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Applying for jobs gets really old really quickly. Unless of course you are in the public relations, media, marketing or advertising industry. In that case, job apps turn in to play time.

One of my most recent applications was hating on cover letters. That was when the initial moment of “I love this place!” set in.

Hiring agents get bored of reading them. Prospective employees get tired of writing them. Thus, a solution for us all: the creative cover letter.
Creative Cover Letter Image

 

My approach was simple. Show the company who I am and what I am about. Don’t waste words. Don’t waste space. Make it pretty.

The photos I included are all originals taken while I was abroad in Europe.

It was so refreshing to think outside of the very strict, three paragraphs, “Dear You, Sincerely Me,” look at all the reasons I’m great, perfect for this job, kind of box that the world has created.

I love any opportunity to step outside that box of conformity. I tend to tap dance on top of it anyway.

What job applications have allowed you to show your creativity? Let me know in the comments below.

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Working the Network

Over the past two days, I have met a handful of professionals that couldn’t make me feel more like a student. But here is the good news. Flashback a year, even six months, and you would have found a Katie that wanted to run for the hills when it came to being a big kid, grown-up type.

Throughout this week, I have realized that clearly some psychological phenomenon has occurred; I am preparing myself for the real world. At the career fair, while I’m pretty sure they weren’t recruiting for anyone interested in marketing, public relations, or advertising, I managed to work the room. I made myself stand out as best as I could.

With the help of Dad’s words of wisdom- if you say it with confidence, everyone will believe you. It’s hard to exude the “yes I can” attitude when the room is packed with students who have the same objective. More helpful hints from Father- you have nothing to lose. (Except sanity of course).

My networking did not stop there. At a portfolio workshop through PRSSA, I met professionals that are living proof that somehow it all works out in the end. I sat across from a Fahlgren Mortine PR pro with sweaty palms, for fear that she would tell me I was doing it all wrong. My fearful expectations left me to find that I’m on the right track.

I’ve had quite a few people look at my resume and have heard a lot of the same things. Quantify it all, add more white space, show results, yadda yadda yadda. All important of course, but I’ve heard it and I’m trying! What I hadn’t heard was this: pump links into your resume.

Why not let your resume, a typically boring format, not much room for creativity document lead employers to a place that showcases what you’ve got. Be it links to the blog, Twitter and LinkedIn pages, writing samples from internships, it all can be easily accessed through my resume with a quick click.

Another favorite take away: www.indeed.com. This job posting site, suggested by another professional, is actually awesome. A simple search field and a list of some serious potential has me keeping my chin up.

The biggest piece of advice that will require me to fake it till I make it (I’m starting to get good at that) came straight from the mouth of a professional. She was the one with the sweaty palms only three years ago. “Don’t freak out”

Now if you know anything about me at all, you know that telling me not to freak out is like telling reality TV shows to be realistic; it’s just not going to happen. But I’m keeping it all in mind. I’ll get there eventually.

 

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As a strategic communications student in her ultimate semester, it’s only fitting that I’m taking all communications classes. Did I mention they are all in English? It’s a wonderful thing.

Spending every day of the week working on public relations tactics and message strategies gives me a little bit of a taste of what I hope to be doing as I jump into the working world. Granted it’s a tad different when you work for a boss and a paycheck as opposed to a professor for a grade. I’m pretty sure the only place you can cash in grades is at Chuck-E-Cheese. It didn’t work at Nordstrom.

One aspect of my Strategic Message Designs Class is to blog regularly. Luckily I already have things set up here and could practice last semester. Unfortunately, the content will be slightly less worldly. The emphasis is on public relations and the world of media and communications. The goal: don’t let the blog get boring. Challenge accepted!

I’m hoping to have some new and exciting updates about life as a comm student on a quest for work. This job search may not be in a foreign place, but trust me when I say it shall be an adventure.

This so-called “jump” into the working world will likely be just as far out of my comfort zone as Spain. It’s kind of like the step off of a plane with the hesitation that my parachute might not open.  Let’s hope it doesn’t end in a splat on concrete.

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