Saturday, December 8, 2012

Your Career and You: “Three Wise Moves”

Okay…I’m reluctantly allowing myself to get into the holiday spirit and, since “bah…humbug” isn’t part of my vocabulary, I guess I’ll go with three tips on how to jump-start (or refresh) your job or internship search.

One of my recent posts talked about resumes and networking, and that chat still applies…and will continue to apply throughout your professional career.

Ø  Never stop networking. Just like houseplants and goldfish, your networking contacts have to be nurtured and nourished…keep them alive by keeping them fresh.
Ø  Update your resume…regularly. When you do something that you feel reinforces your case for being hired, add it to your resume…if necessary, remove something that’s older and possibly less relevant today.

And here’s more for your “to-do” list.

1.    Read!  I know some…not allsome of you are muttering eggnogedly, “I read enough for my classes including yours, Kirk. Why should I read more??”

I constantly remind my students both at Curry College, where I head the undergraduate Public Relations Concentration and teach most of the PR courses, and at Regis College, where I teach in the graduate Organizational and Professional Communication area, that I’m always reading…both for pleasure and for work/pleasure.

I read and write reviews of new PR and marketing books for Emerald Publications’ Journal of Consumer Marketing and Journal of Product and Brand Management. This hobby/ habit keeps me up-to-date on current trends in the public relations field as well as connects me with thought leaders in PR, social media, and marketing.

You should do the same. You want to be regarded as an up-and-coming ”superstar,” don’t you? Expanding your knowledge through reading is a way to accomplish that.

2.    Write! 
Send handwritten (legibly written) notes to folks that you’ve met recently at the networking events you’ve attended (you have been networking, haven’t you?!?).

As I’ve said time and again, the holiday season is especially suited for note-writing. You find a nice holiday card, write your note, address the envelope, stick on a stamp, mail it...Done.

And start becoming more visible on social media and other opportunities for commenting. If you read and are interested in others’ thoughts online and elsewhere, take some time to comment…to express your own thoughts. Communication is just that…communicating!

3.    Research! 
I’m going out on a long, thin limb here, but I’m going to suggest that, in your reading (see # 1), you probably came across some companies that caught your attention because of the work they do or the people who work there…both legitimate reasons to look at a company for possible employment.

Use your computer for something besides posting snarky comments and suggestive photos on Facebook or tweeting profanities about your favorite sports team’s massive mistakes.

Do some research on the companies or the people that caught your interest. What’s their background? What do they do that you think is exciting or that you know something about?

Not only does this knowledge give you some talking points in an interview (informational or job). It’s a lot more fun working with someone whose products or services are something you’re interested in! I once did public relations for a cemetery…for a very short period of time. Nice people; obviously a needed and important service. It just didn’t work for me.

So do your research.

So there you have it…reading, writing, and research. It truly can be as simple as “one…two... three wise moves.”

Happy Holidays! Mele Kalikimaka! Maligayang Pasko! 聖誕快樂!


  1. Dear Kirk,

    Thank you for the post. Very helpful.

    I am reading you from Madrid - Spain and I always find in your posts interesting information.

    A part of:"Journal of Consumer Marketing" and "Journal of Product and Brand Management" what do you read and recommend to a PR professional to be up to date?

    Thank you.

    Kind Regards,
    Corina Manea

    1. Hi Corina ~

      Thank you very much for your kind comments. I appreciate your taking time to read my "Thoughts" and writing.

      For the two journals, I tend to be a "skimmer" and look for anything relating to consumer behavior, consumer trends, etc., in "JCM." In "JPBM," I do the same, except I'm looking for branding to present products and services in new or interesting ways.

      Not everything is to my interest, so I don't tend to read every single word. But I feel that I need to at least be aware of what brand marketers and brand managers are focusing on for their activities so that I can develop my PR plans in accordance with their activities.

      I hope this answers your question. If not, please continue asking until I get it right! :-)

      All the best ~


    2. Hi Kirk,

      Thank you very much for your answer.

      You got it right the first time :)

      Thanks again and until the next time.

      Kind regards,

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    1. Thanks very much for reading and commenting! I look forward to "seeing" you again!

  3. Kirk, I'd add two more:

    -Be "findable." As employers, we will check you out on LinkedIn (and probably Facebook too) so look as good as you can there without going over the top.

    -Have personality. PR and marketing careers are challenging, but we all want to be surrounded by fun, creative, passionate people so show off your personality online and in real life.

    1. Excellent additions, Mark! By the way, I'll be doing a webinar for BurrellesLuce on the "findable" suggestion on January 15, working title "Social Media and Career Progression: Are You 'Social' Enough?"

      Thanks as always for reading and commenting. Hope all's well at Hart-Boillot! We need to have coffee at Vicki Lee's sometime soon!

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  6. Hi Prof,

    As your student at Regis College and graduating undergraduate senior, I've been thinking about this a lot now that I'll have free time during Christmas break.

    I contacted the Career Service here at Regis and am exploring externships to see first-hand different areas in Communications. I think it's great exposure but that may just be a benefit for students. I've only just found out about externships.


    1. Hi Colleen ~

      Thanks for reading and commenting! You're right...externships are very good learning...and potentially job-landing...opportunities. I would definitely recommend exploring the possibility.

      Basically, any type of learning experience is valuable, and the more, the better. I push my PR students at Curry to do at least three internships before graduation...several of them have gone straight from their final internship to a full-time job.

      Let me know if there's anything I can do to help you!


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