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What jobs can you get with a Bachelors Degree in Communication?

 

A communications degree can open the door to a wide variety of careers in education, business, politics and advertising. A bachelor’s degree in communication is a viable option if you have strong writing and verbal skills, and a desire to take information and convert it to a message others may find helpful.

Publicity

A communications degree can lead to numerous jobs under the publicity umbrella. The job of a public relations specialist is to promote his company, school or employer in a positive light. The employer can be a corporation, celebrity or even a politician. A public information officer’s role is to take information and turn it into press releases that explain his employer’s position on a specific topic.

Advertising

A communications degree can be very helpful in the advertising industry. Career options include being an account executive or development manager. A bachelor’s degree can also lead to more creative endeavors, such as a copywriter, creative director or graphic illustrator. A good communicator can also find work as a media relations director or media planner.

Education

In the education field, a communications degree has many uses across a variety of specialties. A communications major can pursue a job as a training specialist, an event coordinator or an administrator. If you prefer a teaching position, then a role as a debate coach, drama director or speech communications teacher might be for you.

Politics

A politician with a strong communications background has a myriad of opportunities. She can become an ambassador or diplomat, a community affairs officer, a lobbyist or a public information officer. Other roles, such as speech writer, research specialist and legislative assistant, are also possibilities.

Original article can be found at: What Jobs Can You Get With a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/info_7933147_jobs-can-bachelors-degree-communications.html#ixzz1lTFZAAJA

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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How to land a job in Public Relations

It can be difficult to get an entry-level public relations job with a well-known agency or firm, especially without a degree in the subject. However, you can get your foot in the door with an internship or freelance work. It is very important to build a resume and portfolios before you apply, if only to give yourself an extra edge during the application process.

Demonstrate excellent communication skills. Ideally, you will be able to submit examples of public relations materials like press releases and written articles when applying for a job can help showcase your skills.

Volunteer to work with a non-profit to develop your public relations skills. While many non-profits make a point to hire a main public relations specialist, they may not have the funds to pay for assistants. Take advantage of these opportunities to network and learn.

Networking with Public Relations professional can be an ideal method of meeting specialists. Approach the firms on your list and ask to submit your resume for consideration. If nothing is currently available, ask the hiring manager to contact you if a position opens up or freelance work or an internship becomes available. Positions can open surprisingly quickly or develop from smaller offers.

Public Relations is always used to network with employees in general public. Any sort of organization that has a stake in how it is portrayed in the public arena employs some level of public relations. There are a number of public relations disciplines falling under the banner of corporate communications, such as analyst relations, media relations, investor relations, internal communications and labor relations. Most of them include the aspect of peer review to get liability.

Publicity is the spreading of information to gain public awareness for a product, person, service, cause or organization, and can be seen as a result of effective public relations planning. More recently in public relations, professionals are using technology as their main tool to get their messages to target audiences. With the creation of social networks, blogs, and even Internet radio public relations professionals are able to send direct messages through these mediums that attract the target audiences.

Methods used to find out what is appealing to target audiences include the use of surveys, conducting research or even focus groups. Tactics are the ways to attract target audiences by using the information gathered about that audience and directing a message to them using tools social mediums and technology.

Original article can be found at: http://www.ehow.com/how_2103045_get-job-public-relations.html

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Types of jobs in Public Relations

Many companies need some type of public support in order to become successful in today’s economy. This is huge service for public relations professionals. The main types of PR jobs are the same whether these professionals work in an internal PR department or for an independent agency.

Public Relations and Communications Specialists

Public relations or communications specialists are the professionals who develop and implement public relations plans. They may write and distribute news releases, contact the media and monitor media coverage and perform other tasks, such as coordinating events and contributing to corporate newsletters and websites. Public relations specialists handle both internal and external communication and ensure that all communications are consistent with the company brand and message strategy. Public relations professionals often communicate with multiple audiences, including the media, general public, employees and the government.

Media Relations

Some companies or organizations hire media relations specialists to handle all media related activities. This could mean serving as a spokesperson for the organization as well as handling all media outreach and coordination. Media relations specialists foster positive relationships with reporters and producers by not only responding to inquiries but also providing useful source information for stories. Media relations professionals may also coordinate the advertising efforts for a company or organization by developing advertisements and purchasing ad space or airtime.

Community Relations

A community relation is a subset of public relations. It involves outreach and communication with a specific community or audience. Nonprofit organizations often hire community relations professionals to handle outreach and social awareness campaigns through events.

Press Secretaries

Within the governmental sector, public relations professionals serve very specific functions. Most elected or appointed officials have a press secretary who handles the public relations related tasks. These professionals arrange, and often answer questions at, press conferences and provide information about the activities of the officials. Press secretaries often attend events with, or in place of, busy government officials.

Spokespersons

In many Public Relations departments, they will hire a spokesperson to speak on behalf of the company or organization. This is especially common with nonprofit organizations that want to draw attention to a cause; many engage the services of a celebrity or other public figure to attract attention and support for the cause. In some cases, though, individuals who have experience with or a devotion to a cause are recruited to serve as spokespersons and be a part of public relations efforts.

Original article can be found at: Types of Jobs in Public Relations | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/info_7827026_types-jobs-public-relations.html#ixzz1lT7lp1zH

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Professional Development is a MUST

January 25, 2012 | Author
Public Relations practitioners are busy. We all know this and we all live this every day. With all the juggling that PR pros do it is easy for professional development to fall off of the radar. But to advance in your career you must have the personal drive to squeeze that luncheon on to the calendar, read industry blogs during breakfast and seek out the counsel of PR peers.

“Public Relations activities and protocols are not what they were even three years ago,” says Margaret Barchine, APR, Communications Manager at National Alcohol Beverage Control Association. “ The pace at which technology changes, the communications styles of varying generations entering the workplace, public relations practices and protocols and many factors influence the need to keep up with these evolutions. Professional development is a means of doing that.”

While the goal of professional development is to continue to be a student of the trade and stay up to date on trends in the industry there are a few additional benefits for both practitioner and employer:

  • Networking- Of course if you leave the office and go to a luncheon you will meet other people. It is not always about the business card exchange. It is about making a connection that you may need to call upon for your employer or client.
  • Knowledge base- Case studies of campaigns that have succeeded or tanked, can be a resource to a practitioner to provide insight and examples that they can refer to in their work with management or clients.
  • Leadership skills- By participating in a professional development organization frequently members are calls upon to serve as a board member. This opportunity can help to provide hands on leadership skills and insights to those lacking a leadership or management position in the work place.
  • Efficiency- Hearing the opportunities and challenges of other organizations and peers through lunch and learns can help save time in your own campaign research, execution and evaluation.
  • Creativity- Ideas can be sparked from knowing what is out there that has been done, can be done or has yet to be done. Professional development can be the spark needed to generate the next big idea for your organization.
  • Career development- the PR industry is very competitive and great PR jobs are sometimes hard to find. Know that you will set yourself apart in the stack of resumes through your insight to the industry and understanding of the industry trends.

A PR pro who is actively learning and developing their skill set means that the employer is receiving better counsel, better work and better results. It is a win for both the employee and the employer the challenge is finding the time to make sure it is ingrained into your routine and personal growth plan. Professional development is a commitment but also a reward.

“A college degree provides baseline knowledge and is a good starting point but these days everybody has one,” says Linda Pophal of Strategic Communications. “Additional professional development is required to stand out, to stay current, and ultimately, to stay marketable.”

Original article can be found at: Professional Development is a MUST | PRBreakfastClub http://prbreakfastclub.com/2012/01/25/prof-dev/#ixzz1mCT3epyc

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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10 tips for landing your PR dream job!

 

You have a great résumé and have found a list of potential employers and contacts. Now what?

Here are 10 tips to make the most of the email, phone or in-person contact so you can get the job: 

1. Keep contact brief and professional. Check spelling, grammar and content before shooting off a cover email and résumé.  Be specific in your request and get to the point. Rather than a general query, provide a concrete request such as: “I am interested in a job or internship with Public Relations Firm X. I am available anytime after January 1. I will contact you on Tuesday to arrange an informational interview. Thank you for your consideration.” And stick to that follow up schedule.

2. Even if an employer doesn’t have an immediate opening, ask for an informational interview. Most employers will spare a few minutes to meet you if you have a compelling résumé. Don’t ask them out for coffee or lunch.
busy professionals don’t have time for this and are inundated with requests for their time. Instead, ask for 15 minutes of their time. And when you get it, make the most of it.

3. Talk and listen. Be specific when you are asked a question and back up what you say with tangible examples of your achievements that illustrate your skills. Don’t say you love public relations because you are a “people person” (young professionals say this all the time). Speak slowly and maintain your poise. If you are nervous it is always wise to pause for a second to gather your thoughts before you provide an answer to a question.

4. Bring extra copies of your résumé and bring a professional portfolio. A simple black binder with clear page sleeves is impressive. You can reference this as you answer questions to showcase highlights of your experience.
Don’t describe every single sample. Simply use the portfolio to show the depth of your experience and potential to the organization. Having a small selection of samples to leave behind is a nice touch, too.

5. Come armed with a notebook and knowledge of the organization. To prepare you would have done a search of the company and its clients so you can speak intelligently about the business and so you can make a personal connection with the interviewer.

6. Take notes and ask intelligent questions. Be sure questions or comments are relevant and sincere or all you’ll show is that you did a Google search.

7. Don’t forget to dress and act professional. Even if the place of employment seems casual, you should err on conservative.  Employers take notice of how you look, act and fit in at their organization, before they even speak to you. 8. Be pleasant to everyone you see from the doorman to the receptionist. I’ve been amazed to see young prospects come for jobs wearing tank tops and smacking gum, with a friend in tow and a vibrating or ringing cell phone.

9. Many jobs have been won or lost based on personal chemistry. A former boss used to ask himself if this potential employee is someone you wouldn’t mind being stuck on a plane with for hours. Another professional colleague has confided that they loved the credentials of a candidate, but didn’t think that the person’s personality would mesh with their account team.

10. After you ace the interviews, be sure to request a business card from everyone you have met—even the most junior staffers.  Immediately after the interview, thank you emails should be sent, followed by personalized hand-written thank you cards expressing your interest in the position and organization.
Employers can be selective with hiring decisions, so it is your responsibility to show your ambition, initiative and those undefined personal qualities that make you the best person for your dream job.  It is never too soon to build your own personal map towards future success.

Lorra M. Brown is an assistant professor of public relations/professional communication at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J. She serves as the internship coordinator and advisor to the Student Public Relations Association. Prior to her faculty position, she held senior-level positions at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and Weber Shandwick Worldwide.

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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5 Tips For Landing Your First PR Job After College

When I graduated from college years ago, I was filled with the anticipation of landing my first PR job. I know some of the required skill sets have evolved over the years—social media, SEO, etc.—but the foundation for being a PR pro has remained fairly consistent.

At the very least, a good public relations practitioner has excellent writing skills, the ability to multi-task, a sense of empathy, a respect for urgency, and an understanding of how to use business strategy to guide PR tactics and implementation.

But what else do you need to impress potential employers?

I routinely reply to emails or return phone calls from college students looking for advice. In an effort to continue to help the “PR pros of the future,” here are five tips to help prepare for your first interview:

1. Apply for internships

Public relations is different from other college majors because employers expect you to have experience by the time you graduate. College courses provide you with critical knowledge but you also need “real world” exposure.

An internship might give you the opportunity to write press releases, build media lists, make media calls, participate in social media strategy sessions, or just sit in on senior level strategy meetings. Internships can also help you decide on a career path. Are you a fit for corporate PR, the not-for-profit world, or agency life? Plus, an internship is the perfect opportunity to start building a portfolio (see tip No. 2) and reference letters.

Interested in looking for a PR internship? Talk to your professors and let them know you are actively searching and visit the following sites that provide internship listings: PRSSAInternships.com,Craigslist, and PR Crossing.

2. Build a portfolio

As I mentioned in tip No. 1, employers expect you to already have PR experience, but you need more than the name of the internship on your resume. You need to show samples of your work. I remember lugging around a heavy portfolio and thumbing through each page with my interviewers. A hard-copy portfolio is still an effective way to display work, but students now have the opportunity to create an online portfolio. An online portfolio will not only showcase your experience, but will also highlight your online, multimedia, and design expertise.

3. Be a “strategic” online expert

Today’s student has no choice but to possess online savvy. The Web is how you communicate, shop, conduct research, etc., and most of us don’t remember how the world functioned before the Internet.

However, simply knowing how to navigate Facebook and Twitter is not enough. It is important to explore and become well-versed in how social media can positively and negatively impact companies and stay current on the businesses that are doing it right.

It also impresses employers if you understand search engine optimization (SEO) and ways to maximize it for clients. Every company wants to be ranked at the top of a Google search.

4. Create an impressive résumé and cover letter

A strong résumé and cover letter are still vital to the job search process. These two documents are key to getting your foot in the door.

5. Continue to improve your writing skills

I know you’ve heard this a million times, but it is completely true—strong writing skills are critical for a job in PR. If you don’t like to write, you might want to shift your career path.

I don’t think anyone is ever a “perfect” writer. We can all stand to constantly improve. There are thousands of great online resources that offer useful writing tips. AP Style and Grammar Girl are two of my favorites.

Good luck with your job search. Public relations is a fascinating field, full of challenges and opportunities.

Robin Embry is a vice president at Lovell Communications Inc., a national marketing and public relations agency that protects brand reputations and works with companies to build and grow their businesses. They specialize in public relations, healthcare marketing, and crisis communications services. A version of this story first appeared on the Lovell Communications blog

This article is courtesy of PRdaily.com
 
 

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Want a Job in PR? It All Starts with the Cover Letter

A cover letter is a sure fire way to get your resume looked at by human resources. This is the first step in branding your package and who you are as a public relations practitioner.

As an experienced worker or beginner in PR, its important that you have the right information for the agency you’re most interested in. Be sure to do the research on the company to see if it would be a perfect fit for you before you put a second thought into writing that cover letter.

Secondly, ask yourself, how much do you know about the position – this way you can make sure that your cover letter showcases your capabilities.

Some of the best cover letters I have come across show just that. Here are some helpful tips from resumes I have come across to get your cover letter read and resume noticed:

  1. Research the company – this will help you generate a cover letter that gives you an edge
  2. Put thought into content –  a cover letter is a letter, keep it brief, but showcase your capabilities. This will entice HR into wanting to read your resume.
  3. Following direction – IMPORTANT! If you are asked to send it in a specific format, and addressed to a specific individual, do just that. If you don’t, this is an easy way to have your resume pushed to the side.
  4. Never send your cover letter as an attachment as it may not be opened. Keep your cover letter in the body of the email. As you can imagine, many HR practitioners received hundreds of emails a day, which more than 50% are blind emails.
  5. Always explain why you would be best suited for the position – this shows your interest most of all.

On a side note, please remember not to be informal – there should never be a “Hey There” or  “Hi, Chris”. If there is a name attached to the job posting, please use Mr. or Ms., and if you are sending it blindly to HR, always address it as Hiring Manager, or take the extra step to call the agency and find out who to address it to.

Remember, the cover letter is not obsolete and not expendable. It really is the best way to showcase to a potential employer your full portfolio.

About the Author
Lisa Hutchins is a human resources professional and a frequent contributor to PR at Sunrise. She has previously worked at leading PR firms such as Ruder Finn and Cohn & Wolfe. Her responsibilities have included recruiting, employee relations, and miscellaneous employee changes. In addition to her HR experience, she has also as a PR pro on an array of accounts and campaigns, including GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer. Follow Lisa on Twitter via @lisahutchins.

This article is courtesy of PR at Sunrise at worob.com
 
 

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Do You Need Social Media Experience to Land a Job In PR?

15 years ago, heck maybe even 5 years ago, before the social sharing, and before “instant news” was wildly popular, a PR professional’s job was tricky, to say the least.

Dealing with potential sabotage, rumors and misinformation; making sure consumers and the public viewed their clients in the correct light. 5-10 years ago, PR professionals struggled to deal with the sheer power of the Internet, to manage expectations.

However in recent years; social media has complicated things a bit. It has obviously made opinions more valued, but more importantly social has given PR professional an avenue for creating engaging relationships.

There is no doubt that most PR firms are diversifying their employees to shape both their high level communications and social engagement talent base. So does having social media experience help you? Sure, it probably does. A better question for many is, do you need social media experience to land your dream job in PR?

That answer is rather complicated. I’d love to say that social media would typically be handled by entry level employees, because it requires less “seriousness.” However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics“The recent emergence of social media in the public relations is expected to increase job growth. Many public relations firms are expanding their use of these tools, and specialists with skills in them will be needed.”

This data may suggest that firms are actually investing professionals with a high level of experience to manage their client’s social presence. With that notion, the data may suggest that social media is an acquired skill within PR firms. A surprising number of high level executives are working directly with social media, according to Simply Zesty.

Then again, it makes sense to strategically drive social media campaigns. Twitter is one of the most direct ways a company will show face to its community; if I were a company hiring a PR firm to manage my social presence, I’d want some experience behind my tweeters. Having experience as a community manager can illustrate that you have the chops to communicate messages professionally.

Personal accounts
I’d like to say that nowadays, a personal social presence helps in the screening process. But PR firms likely understand the difference in tweeting personally and professionally. Unless you are a social media guru with 40,000 followers plus, being authoritative on your personal social media accounts shouldn’t impact your screening process. However, do note that personal statements, or inappropriate material could definitely hurt your chances.

PR firms want people who can run social media campaigns for clients and measure ROI. If you are an entry level employee who tweets every few days, I’d stay away from calling yourself “social media savvy.”  Hard experience, means you have influence on a community, scope to communicate effectively and the chops to track and monitor campaigns.

All in all, if you are looking for a job in PR, social media experience can help, but only if it is professional experience. Having a social presence is important but not necessary for succeeding public relations. Even though PR firms are inherently more social these days, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get “in” with them with little social media experience.

About the Author
Matt Krautstrunk is an expert writer on document management systemsbased in San Diego, California. He writes extensively for an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs such asdocument software at Resource Nation. Contact Matt on Twitter via@MattKrautstrunk.


 

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5 Things to Bring to Your Next Interview

You have been told not to show up to an interview empty handed – but what does that mean? You want to present the most polished version of yourself in your interview, whether for a job or an internship. These are the five things you should never go to an interview without:

1. A professional folder filled with extra copies of your résumé and a pad of paper.            
More than likely, the interviewer will have a copy of your résumé printed, but he or she may ask for one or you may want to refer to it while answering questions. If you are running late and think it would be okay to skip printing out a few extra copies, think again. Undoubtedly, when you don’t have extra copies, your interviewers will ask you for one. Also, you might want a pad of paper for taking notes about the position or to write down important dates pertaining to the interview process.
2. A bound portfolio

If you can afford to get a nicely bound version of your portfolio to leave with every set of interviewers, you are lucky. If you can’t, you should still invest in one copy to take with you and share. Your portfolio can include course work, but try to also incorporate things you’ve done in organizations like PRSSA or previous internships.

3. Your AP Stylebook
Always assume there will be a writing test. Being able to write a press release or edit for AP style is very important, and many agency and corporate jobs evaluate their interviewees for this skill. In the real world, no one will stop you fromusing an AP Stylebook, and many companies will let you use one during the test. They may provide one for you, but bringing your own shows you understand the public relations world and that you are prepared.
4. Confidence

Interviews are nerve-racking, but if they have asked you to come in to interview, they must feel you are possibly a fit for the position. Don’t be cocky, but think about your skills. You may have stellar teamwork skills because you are more of a listener than a talker, or you may be extremely efficient and helpful to others because you do not engage in office gossip. Think beyond just your superb writing skills and understanding of theory – show how you can fit into the company culture.

5. A list of questions to ask your interviewers

This is crucial because it shows you are really serious about the position and have taken an interest in the company. Research beforehand, but do not force unnatural questions. My favorite question to ask is “What is the most challenging part of your job?”

One last tip: Ask for feedback! Find out what they liked about your résumé or what you could have done better. You will definitely stand out.

What is the one thing you always bring to an interview? Have you ever forgotten something you needed in an interview, and if so, how did you rectify the problem?

Kara McIver is the president of the Purdue Chapter of PRSSA. She is a senior majoring in communication and in her spare time tweets @kbmciver.

This article is courtesy of PRSSA Blog at blog.prssa.org

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2011 in Career Development Tips

 

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Nine Simple Strategies to Help You Land a PR Job

Today’s guest post is written by Laura Click.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been asked by a number of PR and marketing professionals for advice on their job search in this tough market.

Although the economy has made finding a job difficult, there are number ways to give yourself the edge and help you land an awesome PR job.

  1. Ramp up your digital footprint. If you don’t have a Web site or blog, get one now. And, reserve a URL in your name (i.e.lauraclick.com). You want to own that space instead of someone else getting to it first. It also helps to have a Google Profile and be active on TwitterLinkedIn, andFacebook, which all rank really high in search results.
  2. Build a digital resume. LinkedIn offers a great way to showcase your experience. Fill out your profile completely and ask your contacts to write recommendations for you. Gini Dietrich recently offered some great LinkedIn tips that will help. You can also use DoYouBuzz to build a slick online resume orCarbonmade to create an online portfolio.
  3. Start blogging. More and more businesses are creating content through blogs, so you must know how to write for this medium. Look at what Christina Pappas is doing, for example. Blogging not only showcases your expertise for your job search, but it also offers great SEO benefits, which may help you get found when companies are searching for someone to hire.
  4. Read, read, and read some more. Spend some time every day reading the news, industry publications, books, and smart blogs (such as Spin Sucks). And don’t be afraid to comment on blog posts – it’s a great way to learn more about a topic and help you get noticed.
  5. Connect with industry leaders online. Connect with the leaders in your community by asking questions on blog posts, replying to them on Twitter, or striking up a conversation on Google+. You never know where it might lead. Don’t be shy about the fact that you are on the job search. In fact, my friend, Courtenay Rogers, recently found a marketing job in two weeks thanks to her Twitter connections. Pretty amazing.
  6. Go to meetups in your community. Although online relationships are fantastic, you can really cement those connections when you meet people in person. If your community is like mine, there are all sorts of after-hours events and meetups where you can can hang out with the people you talk to online. And the good news is that many of these events are free! Ask around or check outmeetup.com to find events in your city.
  7. Do your research. Before contacting a company, prove you know what they’re about by thoroughly reading their blog (not just the most recent post) and following their brand and employees in social networks. You can also use LinkedIn to see if your friends have any contacts within the company you’re targeting. If they do, ask them to make the introduction.
  8. Pay attention to your social stats. Many employers are now basing hiring decisions on Klout scores and social media stats. Don’t believe me? Check out Mark Schaefer’s recent blog post. I’m not saying you should spend all of your time trying to get a high Klout score, but you should be aware of this growing trend and that many potential employers may consider this.
  9. Volunteer. Reach out to local non-profits to offer your skills for free. Not only does this help you flex your PR muscles, but it can also strengthen and extend your network of contacts.

Now it’s your turn. What tips would you add for job seekers?

 
 

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