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JOB SEARCH FOR COMMUNICATION MAJORS. A Life & Learning Workshop Laura Godwin, Career Services November 2, 2004. GOALS FOR THIS WORKSHOP. Learn about some of your career options, and how to research them Understand the components of a successful job search

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job search for communication majors

JOB SEARCH FOR COMMUNICATION MAJORS

A Life & Learning Workshop

Laura Godwin, Career Services

November 2, 2004

goals for this workshop
GOALS FOR THIS WORKSHOP
  • Learn about some of your career options, and how to research them
  • Understand the components of a successful job search
  • Learn how to market yourself effectively in a competitive entry-level job market
what can i do with my communication degree
WHAT CAN I DO WITH MY COMMUNICATION DEGREE?
  • Communication is a liberal arts degree.
    • Broad preparation for a number of career paths
  • You cannot rely on your degree alone to land you a job.
  • What do you want to do? What do you want out of a job, a career?
self assessment
SELF-ASSESSMENT
  • Values
  • Interests
  • Skills
  • Personality

Meet with a Career Services counselor for self-exploration activities, tests, and interpretation.

Check out DISCOVER - a free online assessment on the Career Services web site

some options for comm majors
SOME OPTIONS FOR COMM MAJORS

See handout

  • Most graduates pursue careers involving public/personal contact, communicating.
  • Common Themes: E (Enterprising), S (Social), A (Artistic)
  • What industry interests you?
    • Find something you are passionate about!
how to research occupations
HOW TO RESEARCH OCCUPATIONS
  • Recommended web resources:
    • Occupational Outlook Handbook
    • O*NET Online
  • Informational Interviewing
    • Your own network
    • Meet-a-Mentor Program
what about journalism and broadcasting
WHAT ABOUT JOURNALISM AND BROADCASTING?
  • Communication vs. Communications
  • Extremely competitive! Will require:
    • Intense writing training
    • Specialized coursework not offered at UB
    • Internships and a professional network
  • More realistic entry level options:
    • Ad sales for a newspaper
    • Promotions for a radio/TV stations
    • Traffic assistant for magazine
what if i am also considering teaching
WHAT IF I AM ALSO CONSIDERING TEACHING?
  • NYS teaching requirements do not recognize Communication as an acceptable undergraduate major
    • Other states may be more flexible
  • Other options to get you started
    • NYC Teaching Fellows; Teach for America; private or parochial schools
  • Speak with UB Graduate School of Education for complete information
how do i get a job
HOW DO I GET A JOB?
  • Focus
    • Commit yourself 100% to your goal
  • Assertiveness
    • Opportunities don’t just fall in your lap, you need to make them happen
  • Realistic approach
    • Indispensable first steps
      • Receptionist, intern…
    • Timeline: 4-6 months (or more) is typical
three job search strategies
THREE JOB SEARCH STRATEGIES
  • Applying to vacancy listings
  • Prospecting
  • Networking

The iceberg analogy

Listings: 15%

Prospecting & Networking: 85%

iceberg analogy
ICEBERG ANALOGY

Larger companies, large HR budgets

High turnover

Third party recruiters & temp agencies

VISIBLE JOBS

Smaller companies, small HR budget

Lower turnover

Represents large majority of job growth in US economy: SMALL COMPANIES

HIDDEN JOB MARKET

vacancy listings
VACANCY LISTINGS
  • Where are they?
    • Newspapers, internet job sites (“classified ads”), geography specific sites
  • Employer web sites
    • Ex: government sites; large companies, small companies
  • Special-interest sites
    • Idealist.org
    • Riley Guide www.rileyguide.com
  • Employment agencies & third party recruiters
  • UB Career Services
vacancy listings how it works
VACANCY LISTINGS: How it works
  • Submit resume and targeted cover letter to employer
    • You are one of many in a large stack of applications
  • Company contacts you IF they are interested in meeting you
  • Follow-up on applications not always possible
    • “No phone calls please” or “Fax resume to”
    • Not always clear who the company is!
prospecting
PROSPECTING
  • Def: targeting potential employers and contacting them directly
    • The idea is to get to them BEFORE they need to advertise their vacancy!
  • How to do it:
    • Directories & Chambers of Commerce
    • Professional organizations
    • CareerSearch
    • Business Journals
prospecting how it works
PROSPECTING: How it works
  • Send resume & targeted cover letter via mail or email
    • Need to find the right contact person – it’s not always HR
  • Follow-up via phone or in person
  • Informational interviewing can give you an “in”
  • Continue to stay in touch with contacts (networking)
networking
NETWORKING
  • Def: the art of reaching out to others in the world of work for the purpose of developing/maintaining a foundation of professional contacts
networking resources
NETWORKING RESOURCES
  • Family, friends, friends of friends, etc.
  • Professors, guest lecturers
  • Alumni Associations
    • www.alumni.buffalo.edu
  • Professional Associations
    • http://www.rileyguide.com/union.html
  • UB Meet-a-Mentor program
    • www.ub-careers.buffalo.edu
networking how it works
NETWORKING: How it works
  • Take notes on each meeting or chance contact you have
  • Request business cards
  • Send a thank-you letter within 48 hours
  • Establish the next step:
    • Will you touch base again in a few weeks?
    • Will they help circulate your resume?
  • Take a long-term view
networking tips techniques
NETWORKING TIPS & TECHNIQUES
  • 10-second soundbite
  • 30-second commercial, or “elevator pitch”
  • Networking “law of gravity”
  • Make one call a day
  • Mini-resume business cards
  • Email signature
        • For more, see Collegegrad.com’s

‘Network Intelligence Gathering”

questions
QUESTIONS:
  • What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of these strategies?
    • Vacancy listings
    • Prospecting
    • Networking
  • How are you going to spend your time most effectively?
suggestions for your resume
SUGGESTIONS FOR YOUR RESUME
  • Functionalize it with unique sections that emphasize your goals and skills:
    • Marketing & Promotions Experience
    • Event Planning Experience
    • Public Speaking Experience
    • (…or at the very least, Related Experience vs. Additional Work Experience)
  • Use work, internships, leadership activities, class projects, volunteer work, etc.
more resume suggestions
MORE RESUME SUGGESTIONS
  • A good set of computer skills make you more attractive. Brush up and/or learn:
    • MS Word, MS Excel, MS Powerpoint (basics)
    • MS Access (databases)
    • HTML programming, Dreamweaver, MS Frontpage, Flash (web design)
    • Adobe Pagemaker, MS Publisher (desktop publishing)
    • Photoshop, Illustrator (graphics)
    • Other software specific to your industry?
cover letters
COVER LETTERS
  • It must be well-written.
  • There is no such thing as a “generic cover letter.”
    • Customize it based on the job description, the organization itself, and your approach
  • Try to leave the ball in your court – and follow up when you say you will.
interviewing suggestions
INTERVIEWING SUGGESTIONS
  • Preparation is key!
    • Consider doing a practice interview at Career Services
  • Behavioral interviewing questions:
    • Tell me about a time when…
    • Give me an example of…

(Situation, Task, Action, Result)

  • How to handle salary and benefits questions
good luck and have fun
GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!
  • Questions?
  • Laura’s contact info:
    • Career Services, 259 Capen
    • 645.2231
    • [email protected]
    • Quick question hour daily: 3-4 p.m. in Career Resource Library
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