photo[1]By Tara Smith

Last week, a PR professional came to speak to our Ogden Peak Communications class and give us some tips on the most dreaded task that comes with being a college student and nearing graduation—the job search.  The constant underlying stress that comes with the need to find a job can be overwhelming, but with some good advice and a perfected resume and cover letter, the task can be done. 

Nicholas Dragon is the social media and web specialist for McKay-Dee Hospital’s PR team.  He has worked with Intermountain Healthcare for four years now and continues to grow in his expertise.  He understands the PR industry and the vitality of staying current with social media trends and gave us some tips on how to utilize media outlets to look for jobs.  He offered up some advice that many of us had not heard before, and we want to pass these tips along!

  • Be Googleable.  The first thing Nick told us was that we need to be easy to find online, and the easiest way to do that is to be “deeply involved” on social media.  He said that when we are being considered for a job, the people doing the hiring will definitely Google potential employees.  By staying active on social media, we will be easy to find and therefore, employers can learn more about us before we even get an interview.  However, knowing this now makes us even more aware that we need to show our personalities on our feeds, but remember to keep things professional.
  • Be open to moving.  Nick told us that if we want a job bad enough, we have to be open to the idea that it could be somewhere different than where we are now.  While Utah definitely has opportunities for PR professionals, larger cities will have even more opportunity.  Additionally, looking outside of Utah offers the chance to be more specific in our specialty, as well as more opportunities to grow.
  • “Always be helpful first.”  In regard to internships, networking, and learning opportunities as students, Nick advised to not be afraid to give our time away—it leads to connections, experience, and ultimately, work.  Take any opportunity to help others, which in turn can build your skills and add details to your resume.  Take advantage of networking events, (which means not sitting in the corner the entire time).  As we know, when finding a job today, it is all about who you know.
  • Look on social media for job opportunities.  One obvious outlet is LinkedIn.  Nick stressed the importance of having a fully-completed profile where we are actively looking for connections and recommendations.  Nick also shared a secret with us, and we’ll pass it along—there are jobs posted every day on Twitter.  By following prominent people in professions we hope to have, we can gain insight to the industry.  Nick gave us the information for his Twitter feed, and promised to share job opportunities weekly!  You can find him on Twitter @NicholasDragon.
  • Remember the basics.  The things we have learned in school really will prepare us for our future endeavors.  Remembering the simple yet easy-to-forget steps will help us land a job.  Read the job requirements carefully to anticipate interview questions.  Recite interview questions beforehand—no one will know!  Continue to improve the skills we claim to do well.  Stay relevant by reading blogs.  And finally, always remember the reasons why you would be a valuable addition to a company and be ready to share those reasons.

Finding a job doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems, but it definitely takes substantial effort.  Nick urged us to apply for 30-40 jobs per week!  Make yourself marketable and memorable and never underestimate your abilities even if you lack experience.  One last trick that Nick shared with us is to remember that if all else fails, as easy way to make people remember your name after applying for a job is to send two dozen donuts to the hiring manager with your resume taped on top.  #SendThemCarbs

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