Posted tagged ‘student’

Secret to Success #1

December 11, 2008

I’m going to start a new “column” in the becoming professional category. In it, I’m going to post short tips, different things that can help to land a job or build a network. A lot of these ideas have come from different sources; I’ll credit them when I remember where the idea came from, and include a link. If I don’t credit it, and you know where it came from feel free to inform me and I’ll credit it.

Secret to Success : Tip # 1

Create a student business card.
Imagine these two senarios: First, you’re at the bar, and you’re flirting with a member of the opposite sex. You want to give them your number, so you pull out a business card with your name, number and email address so they can call you – or look you up on facebook later. Don’t you think they’d be impressed? Now, this may not seem as exciting, but picture yourself a volunteer at a conference or event, and you meet someone who works in the field you want to go into. You’ve been talking with him for a bit, and told him you’re a student and you’re interested in his field. He gives you his card – and you pull yours out and give it to him. Believe it or not, the impression you make on him will be the same as the one you made on the member of the opposite sex that you were flirting with at the bar. Both will see you as a young, up-and-coming professional. Both will see you as a ‘catch’ – for a future job opportunity or a job.

The Best part? Student business cards aren’t expensive. VistaPrint.com lets you create your business cards for free in exchange for putting their logo in small print on the back at the bottom of your card. You just pay shipping (about 6 bucks) for 250 cards. You’ll be amazed at how much having them impresses people (I was) and it’s a cheap investment.

Be sure to check back for more Secrets to Success….

Advertising yourself: resume and cover letter

April 1, 2008

Reading my textbook for the class I’m taking on Writing for the Media this week I realized how much writing a cover letter is really advertising for yourself. We were doing a section on ads, and had to write copy platforms – for a advertising campaign.

When you’re looking for a job, that becomes your advertising campaign. You are advertising yourself – so you should keep in mind all the things that ‘sell’ you. Basically, you should create a copy platform for yourself.

Unless you’ve studied marketing, that probably doesn’t help you much. So heres the break down:

A copy platform is, according to our text book, “a way of getting ideas and information of an advertising situation down on paper and of organizing those ideas in such a way that effective advertising copy can be produced from them.”

It is putting down on paper:

  • The Ad subject (You)
  • The Ad problem (getting you a job)
  • The product characteristics (in a few short bullet points, your best selling points with facts and details included – what you have to offer in a much shorter version then your resume)
  •  Ad objective (getting you a job),
  • Market (types of places you’re applying)
  •  Competition (things other people that are applying don’t have or are unlikely to have that you do – you’re advantage),
  • A statement of benefit or appeal (the one or 2 TOP points, things you are offering a potential employer)
  • Creative theme (come up with your own slogan or maing selling point)
  • Supportive selling points (again, selling points but put in a way that can is short and precise)

The entire piece should still be less then a page. I’ve attached one I did for myself as an example. I think that doing one of these before going in for an interview would help set in your mind exactly what you want to convey to the potential employer. You want to make sure all this information comes across clearly in your cover letter and that it is part of your (much broader ) resume. Then, when you sit down for an interview, you can hit all your points and ‘sell yourself’ to your interviewer. It will make you come across as confident and organized and, if you do a good job, they will be ‘sold’ on your product – yourself.

Copy Platform

Our text book is : Writing for the Mass Media by James Glen Stovall

Other Relevant Posts:
How To Write a Resume
How To Write a Cover Letter