Wait A Minute… That Can’t Be Right

So, if you have entered my site anytime between 4:30 p.m.-6: p.m. CT, you may have noticed that my website is saying weird stuff or looks different. Well, that is because I am taking a web design class. He is having us work on WordPress and I figured that it would be better to use my own blog than to create yet another blog to add to the list that is not being used. Why am I taking web design classes? I’ll reveal that in the next post.

Chau!

ETA: Corrected spelling mistakes and added “or looks different.”

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Interview Tip + Major Change to Blog

I had to do a major change to my blog. I did this in response to an interview tip that I’m about to share: following up with an interviewer after not being chosen for an internship/job.

I was not chosen for the internship I applied for with the PR agency. After receiving the dreaded “we regret to inform you” letter, I e-mailed the interviewer.

Hello Mr./Ms. ___________,

I want you to thank you for your time and consideration of my applications and qualifications. I also want to ask your advice on any improvements you feel I may need to make me a better candidate in the future. How can I improve on resume, my interviewing, and my website (what would you add or take away from the website)? What could I pursue that will help me in the public relations field? I am eager to learn and advance in my future career. Any and all criticisms are needed and gratefully accepted. Thank you again for your time. I hope that ______________ has continued success in all its endeavors.

Interviewers find it impressive when interviewees e-mail after not being chosen for a position. I’m glad I did. The interviewer pointed out something on the ‘about this blog’ section of my website. It was worded in a way that could scare off employers. This is what a section of it stated:

“This blog will be about the ups and downs of the rise of my career in public relations. I will talk about the good, the bad, and the darn right ugly when it comes to my job search only. I’ll be as transparent as I can.”

An employer could take this as meaning I would disclose any information that I come across while being employed with them, including information about their clients. I would NEVER think of doing this. Why? I have common sense. Unfortunately, there are a lot of idiots out there who would do something like that. Because I know I wouldn’t do something like this, it didn’t come to my mind that I would have to say that. After re-reading it, I can see how someone would think that. Thanks to those who have disclosed information online that has put companies at risk, normal people have to cover every base and make sure people know what you mean. Here is what I changed it to:

“This blog will be about the ups and downs of the rise of my career in public relations. I’ll be as transparent as I can without affecting anyone. I will talk about the good, the bad, and the darn right ugly when it comes to my job search only. I will not disclose any information about any company I’m affiliated with nor its clients.”

This brings me to my next tip. If you do create a website such as mine, have a professional read your ‘about’ section to make sure that what you’re trying to say is understandable and that you have covered all necessary bases. I hope I have. I will ask others to look over my website for me to see if I have. Here’s a breakdown of what that paragraph means:

  • This blog will be about the ups and downs of the rise of my career in public relations — Meaning I will talk about my professional and educational goals, my experiences and what I’ve learned from them, and my mistakes (we all make them).
  • I’ll be as transparent as I can without affecting anyone – If I have a negative experience with company or person, I will not mention names. I also will not mention names of companies that I apply to until I am hired. If I do mention names, I will do so ONLY if I have consent from the company/person.
  • I will talk about the good, the bad, and the darn right ugly when it comes to my job search only – Finding a job isn’t easy. Most people know this as a fact. Others are either in denial or are just super unaware. I’m going to talk about my experiences as a recent grad, who is learning to survive the real world, looking for a job, and learning as much as I can as I go on.
  • I will not disclose any information about any company I’m affiliated with nor its clients – I pray to God that this is self explanatory.
I sincerely thank the person who brought this to my attention. If it weren’t for them, I would not be aware of an error I made. Normally, a person would get upset about this kind of thing and feel like the employer is belittling their intelligence. I know that the interviewer does not know me personally or my mental state. They have to be careful of things like this and not take chances. I understand that. I hope this helps someone as well. If you see anything else that raises a red flag, please e-mail me and bring it to my attention. I would be more than grateful.

Hold Your Pinkie High! 5 Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts

I have never taken an etiquette class. My school always offered them, but as much as I wanted to, I never went to a class. I encourage college students to attend one at least once. Believe it or not you will need to know how to eat properly at the table, that is, if you expect to work in corporate America. I didn’t think I would until I attended the 2011 PRAM conference. It was the first formal dinner I had ever been to. When I sat down this is what I saw:

*Scooby Doo gasp*

I didn’t show my perplexity on my face. I did what my mother always taught be: Be aware of your surroundings. I looked at what the professionals did before I did anything. Luckily, I came out of it without a scratch and with a lesson to spread to all. Here are five tips that will help you.

  1. DO place your napkin in your lap as soon as everyone else at the table is seated. When you wipe your mouth, wipe delicately. At the aforementioned conference dinner I attended, a student, who shall remain nameless, did not put her napkin in her lap when everyone was seated. I did so because the professionals that were seated with me did so. Next thing you know, a waiter comes by and puts it in her lap for her. Try to avoid this embarrassing moment so others won’t mentally shake their head at you.
  2. DON’T start eating until everyone else has been served.
  3. DO pass items such as butter, bread baskets, salad dressing, etc. to your right. When passing something with a handle, pass it with the handle facing the person as you would if you were handing someone a pair of scissors.
  4. DON’T allow your utensils to touch the table after they have been used. You will make a nasty mess around you and you don’t want to look like a messy eater.
  5. Finally, DO thank the food servers. I have worked in a restaurant before and there is nothing worse than serving ungrateful people. Be the person that gives them a reason to like their job.
I’m sure there are more do’s and don’ts, but these are things I have observed and what I feel are common sense. Below is the same diagram above, but with a legend of what each utensil is used for and when you should use it. This doesn’t mean that since you see this you shouldn’t attend an etiquette class. There’s nothing like real life experience. Bon appetite!

PRAM Writing Workshop for Professionals

The Pine Belt Chapter of PRAM, Public Relations Association of Mississippi, is having an Associated Press Style and Writing Workshop Tuesday August 9 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the campus of Jones County Junior College in Ellisville.  The workshop is open to all community members. The AP Style and Writing workshop is perfect for business professionals, journalists and journalism students, radio, television, and media representatives, non-profit workers, web designers, newspaper advisors, and more.

If the Lord says the same, I’m definitely planning on attending this. Registration in only $35! Hopefully I’ll be able to attend. As a PR professional, I will need to know how to write effectively. You can never learn too much in this profession. I’m seeking out as much information as I can that will make me an invaluable practitioner. If anyone is in the area, I hope to see you there. Early registration ends July 26.

Here’s the link: www.pinebeltpram.com

My First Phone Interview: How It Went and What I Learned

I received an exciting phone call Monday. It was a PR agency responding to my application to become their intern! I was way to excited. They wanted to have a phone interview with me, which was today. I did all the things that I know I’m supposed to: write down the answers to the common questions that interviewers ask you and have my own questions prepared. Yes, in an interview not only are they trying to learn about you, but you need to learn about them. Actually, you should research the company before hand because they will ask you “What do you know about our company?”

The interview went well. There were parts that I stumbled on. I was so focused on not saying “um,” especially at the beginning of a sentence. I don’t think that’s attractive. What did I stumble on? Well, it was enough to make me slap myself in the forehead. First, she asked me what my hobbies were. I wasn’t expecting that question. Out of the hundred job applications that I have filled out and the few interviews that I have been in pre-recent grad life, I have never been asked that question. I like that the interviewer asked that. It shows that they are interested in you as a person, not just an employee. Who wants to work with someone who’s boring? Well, I blanked and forgot what my hobbies were. I think i kept saying traveling which is a hobby of mine. In case you were wondering, I LOVE to read, I play the piano, and I blow in a flute (notice I didn’t say play. Long sad story). The next question that I stumbled on, which I advise you strive to do the opposite of what I did, was the question “What do you know about our company?”Now, I looked at their website for 30 minutes and wrote down all that I wanted to remember. Why when she asked I completely blanked? Don’t ask because your guess is as good as mine.

In the end, I’m confident that the answers that I gave were good enough to make up for that. Plus, I know that if I am meant to have this job, it’s already mine. I just pray about and put my confidence in the Lord that He’ll make up for what I messed up. The position is in Oklahoma. The good news is that’s my hometown (GO SOONERS),  and I have someplace to stay if I get accepted. All I need is the phone call, a time frame, and I will hit the road!

Here are some questions that I was asked so you can WRITE DOWN the answers you would give:

  • What are your hobbies?
  • What are your pet peeves?
  • What do you see in the future for this industry?
  • What made you want to go into PR? Did you study it all through college?
  • What other experiences in public relations that are non-academic?
  • Do you work well under pressure?
  • Do you prefer to work independently or with a team?

Here are the questions that I asked the interviewer:

  • What is your history with the company
  • What do you look for in an intern or employee?
  • How is the working environment at ________?
  • What do you like about your job?
  • What opportunities would be available to me in the future, if I were hired?
  • What is your advice on the best strategy for an incoming intern?
  • I see that ________ has a lot of achievements and I see recently in the news that the company did (event)? Is the company working towards other achievements or is it focusing on this event right now?

The answers to these question are highly beneficial you learn so much about the company and the person who is interviewing you. I wish I had remembered to ask the interviewer if there were any improvements that I could make on my resume, cover letter, and website. Make sure you add that to your list of questions.

What questions have you been asked? What questions do you ask interviewers? What mistakes did you make in an interview that we should all be warned about? Comment below and let us know!

PR: The Dream Job

I certainly found a treasure. I’m not even sure how I found this. I find a lot of things from just surfing the internet. Before checking the recent news articles (something I do before I go to bed and when I wake up in the morning), I found a website called the Levo League. The whole website screams awesome. Within the website I found their post entitled ‘Discover: Public Relations.’ Click the link and comment below telling me that you are just as excited as I am about working in the incredible field of PR. If you’re wondering, yes, I am excited about working 10-11 hours doing all the duties that will be expected of me. Aren’t you?

 

 

 

 

JOB SEEKERS BEWARE: FRAUDULENT JOB/E-MAIL ALERT

I received an e-mail today from a Bethany Crouch. Heard of her? Well, if you have I hope you did not respond to her e-mail in hopes that you finally have a job. She’s a dirty little gremlin who is causing unsuspecting, innocent job seekers to get their hopes up. If you have responded to her and given her information, your next step would be to contact your bank and get things fixed before it’s too late. If you have not, be on the lookout and delete the message as soon as you recognize it. Inform everyone that you know that is currently looking for a job and have put their info on CareerBuilder. The message reads as so:

Greetings,

After reviewing your resume posted at the CareerBuilder website, we feel that you are a good match for a Expedited Payment Analyst Vacancy in our company.

Our firm is an art promoting organization founded and located in United States. Guru Group LLC is dealing deals with communication services for art experts to the artists and owners.

The position we are offering is a part-time job, with a flexible schedule. You would spend on average 2-3 hours a day, Monday-Friday, telecommuting from the comfort of your home office.

NOTE: Internet access and e-mail are required.

Guru Group LLC covers all costs—there is no need to invest your own money.  This is not am MLM or pay-to-work scheme.

Once the employment contract is signed, you’ll be hired for an initial trial period of 30 days. During this time, you’ll receive all the necessary instructions and support from your supervisor. One week before the trial period ends, your supervisor will be making his or her decision, regarding whether your performance has been successful enough to offer full time employment.

During the trial period, you will be paid $2,300 per month. In addition, you’ll get 8% from each transaction processed. Total income, considering the current volume of customers, will be up to $4500 per month. After you successfully pass the probationary period, your base salary will be increased up to $3000 per month.

If you are interested in this job opportunity, or would like to learn more, please e-mail your updated contact information to: guru.group.bethany@gmail.com.

Regards,

Bethany Crouch
Guru Group LLC

I did not respond to the e-mail. I looked for the company on Google. I found this website http://www.thegurugroup.com/
On the website it had this message:
Public Service Announcement: If you received an email from Bethany Crouch, purporting to be associated with this website and offering you a payment processing job, do not respond to it. It is a scam. We are not affiliated with this person and we will not respond to email or phone calls regarding your dealings with her.

I thought the e-mail sounded sketchy. I IMMEDIATELY researched the company. I also informed Careerbuilder’s Trust and Site Security and gave them the above information.

Have you had an e-mail from a scammer promising a job with big bucks? Comment below and let us know!