Adulting: How to Get Your Ish Together | Career
Publicist by day, blogger by night. While I love this little corner of the internet, my full-time job is working as a publicist. And it's exactly what I wanted to do. Building a career, in my opinion, starts with what you do in college. Your major, internships, activities and networking can make or break your career ambitions. So the first thing you need to do, if in college, is decide on the general career you are interested in. For me, I knew I wanted to go into some sort of marketing career. Once you have a general direction, the next step is building experience.
Here's how I started my career, tracing all the way back to freshman year of college.
I had ten internships during college, my first was the second semester of my freshman year. Through my internships, I worked in marketing roles in various industries--sports, fashion, social media, PR, advertising, filmmaking, etc. Even if you cannot get an official internship, try to volunteer for a cause you enjoy to get experience. Those internships were important for building a skill set and boosting my resume experience, but most notably, they helped me narrow down where in the marketing umbrella I wanted to work and what industry. I realized I loved PR and I loved all industries so working at a PR agency felt just right.
2. LinkedIn + Online Presence
The second day of college, make yourself a LinkedIn. I barely used mine until I realized that I could use it to search and message people I admired or people at companies I wanted to work for. More often than not, I always received a message back. On other online platforms, clean up profiles (no drinking, partying, etc. photos) and make them private if they are strictly personal. My Facebook and personal Instagram are private, but my Twitter is public because I use it to share PR advice and to interact with brands to learn how they respond to customers on social media. I also have this Instagram (@camilikeatanktop) public because I use it as a blogging platform to connect with people and share content.
3. Network, network, network
Your job in college should be to network. Post-grad, your side hustle should be to network. Networking has led me to most, if not all, my internships and my first job. It has helped me find and nurture mentorships with people who have been influential to my personal and professional life. I learned about so many different jobs out there through networking. Now that I am in my first job, I still network. I keep up with my prior contacts, and make new ones through LinkedIn or Shapr.
4. Resume + Cover Letter
Keep your resume simple, but unique and always update it. My resume is simple, but uses hints of purple to stand out. Once I've been at a job or internship for two months, I update my resume with the roles or duties I was working in. Keep your resume in line with the jobs you are applying for. I have three resumes--one for social media roles, one for PR roles and one for event planning. Each have different roles and responsibilities highlighted on it depending on which role I was applying for.
Your cover letter should always be personalized. Never use the same one twice. I know, I know it sucks to do that for every job, but it is important. Don't be afraid to be creative. For my current PR role, I wrote my cover letter as a press release. For my previous internship at an aquarium, I compared myself to a dolphin. Catch their attention and show your personality.
5. The Interview
Don't wing it. Before my interviews for a real, adult, full time job I spent an hour or two practicing my responses to typical questions and rehearsing how best to articulate why I'm fit for the role and how my experience translates to the outlined job duties. I made sure to research the company, the role and the person interviewing me (if I knew beforehand). I used the job posting and pulled specific examples of how I have done those job duties in past internships/jobs. Lastly, after the interview, I followed up with a thank you card. Handwritten, thank you card. It makes a difference.
6. Continue Learning
Now that you've gotten the role, never stop learning. Absorb all you can in your role and continue learning outside (read that post here). That's why I started this little blog--to continue learning new skills, improving my writing and trying my hand at photography, etc. Never think you are too far in your career or too important in your job to not need to improve or learn more.
7. Don't be discouraged
I moved to Chicago without a job lined up. I was nervous but within four day (because of the steps outlined above) I landed my first full-time position. Don't be discouraged if you graduate and don't have a job yet. Just stay focused and don't lose faith. Also, don't be discouraged if you are not in your dream job. You have to start somewhere.
My final piece of advice is to up your wardrobe, buy a killer blazer and some pumps, and get to work #bossbabes.
Top | Target
Blazer | Target
Nude pumps | Target
Jeans | Old Navy
Bag | Michael Kors