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.
- 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 Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, which all rank really high in search results.
- 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 or Carbonmade to create an online portfolio.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 out meetup.com to find events in your city.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
Laura Click is founder and chief innovator at Blue Kite Marketing, a Nashville-based marketing and social media strategy firm that's passionate about helping small businesses reach new heights.