.

As a member of PROpenMic, I have joined a group for resumes. Members of the online network can post their resumes, get feedback and hopefully get noticed by recruiters. When looking at these resumes, it quickly becomes obvious that everyone has received different advice. Each resume is formatted differently and it’s interesting to see how they differ.

I spent a lot of time feeling less than happy about my resume, editing it, then still feeling unhappy. I just couldn’t quite figure out how to fix it. Thanks to Careerealism and their ‘Am I Money?’ Quiz, I gave my resume a complete overhaul after realizing just how much work it needed (Check out the finished product on this page or on the right sidebar of this page in the box widget!) I am so thankful for the opportunity and advice that I received.

The thing about the resume is the same thing regarding cover letters, interviews, fashion, television, books and music… everyone has a different opinion.

You simply can’t please everyone. What one recruiter may love, another recruiter may frown upon. Still, there are a few resume rules that most people agree on. I chose to focus on those and my own intuition to create my new and fabulous (if I do say so myself) resume.

J.T. O’Donnell from Careerealism advised me that unless you have over 15 years of experience, your resume should only be one page. (Hear that college grads?!) I had heard, over and over, that my resume needed to be one page. Still, no matter how many times I edited, I couldn’t narrow it down. At my last job, I had a variety of duties in multiple positions and I wanted to show my diversity and ability to take on many different tasks. I finally changed the format of my resume completely, from chronological to functional. This allowed me to focus on the duties that I feel will best transfer to future positions and that have quantifiable results.

Another piece of advice I received was from Dawn Bugni.

In it’s current format, your resume is trying to tell the reader absolutely everything you’ve ever done in the hopes they’ll take the time to see where you fit. It doesn’t work that way. You have to take your reader by the hand and lead them down your career path, showing them only what they need to see to determine they want to speak with you further.

This was my “ah-ha!” moment. I realized that I was leaving my readers standing in an open field unsure of where I fit instead of leading them down my desired career path pointing it out.

Writing a new resume was a time consuming and frustrating task. Like any other time consuming and frustrating task, the results are rewarding. I have a renewed confidence and excitement and hope that my next reward will be the perfect position!

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As a communication major at Auburn I took several pubic relations classes. In a couple of those classes we had to create fake press releases, fake VNRs and even an entire fake press kit as a final project. It was great experience and definitely helped us learn by doing.

Then I came across a blog on PROpenMic. What not to do if you’re a PR student. This blog was written by Brian Camen, a PR professional who first published the story on his blog here

Basically, when Camen was randomly googling himself, he came across an interview… with him… but not really. A student had created an interview, claiming it was with Camen and then changing the name. The answers matched up with Camen’s information on his About Me page on his blog and information from PROpenMic and Twitter.

I have to question and wonder what exactly happened here. Did the student pretend to interview Camen for an interview assignment? Was it suppose to be fake like those press releases and other projects I did? It’s hard to say.

Still, it got me thinking. A couple of the press releases that I wrote were about real companies with real professionals’ names. I have these releases included on my VisualCVas press release writing experience. I wonder if those professionals would mind? Now, I should add that I state on my VisualCVthat the press releases are fake and created for a class. I also do not have quotes from any of the professionals in the releases. In addition, I’m pretty sure my releases don’t show up in a Google search (or maybe they do, but not on the first few pages).

So where do we draw the line? Should students write fictional assignments with real names? Should everything be made up? Should students have to ask permission before writing? If so, should it be for everything or just to get quotes? Do we just need to make sure we state that it’s fake? In the age of Internet, Google and social media, is it too risky to compromise a professional’s reputation with false information?

I would really like ideas and opinions on this – looking forward to some comments!

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