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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 l.jpg

JOB SEARCH FOR COMMUNICATION MAJORS

A Life & Learning Workshop

Laura Godwin, Career Services

November 2, 2004


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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


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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?


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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


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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!


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HOW TO RESEARCH OCCUPATIONS

  • Recommended web resources:

    • Occupational Outlook Handbook

    • O*NET Online

  • Informational Interviewing

    • Your own network

    • Meet-a-Mentor Program


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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


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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



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HOW DO I GET A JOB? OPTIONS!

  • 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


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THREE JOB SEARCH STRATEGIES OPTIONS!

  • Applying to vacancy listings

  • Prospecting

  • Networking

The iceberg analogy

Listings: 15%

Prospecting & Networking: 85%


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ICEBERG ANALOGY OPTIONS!

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


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VACANCY LISTINGS OPTIONS!

  • 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


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VACANCY LISTINGS: How it works OPTIONS!

  • 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!


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PROSPECTING OPTIONS!

  • 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


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PROSPECTING: How it works OPTIONS!

  • 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)


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NETWORKING OPTIONS!

  • Def: the art of reaching out to others in the world of work for the purpose of developing/maintaining a foundation of professional contacts


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NETWORKING RESOURCES OPTIONS!

  • 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


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NETWORKING: How it works OPTIONS!

  • 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


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NETWORKING TIPS & TECHNIQUES OPTIONS!

  • 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”


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QUESTIONS: OPTIONS!

  • 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?



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SUGGESTIONS FOR YOUR RESUME TO IT.

  • 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.


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MORE RESUME SUGGESTIONS TO IT.

  • 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?


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COVER LETTERS TO IT.

  • 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.


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INTERVIEWING SUGGESTIONS TO IT.

  • 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



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GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN! SEARCH

  • Questions?

  • Laura’s contact info:

    • Career Services, 259 Capen

    • 645.2231

    • Ljgodwin@buffalo.edu

    • Quick question hour daily: 3-4 p.m. in Career Resource Library