Three Tips for Landing Your First Job Using Facebook

Three tipsFor those of you just entering the work force after graduating from college – first and foremost – congrats on graduating! It’s an exciting time to begin a new chapter and take new leaps of faith. It can also be daunting at times, with the vast number of options available to you as you begin your job search.

For those who take advantage of internships, you can utilize what you learn to help you narrow down what you might be interested in – agency vs. internal, corporate vs. non-profit, etc. And for a lucky few, these internships could lead to a full-time position post-graduation.

For others, we’re left with the boundless listings on job search sites such as Monster, Indeed or Media Bistro, among others. A tool that is often times forgotten or untapped, however, is Facebook. While it might seem silly, it actually works. I found my current job from a post on Facebook. To help guide you in using this platform in your job search, here are three tips.

Maintain your public profile

While many will recommend you immediately change your privacy settings the day you graduate, it can work to your advantage to leave your profiles public. An employer can get a sense of who you are, your interests, and how you would fit in with the company. Additionally, you can amp up your presence by promoting your blog (if you have one) or further demonstrate how you stay on top of current trends with your status updates. Be sure to be authentic and genuine about this.

But that also means you must be aware of what photos are tagged of you, what your friends post on your wall, etc. Bear that in mind if you do decide to keep your profile public.

Identify what you “Like.”

By going through and finding companies on Facebook, and liking their business pages, you can stay up-to-date on what’s going on in the office, the culture, and what clients they handle (if it’s an agency).

Most companies – especially PR agencies – will share when they are looking to fill a new position. If you already decided to follow them, you’ll be able to save the time you would spend deciding whether or not you would be a good fit for the company if you found the job listing elsewhere online.


While you shouldn’t like every post that the company shares (this comes off as spam-my and frankly, annoying), by engaging with the company through likes and quality comments in moderation, they are more likely to recognize your name when your résumé hits their inbox.

At the end of the day, social media is a large part of a PR professional’s job description. What better way to get your foot in the door with your dream employer than starting a relationship on Facebook?

Have a tip on how to land your first job using Facebook? Share with us below!

Shandi HuberShandi Huber is a senior account executive at Wordsworth Communications, a public relations agency in Cincinnati, Ohio. An enthusiast for all social media platforms, you can often find her pinning her dream closet on Pinterest or posting photos of her new puppy on Instagram. Connect with Shandi on LinkedIn and Twitter (@shandihuber).

Three Ways to Keep on Your Game During the Job Hunt

3Graduation time is here, but what do you do if you haven’t lined up your first full-time job in the field? Don’t panic; you’re not alone. According to, it could take between three and nine months for a new graduate to find employment in his/her industry. Here are some ways to keep your skills sharp while you look for work.

Write. A lot.

Top-notch writing skills are a must in the competitive PR job market. The more often you practice your writing and editing, the more of an advantage you have over other candidates. Start a blog with a free service like WordPress or Blogger and write as often as you can (Tip: Keep the subject matter PG since a potential employer could see it.).

There are several resources online and via social media you can use to answer questions about grammar and style. Check out Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty on Her blog has tons of great tips to turn any writer into a pro. Also, follow The AP Style Book on Twitter. The guide is updated every spring, and it is a good idea to stay on top of the changes.

Utilize PRSA and its resources.

Sure. Maybe it’s a shameless plug, but membership in the PRSA provides you with some priceless resources – and most of them are literally priceless. While you’re job hunting, keep learning by participating in any one of the hundreds of free webinars available to you as a member. You can register for upcoming live webinars or browse the years of archived trainings available on demand.

In addition to the webinars, has an extensive job center with new listings added each day. You can find articles on prepping your resume, interviewing techniques, and PR salary standards. You can take a career assessment to find out what job you’re best suited for. PRSA even offers a mentor match service so you can find a veteran in the field to act as your guide and sounding board.

Stay active in your community.

There is no such thing as too much networking. Many metropolitan areas have networking groups for young professionals to stay connected to one another to build relationships and reputations in the community. Join one of these organizations and participate in as many activities as you can. The connections you make through this avenue may very well lead to the full-time job you’re looking for.

While you’re not working full time, take this opportunity to volunteer in your community. Pick an organization that you admire and offer your services, whether it is related to public relations or filing and answering phones. Most non-profits won’t turn down the offer of free assistance. You’re getting the opportunity to use your skills or learn something new while they get to see how hard you work. When a full-time position comes open, you’ll be at the top of their list.

Jennifer MaterkoskiJennifer Materkoski is a graduate of Kent State University with a Master of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications with a specialization in Public Relations. She has worked as a writer and editor for both newspaper and television and as a member of a non-profit marketing and development team. Materkoski is the owner and principal consultant of a boutique public relations firm, Songbird Public Relations. She is an avid sports fan, a yogi and also owns and operates an online store selling essential oils and natural products. Materkoski resides in Wheeling, West Virginia with her husband and son. Find her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter @MrsMaterkoski. She can be reached via email at


The 3 Best Nuggets of Wisdom from Graduation

DID YOU KNOW (1)It’s graduation season again, which for many of us new PR pros, brings back nostalgic memories of communication classes, senior year internships and fun weekends with college friends. While it’s easy to get caught up in our busy list of client deliverables and hectic calendar, it’s important to take a step back from the grind to gain perspective from those who are more accomplished and seasoned.

The following graduation speeches resonate with me, even as a young professional, and include many nuggets of wisdom applicable to PR pros.

1. Maria Shriver, University of Southern California’s Annenberg School, Commencement Ceremony 2012

“I hope if you learn anything from me today…you remember the power of the pause. Pausing today and throughout your entire life allows you to take a breath…to take a beat…to be in the moment. As everybody else is running around out there like a lunatic, I dare you to do the opposite.”

This speech is fantastic, and tailored specifically to communication professionals-to-be. Shriver talks about our world’s obsession with the next thing, and failure to enjoy the present. PR pros are by nature, fast-moving, outcome-driven individuals.

While ambition and a forward-thinking mindset set you up for success, mindfulness is so important in both our personal and professional lives. If you don’t pause to enjoy the present, you will burn out, and run through your life and career in a daze. It’s important to structure your time to create room for pausing.

Stop obsessing about your next project, client, or promotion, and just enjoy where you are at the moment. There’s a quote that I love, “Wherever you are, be all there” (Jim Elliot). Put down your phone, turn off email for the night, log out of social media – and enjoy your present.

2. Sutton Foster, Ball State University Commencement, 2012

“No job should be too small for you. Say yes. Get coffee for people, run errands, make an impression as a hard worker, someone who is willing…and when the opportunity arises for you to show people what you got, show ‘em. Who knows what can happen.”

Great advice for new PR pros. Entry-level PR work isn’t always the most glamorous or fun, despite what non-PR pros believe. Within your first year at a PR job, you will likely need to act as a photographer’s assistant at an event, jotting down names. You will spend hours researching media lists, and completing basic research in general. You may even need to wear a client mascot costume at a media event.

By volunteering to do the grunt work that no one else wants to do, and stepping in as a team player, your coworkers will appreciate you, and it will ultimately advance you more quickly. Working hard and being kind does make a difference, and it’s easy enough to put into practice at work.

3. Judy Smith – Boston University College of Communication Convocation 

I’m a bit biased here – this was my College of Communication graduation speech. It’s not the most polished speech, but it spoke to me two years ago as a fresh college grad, and speaks to me today as a PR new pro.

Smith’s first piece of advice is, “Be prepared…you don’t really know when opportunity is going to appear.” Simple, but so true. Two years ago, I wouldn’t have thought I would be where I am today. Almost all of my friends would say the same for their careers. Seizing opportunity and readjusting plans accordingly is such an important skill.

Smith also advises, “You’re going to make mistakes. Learn from them; don’t feel like you have to know it all.” New PR pros are motivated and hardworking, but have a lot to learn. I hate making mistakes, and take great care to avoid them. But I’ve grown the most professionally from the few mistakes I have made in my career. Own up to your mistakes, and grow from them. Hopefully, like me, you are in a work environment that embraces this mentality and supports you as you grow professionally.

If you’re looking for more grad speech inspiration, NPR has curated the best commencement speeches here – you can search by themes, speaker name, school or year.

Do you have a favorite grad speech, or applicable words of wisdom? Comment below!

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 11.23.51 PMLauren Leger graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in communication, concentrating in public relations. She started her career while still in college at Boston-based PR firm, Zazil Media Group. Lauren relocated to Dallas, Texas in fall of 2014 and began working at The Power Group as a PR account executive. She recently took on a new role as Power’s manager of digital strategy, where she brings her PR expertise to the digital realm of the business. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Staying Competitive During the Job Hunt

Did You KnowThe process of applying for jobs can be overwhelming whether you’re a recent college graduate or a professional transitioning to a new role in an entirely different industry. As a college senior, it was very easy to feel defeated after applying to a number of jobs and not receiving positive feedback from the other end.

Juggling work as a full-time student, intern and hunting for a post-grad job was stressful. However, I eventually saw the light at the end of the tunnel when I received my job offer, and realized that my motivation stemmed from a deep understanding of my goals and maintaining my drive. Although applying for jobs can be a dreaded task, there are several strategies you can keep yourself competitive and motivated during the search:

1. Continue Gaining Experience. If you’re not employed while seeking a new position, it can be difficult for employers and recruiters to gain a serious interest in you. As frustrating as it sounds, you oftentimes need experience to gain experience. In order to practice the skills required for your dream job and continuing to build your resume, think about volunteering or interning while applying to jobs.

Volunteering for a non-profit whose cause you are genuinely passionate about is a great starting point to apply your skills. Interning for a startup or small consulting group in addition to guest blogging on relevant topics can also provide relevant experience.

2. Learn New Skills. For some candidates, transitioning to a completely different industry presents a challenge of proving to a recruiter or hiring manager that you have the right skill set to meet their needs. To overcome this, take advantage of workshops, seminars and boot camps that provide immersive crash courses in your field of interest. Check out free resources such as blogs, LinkedIn publications and online journals as well.

For more technical skill building, it’s helpful to watch videos either on YouTube or other subscription-based services. By showing that you’re committed to immersing yourself in a new industry, hiring managers will have a better chance of seeing you as a competitive candidate.

3. Stay Inspired. Like millions of people out there in the world, I have a list of ten dream companies that I hope to work for in my lifetime. From this list, I search for the roles I’m interested in at each company, and then do a bit of research on LinkedIn regarding the people who are in that particular department and the experience and skills needed for the position.

This effort truly motivates me to continue working towards my ultimate “dream job”. This could also potentially develop great leads and introductions via LinkedIn with people you would like to have informational interviews with to discuss your interests.

4. Network and Make New Contacts. Using referrals and connections is a great way to get your foot in the door of a company and get a chance at landing an interview. If you don’t have a wide network of contacts or are trying to gain contacts in a new industry, you can utilize LinkedIn, personal relationships and networking events to start building your connections.

On LinkedIn, you’re able to showcase your achievements and experience and reach out to the recruiters and directors of the department at the company you’re interested in. Here, you have the chance to introduce yourself and also ask for advice on how someone got to where they are now. Don’t forget to take it offline, though. Networking events, informational interviews and career fairs are great resources to make a personal connection with recruiters.

5. Set Measurable Goals. Project management can definitely apply to the process of applying for jobs. Organization, prioritization and time management are key to staying sane in this process. These elements all aid in the tracking of applications and interviews you have lined up.

With other tasks outside of only applying for jobs, it is important to set measurable goals. For example, it can be a very realistic goal to apply to three to five jobs a week depending on your other priorities, while dedicating the rest of your free time to attending networking events and learning new skills. Setting these reachable goals also prevent you from getting burnt out. Rather than doing too much to the point that you get discouraged, it’s beneficial to pace yourself especially in a stressful time like finding a new job.

What else have you done when applying for a new job? 

Jenelle YeeJenelle Yee graduated from the University of Nevada with a bachelor’s degree in finance. Upon completing her degree, she relocated to Austin, Texas for a role in internal audit at a technology company. She has written pieces for Intern Queen Inc. and Lauren Berger Inc., providing career and internship advice to young professionals.

Eight Ways to Transition to the “Real” World

IN TO THEFor many soon-to-be young professionals, the most highly anticipated (and somewhat dreaded) day of their scholastic career is quickly approaching. The weeks leading up to graduation are a blur. Between finals, awards ceremonies and saying, “goodbyes,” to friends, there is hardly any time to fully process what is going on.

Whether you plan on continuing your education, traveling or entering the workforce after graduation, the so-called “real” world is no longer a distant rumor. So, how do you move on from the cram sessions and grow accustomed to this new chapter?

I reached out to some fellow recent graduates, and we put our heads together to identify the best ways to ease the transformation from being a college student to a young professional.

1. Embrace Your Free Time. One of the greatest things about graduating is that you no longer have homework. Suddenly, you have more free time than you know what to do with. Use it wisely. Revisit old hobbies. Take on new hobbies. Get a Netflix account.

2. Everyone Transitions Differently. Keep in mind that goals take time, and everyone lands in a different place after graduation (Click to Tweet!).Avoid comparing yourself to what your friends are doing or where you think you should be by now.

3. Shake it off. You will make mistakes. It’s the only way to learn. Own it. Tell your supervisor. Find a solution, and move on. Chances are you won’t make that mistake again.

4. Get Involved. After college, I started coaching a softball team. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I wanted to do something to immerse myself in the community. I have learned more about myself as a leader, and I am having so much fun in the process. Enjoying activities outside of work also helps you to live a more balanced life.

5. Take Advantage of Opportunities. Many employers offer great programs and benefits to help you develop as a professional and grow with the company. I’ve found mentorship programs, in particular, to be invaluable.

6. Be an Expert at Something. As you become more comfortable with your work as a public relations professional, start thinking about what interests you the most. Then, make it your mission to get really good at it.

7. Join an Industry Organization and Stick With It. Organizations like the Public Relations Society of America allow you to meet leaders in your field and learn from them. They give you a chance to practice your craft outside of work. Industry groups are also a great way to start building your professional network.

8. Hang Onto Your Inner College Kid. The college lifestyle doesn’t necessarily have to end when college does. When nostalgia sinks in, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a bowl of ramen and catching up with your buddies from school.

It’s not easy to adjust to an entirely new lifestyle after college, but these pointers have helped me transition to the “real” world. Do you have additional tips and tricks for recent grads this spring? Leave them in the comments section!

Callie TurgeonCallie Turgeon graduated from Gonzaga University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations, with a concentration in promotions and entrepreneurial leadership. She is currently an account associate at MSLGROUP, where she works mostly with commodity food accounts. Connect with her on LinkedIn.