PR Masters Graduation 2014 – Thank you Catherine Sweet!

PR Masters Graduation 2014 – Thank you Catherine Sweet!

‘Dream big, and with focus and hard work, anything is possible’ – Paul Goodison

I did it! I now have a PR Masters, with Merit, from Southampton Solent University.

There are times you plan, organise and work and then there are the rare, beautiful moments you get to reflect upon the things you have achieved. Graduation is one of those things. Pomp and ceremony, jazzy gowns and caps signify a tradition purely focused on achievement, a pause before you swiftly move on and begin evolving further.

Reflection also allows you appreciate the wonderful people you have supporting you, and I am so incredibly lucky to have such a vivacious, fabulous, intelligent mentor in Catherine Sweet. I have spent a lot of time trying to find the words to express my thanks for guiding me through the past year and half, for your unwavering support and no amount of words seem to cut the mustard.

So it’s simple, but the feeling and appreciation behind it is genuinely gigantic…

Catherine Sweet – THANK YOU – I couldn’t have done it without you.

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The wonderful Catherine Sweet!

 

At Graduation they said you will never forget a good teacher. I know I certainly won’t.

However, I also must thank a few other people. Don’t worry it won’t be as long as an Oscars speech and there won’t be any tears. Promise.

I studied alongside some incredible people, two of those became some of my best friends but they also helped me develop my style, understand different cultural approaches which helped develop me for the better. So, Lisa Duygu thank you for teaching me to look at every angle, to be more patient and to believe in myself. Nadia Volaki thank you for teaching me to be more bold, to take chances and to believe in myself. We made it. We did it. We are Masters!

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Nadia, Lisa and myself!

 

The more private, but not any smaller in size, thank you’s must go to my supportive Grandparents, Mother and Boyfriend. Unwavering support that made the world of difference whilst there were so many demands on my time. Thank you. I did it!

If you’ve had any PR mentors/teachers/supporters, what was the biggest impact they have had on you? or perhaps what words of wisdom they have divulged? Please feel free to share your comments below!

Venturing down the rabbit hole of job-hunting…

Venturing down the rabbit hole of job-hunting…

I can’t believe it has been two weeks since I got my results. I now have a Masters (with Merit!) in Public Relations. I am still in shock but it’s finally beginning to process and I am bursting with pride. Holding down a full time job and a degree though definitely took its toll and it was time for a break. Beautiful Barcelona has so much to offer. If you like architecture, art and epic amounts of sea food then it’s the place for you. Although don’t forget your walking shoes, we covered over 40 miles in four days! However, I am now back and ready to start my hunt for employment.

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The magic fountains of Barcelona!

Many of you will be in the same place, whether you have just graduated, are looking for your next stepping stone or a new career altogether. It can be pretty daunting. There are so many places to look that knowing where to start is half the battle. It’s been a while since I had to properly look and as always things have evolved. But, the old faithful’s are still there.

  1. The Linked In job section has vastly improved making it easier to actually use the network of connections you have built up and apply for jobs directly. You also see a lot by being part of relevant industry groups, monitoring the main news wall and setting up bespoke job searches. Fantastic.
  2. The world of recruiters has expanded, specialised and now contact you via Linked In. Being actively sought out makes the job hunt that bit easier as they have already matched your skills to roles they have in mind.
  3. It is now much easier to be direct. Contacting the company directly in person or by phone, via their website, snail mail or social media have all become easier. For the PR’s reading this remember to be creative in your approach. It’s a creative industry! Beat the monotony and stick it to the black and white cookie cutter CV if you dare! Just look at one of my previous blogs to see the extent applicant’s are now going to, it may alter your perspective of what a CV should look like.
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Creative CV’s to catch your future employees eye!

Asking for advice and feedback is the quickest way to improve gas it’s the most appropriate for the industry you want to go in to. So many people having been giving me advice on my CV and covering letter and all of it is different. They may not be wrong but they can conflict. Remember it’s subjective and everyone’s opinions are different.

Now I’m no expert, but I’ve done my fair share of job hunting, asking professionals, consulting CV and covering letter experts and I have also hired my own team once many moons ago. Although I may not be able to comment on some of the finer details here are six basic golden rules to get you started:

  1. Get expert advice from CV professionals or people in your industry. Your CV and covering letter should constantly be under review. (But remember it’s subjective- so if you’re not feeling it ask for a second opinion or a third!)
  2. Scrap the unsupported statements. Back everything you say up. It’s no good saying you’re a team player without some sort of example to support it. I mean you could write anything then…I’m a space cowboy with four Oscars who majored in graphic design, law and quantum physics whilst simultaneously running for Prime Minister. Err…like I said use examples of your work or experience to back up your claims. What? Where? When? How?
  3. How are you going to help the business? Remember, this is not really about you. This about the company and finding someone who is going to earn them lots of money or save them lots of money. Unfortunately in our crazy capitalist society it really is all about the money, money, money!
  4. Proof read your CV and covering letter. If the language is not your first, or your grammar isn’t the best, get it checked.
  5. Have a tidy digital footprint –no employer wants to see your drinking escapades, your pet cat fluffy or your pouting/gym selfies. Google yourself, what can you find? Be thorough!
  6. Keep it concise and relevant because their time is valuable (as is yours!). Your CV should be two A4 pages maximum. Covering letter should be a couple of paragraphs, maximum one A4 page. Adopt the American philosophy – time is money!

 

I’m looking for CV and covering letter advice for the PR industry. If you are in a position to give advice about the specifics of PR CV’s and covering letters and want to share your knowledge then please do. It would also be interesting to hear how other people have got their jobs, and any tips or tricks to landing that dream role. If you have any links, advice or experience then I’d love to hear from you – get in touch via the comments box below.

Good luck new job hunters!