Posts Tagged ‘professionalism’

If I Had Known Then What I know Now..

May 18, 2010

I’ve always told myself I would’ve graduated on time two years ago. If I did, I would not have the knowledge that I have now. “Things I Wish I’d Known in College” by culpwrit posted by @Uandrews  caught my eye because there are certain lessons that can be passed on to college students so that they are aware that college isn’t about going to class. College inspired me to not give up on myself nor my education after being told I was not college bound. In addition, here are my tips below. Feel free to add to the list!

 If I Had Known Then What I Know Now(In addition to  “Things I Wish I’d Known in College” by culpwrit):

  • take electives that interest you and that you could minor in
  • Always understand and double-check behind your advisors
  • Make sure all paper work is completed
  • Know the consequences if you have to transfer
  • Begin writing your resumé before sophomore year
  • how important your GPA is even in your first year
  • ALWAYS read the syllabus (it will haunt you if you don’t)!!
  • Try to understand the reasons why professors need certain assignments to be completed
  • Lastly: Make a list of your talents by your sophomore year to narrow down what major you want to declare

 

I would not change how long it took me to earn my college degree  because it taught me life lessons and skills that are needed in the professional work force. What would you add to the list? What have you learned outside the classroom during your college career?

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Passing Employer’s “Background Check”

April 13, 2010

 My mom e-mailed me this article: Employers monitor your social networking profile.  More and more companies are spying on their employees as how much time they spend in the social web whether it’s on Facebook or Twitter. Companies are also watching carefully the content on their employees’ profile.   This is reality, especially for students and job seekers.

 Just like a portfolio or an interview,  a person’s character says it all.  Even though an employee might be outstanding in their career, they have to be careful on how they conduct themselves outside the professional world.  For example, I am aware of what I say on Facebook , what I post, and what images are on my profile. It doesn’t make much sense for me to prepare a professional portfolio, resume, and go to various conferences to further my public relations career if my social profile content isn’t professional or appropriate to share with potential employers.

Outside of work, student organizations, and class, you still represent those organizations. What you say and post on your Facebook Profile or Twitter represents those groups as well.  Companies today are realizing that.  As a result, companies are taking matters into their own hands by spying on their employees using a new software called Social Sentry.  Social Sentry is a software that can track a person’s social web use only on Facebook and Twitter, but will also track use on LinkedIn, YouTube, and MySpace in the future.

How does this pertain to me is what you’re asking right? Well it pertains to you in so many ways.  One way is the time a person spends on Facebook by updating their status throughout the day making it seem like they do not have anything else to do besides “play” on Facebook. As a result, it doesn’t look good on the employer’s side. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to make your profile more appropriate:

  • if you have to question a photo, don’t upload it or tag yourself
  • What groups are you associated with on Facebook? Will your mom be proud of these groups?
  • What type of language is on your profile?
  • if you were asked in an interview to log into your Facebook, would you be ashamed?

You never know who’s checking your profile or using Google to search for you. Companies aren’t just using the traditional background checks. They are using the social web to their advantage to conduct their background checks as well: Will you pass the background check? If not, companies may dismiss or fire employees due to their social web profile content and behavior.

The new resume today: Social Media Resumes

April 12, 2010

According to the dictionary, a resumé is “a brief written account of personal, educational, and professional qualifications and experience, as that prepared by an applicant for a job.”  Today, especially with the hardships of today’s economic times, it is important for a person to have different resumes and formats of resumes.  So how can a person be creative but also have a simple resume with key words in their resumé? Companies today are asking for resumes to be submitted via online either on the company’s website or e-mailed to the company address, which is why social media resumes are being popular due to  the social media web 2.0.

Social media is defined in different ways, which I’ve discussed in earlier posts. The goal of having a social media resume is so that potential employers are able to have an easy access to your resumé.  Having a resumé online via social media, the resumé is permanently online, giving other people a chance to view  your resumé.  In other words, a social media resume allows a person to embed a video resume, blogs, articles they have written, networks they are a member of, and other social media assignments a person has accomplished successfully. 

Websites including Weebly allow users to create their own themes, design, and content. I began my social media resume using Weebly because it is easy to use even though it took me about three to four hours to complete my site.  Social media resume is beneficial to students because it is another social media tool that allows students to embed their social media skills into their resumé such as podcasting, video casting, and blogs.

Some social media tools that we have to embed into our social media resume are podcasts, slide share presentations, blog posts, and most of all, the resumé gives students an opportunity to explain how they are keeping current on the social trends.

For our assignment in Social Media & Public Relations online, we are to create a social media resume  including presentations we have on slideshare, podcasts, any publications for a client we have created, and other portfolio materials online.  I really like this assignment because to other social media users, it shows that future public relation practitioners aren’t afraid of new technology and the ability to adapt to change concerning  technology. Companies do look for a characteristic or skill that stands out among other potential employers. Thus, having this assignment does make students stand out and learn new social media skills that we need to have when working with companies in the future. 

what do you think a social media resume consists of?

Social Media Tools Summary

April 11, 2010

From conducting a social media monitoring report to creating a social media resume to creating a podcast, I have learned more about different social media tools than being an active participant throughout the social media world. First I will discuss the lessons I’ve learned in conducting a social media monitoring report to an explanation of the benefits of having a social media resume to how important it is to know how to create a podcast.

For our Social Media & Public Relations Online class, we were required to conduct a social media monitoring report. I had many thoughts running through my head such as how am I going to do this, what is a social media monitoring report, and of course why do we have to do this.  We had the option to pick a Fortune 500 company, which I chose Verizon and Att&T. The goal of this assignment was to understand how people and consumers are talking about organizations and companies and how they were talking about the organizations or companies.  As I was completing this assignment, I used various social media tools and advice including Addcitomatic, IceRocket, Samepoint, Social Mention,  tweetgrid, Twazzup, along with Google Alerts and Twitter Search.  I got these social media sources from Professor Kaye D. Sweetser, PHD, APR.  To my surprise, I got an A on this assignment because I took the time to become familiar with all these social media tools and what each one had to offer.  Having to a social media monitoring report shows that I’m not afraid of new assignments or technology and it is a project that can be in my portfolio.  I wasn’t aware of how many social media tools there are even though I’m a social media junkie.

My class is required to have a social media resume, which I already have.  I created my social media resume using Weebly.  It took me about three to four hours to complete last summer.  Like any other resume, it can be improved and has work that needs to be done to my resumé. But, when I show or discuss my resumé online, it impresses other potential employees because I took the time to stand out and not just have a traditional hard copy resume, but I have an online resume as well. Today, most companies or organizations only take resumes via e-mail or through their website submissions. Therefore, it is vital for today’s job hunters to be comfortable using the Internet to market themselves by creating a resumé online.  I wasn’t told at the time that I needed to have an online resume. Instead,  I took it upon myself to use my knowledge and skills to create my page using  Weebly.  To be creative and determined and to use my knowledge my professors have provided me with, it is only in my best interest to do something without being told to better myself professionally and to further my student career.

Not only is it important to be able to be knowledgable of what a social media monitoring report is to creating a social media resume, it is also essential in understanding how to create a podcast along with posting it to blogs.  At first, I thought there’s nothing to creating a podcast. It’s just recording yourself, but in reality it’s not.  There are a lot of strategies into creating a podcast.  Similar to writing a paper, a podcast also has to have an introduction, some main points, and conclusion. In a podcast, you as the author have to tell your listeners when the next podcast will be published, where it is located, and how your readers can post comments about the podcast topic.  The benefits of a podcast are that listeners can subscribe via RSS feeds, and be able to listen to the podcast through their cell phones, Iphones, Ipods, and through blog posts.  Thus, podcasts give listeners and understanding of who you are, and gives you the author an opportunity to relate to your listeners. Futhermore, podcasts are a tool in which can enhance a person’s visibility within the social media world.

Lessons social media websites have taught me

April 11, 2010

I’m an active LinkedIn user, Twitter user, along with other websites before I enrolled in Social Media & Public Relations online class with Nixon.  What I didn’t understand was the power of a background on twitter, twitter usernames, and what information is on certain social media websites can be extremely powerful.  For example, I chose my username Leh1185 from my e-mail account because I was not comfortable using my first and last name on all these websites. In a way, it is my trademark name since my username is used throughout all the websites I am on.  Of course, some people might disagree or criticize my username, but it works for me and makes me stand out throughout social media. LinkedIn is similar to having a resumé online. I didn’t understand why we had to get a LinkedIn account until I began to use it to my advantage.  For example,  I was in the hotel business room lobby finishing up some schoolwork which is when I met the vice president of Ameristeels in Florida while I was out-of-town for my sister’s soccer game. The first question he asked me was do you have a LinkedIn account? Of course I said yes, which was then I thanked my professor for requiring us to have a LinkedIn account.

Another lesson I’ve learned utilizing and being active in the “social media world” is that you have to understand why you’re using various social media tools and websites, what the purpose is, and how you can relate to people who follow you or read your blogs. In other words, not just having followers for “follower statistics for bragging rights,” you have to understand why do you follow those users and know their professional background.  I use Twitter to ask other professionals, professors, and fellow colleague  questions about various topics from resume tips to assignment questions, to general questions such as should you have a ring back on your cell phone when you are job searching or job hunting? .  LinkedIn however, is beneficial to me because it allows me to have various widgets and applications which my friends or connections can look at along with my resumé.”  One application I have on Linked In is amazon reading book list so that my connections can see how I am staying up to date and current within social media trends. PROpenMic was the first website I used in researching for internships.  It allowed me to discover what general public relation agencies and companies are looking for in potential interns, who’s hiring, and what skills I need to have or improve to market myself for that particular internship or job.

Blogging has been a challenge for me due to my writing since it is a weakness of mine. I didn’t know how to blog, what to blog about, and not knowing what to put into a blog. But, since blogging is a requirement for my Social Media & Public Relations class, I became better at blogging. I am coming to understand that blogging does improve writing skills along with understanding that blogging can consist of videos, various media tools, and widgets. Blogging gives me an opportunity to express myself through my unique writing and to discuss what I’ve learned throughout my college career.  I am now able to link my blog post to my Twitter, LinkedIn, and Weebly account so that others can see my personality and challenges that have helped me grow and become more professional and not just being portrayed as a “college student.

Below is a summary of what I’ve learned:

  • Usernames and backgrounds can impact your professional background
  • Understand your followers, who they are, and what their professional background consists of
  • Blogging is an opportunity for anyone to express themselves and improving their writing skills
  • Blogging allows anyone to discuss their topics using various media tools such as videos and widgets
  • Being active on different social media websites has increased my professional skills, confidence, and to show others that I’m not afraid of new social media or technology tools.

Students’ Benefit Utilizing PROpenMic

March 21, 2010

   PROpenMic’s demographic is  public relation students, faculty, and practitioners where all can take part through various applications such as blog list, forums, upload/post videos, and add photos. Once someone becomes a member, that person can update their statuses, add music application, and invite their friends to become members. What is so unique about this site is that it allows its members to engage in various ways than just blogging or adding photos. However, I believe that this site is similar Twitter and LinkedIn in the sense that this site is a potential networking site. In other words, it isn’t a place to not be professional.

I became a PROpenMic member  (LaurenHopkins) last year for a class requirement thinking to myself “great another site I have to keep up with in addition to my class projects.”). Last summer, PROpenMic came to my rescue by having the  intern-search that lists various public relation jobs along with the job description and location. For example, I am a member of the jobsinternships which was created by Robert French (@rdfrench). The purpose of the group is to see what jobs or internships are available and to send an internship/job seek request. This group is also automatically shared via Twitter so that members are able to view it in two different sites.

In addition to all the great applications this site offers, I was able to send Robert French a personal message with questions thinking I wasn’t going to get a response. However, I was in for a surprise when Mr. French responded to me in that same day.  Just by asking him questions without hesitating, I’m able to follow him on Twitter and he follows me in return. Thus, creating network connections and just by him following me, I have other professionals like him following me as well.  This site has benefited me so much that it was hard to list just a few benefits I have experienced utilizing PROpenMic and in using social websites in general.  With that being said, I can update my status on PROpenMic which will then be automatically generated on Twitter. Thus, participating one on social networking site can lead to other numerous connections on other sites such as Twitter.

Twitter Benefits: You Should Have Them Too

February 25, 2010

Barbara Nixon discusses why she requires her students to take part in utilizing Twitter http://publicrelationsmatters.com/2010/02/24/10-5-ways-for-pr-students-to-get-the-most-out-of-twitter/.  I didn’t even know what  Twitter was or how to use it “properly” and “professionally,” until Barbara Nixon came along to tell us why we should use Twitter.  I’ve been an active user on Twitter for almost a year now(@Leh1185 ) and I love it!

Why do I love Twitter and why is it  beneficial to students? Here’s my story and maybe this will persuade more Public Relation students to use Twitter other than class requirements. I began using Twitter without having any knowledge of how to present myself on Twitter, who to follow, and what do people “tweet” about. Then, I began to follow my technological savvy professor (@barbarnixon) who follows various professionals in all areas of public relations. This is where my REAL story began. I began to follow the “prestigious” Twitter users and responded to their tweets even though they didn’t then respond to mine (or even know I existed). But, the more I responded, the more responses I received from them.

For the first time I thought to myself  Wow they responded to me! Why me (out of all people)?! These professionals still respond to me because I am active on Twitter without being required to do so. I also ask professional questions and general advice to them. For example, my “tweet” the other day said this: to all PR Pros: When job searching, should you have ring backs?  Not only did I get many responses from professionals, but they told me “good ?.”  The more questions I asked the more they could see how interested I really am in learning about anything from professionalism to being a team player to preparing for the “real world work force.”

As a result of being transparent on Twitter, I developed “connections” with these professionals, which is why I love Twitter and other social media tools. Now, they follow me (wahoo!) and know that I exist and not just another Twitter user. In other words, I stand out by being genuine, professional, and having a sense of humor. Some of them I now talk to not only on Twitter, but on Facebook and even Skype, which lead to exchange numbers. I’m not the most outstanding student, but I take what I learn from my professors and implement them without being told. From there, I ask other professors about various assignments, topics, and general discussions.

Being active on Twitter shows others that you are willing to try new technological advances and are open-minded, which goes along with the old saying “you never know until you try.” For me trying out Twitter was all about asking myself “why is Nixon teaching us Twitter when we should be educated on PR writing?” Let me experiment with Twitter until I give myself an answer to this question. Once I gave Twitter a try, I expressed my gratitude to Nixon and told her this: now, I know why you want us to use social media.

Students: You need to be well-rounded in social media because this question will be asked in interviews: What do you do to stay current in social media trends? If you’re only on Facebook,  what is your response going to be when you are competing for a job if the only social media site you use is Facebook?  You have to stand out and being active on Twitter is one way to do that (along with your resumé of course)!

I didn’t know about Twitter and I still don’t have that much knowledge on utilizing Twitter, but I read various novels to educate myself in how to use Twitter more efficiently and what other apps that can be used for your “Twitter” profile that Twitter doesn’t offer. For example, it was required by Nixon for us to read a novel on our major. For that assignment, I chose “Whuffie Factor” (@missrogue )  and then over Christmas break, I read “Twitter Power.” These two novels taught me how to improve my social media skills. I recommend every student to read a novel because another interview question that’s being asked is “what books do you read?”

  

The Next BIG “Customer Feedback” Method Already Happening

February 23, 2010

    Rather than using traditional marketing research, companies are able to listen, engage, and share internal thoughts with their customers through blogs/blogging. Blogs are a tool that gives companies the opportunity to build relationships between the company/organization and its customers, allowing the company to become more transparent due to social media during Web 2.0. In other words, companies have a chance to propose the culture, processes, and people in the organization to the customers through blogging.  customers are already having conversations about companies, which is another reason for companies to blog.

However, not anyone can “just” blog for companies/organizations. Corporate blogs don’t have to be posted by one person. Employees within the organization  who have “expertise” can blog along with being able to listen to what  customers are saying.  Corporate blog posts have to have follow-up blogs. What this does is it allows companies to become more visible to its customers along with really listening to the customers.

Companies can have a sense of control of their blogs by creating blog guidelines for customers posting comments.  furthermore, companies can now see how much traffic their company is receiving, what is the top post or page, and receive customer feedback through creating blog posts. Customers are able to see companies’ vision through blogs and it also gives companies an advantage to hear what people are saying and doing about the company.

How can return of investment be measured? was a question that was rasied during the conference.  Dell has a great commercial explaining this saying “customer feedback is priceless.” WordPress is a prime example in how return of investment can be measured through quality.  A company was advertising their products in a positive light in which a customer responded with negative feedback. As a result, the CEO responded hiring word press as one of the vendors for this reason. Thus, this is how WordPress was developed. The return of the investment is  creating a customer-CEO relationship.

Generally speaking, companies who have not done so should really consider having blogs for customers to post their feedback because like I said previously, the conversation is already taking place. Shouldn’t companies have a “place” in which customers can converse with the internal comany and want to know what their customers are thinking or doing? So, why not implement blogs as a social media tool that is prevalent in the workplace?

Public Relations: “Paying it Forward”

February 2, 2010

Tonight I talked with my mom from relationships to being narcistic in your twenties.  Without realizing it, I am learning how to behave in society as an adult and that it’s okay to be self oriented during this stage of my life.   Also, I’m experiencing the famous quote “paying it forward” as well. As I go to my internship at CASA Ogeechee Judicial Circuit Inc, and attend classes, I have “family” away from home that have helped me out in various ways because they know what it’s like to be a broke college student. I established this relationship by doing charitable activities throughout the community, which is part of societal behavior as an adult.  I surround myself with people who value what I do for them and people who appreciate me. 

All of us have heard “paying it forward.” To be honest, I didn’t know what it really meant until my mother made me understand it tonight. The family that I mentioned above is what “paying it forward” is all about. It’s a circle that never ends.  For example, I go above and beyond (which is what you should do) what is expected of me at my internship. As a result, my hard work is respected, appreciated, and most of all exceeds the expectations of the organization.

Therefore,  I appreciate small things that are done for me and having older people who respect me on  a professional and personal level.   These are  life lessons that are teaching me that I should also help out a person in need (large or small) since it has been done for me, which is “paying it forward.” and relates to how public relations practitioners should behave regardless if you’re in college or establishing your career.

So, how does this relate to public relations? Twitter is a prime example of paying it forward. Twitter users combine their knowledge to help someone else, which in turn set up a “relationship” to help each other. Not only is Twitter an example, but this “paying forward” is explained through various novels I have read on social media such as “The Whuffie Factor,”  “Twitter Power,” and  “Groundswell,” (which I’m reading now). All of these novels explain it in a different way of course, but  what the main point is helping someone out throughout the social media and society.  

Even though I’m a college student, I have worked in groups, read novels, and putting myself into the community to help out any organization and person in need. I’m not trying to brag, but my point is that these tools and requirements have taught me how to uphold myself in society. Thus, public relations  isn’t just about helping, but it’s a characteristic that exemplifies how one should behave in society as an adult at this stage of their life. Think about it, take the two words apart- public and relations. Then, tell me the  social mannerisms expected of a public relations practitioner.