Besides giving our students the tools and resources to succeed in the workplace, we have to make sure our students are aware of what are some of the challenges and obstacles they need to be addressed.  These are not only things that need to be shared with undergraduate students, but also with graduate and PhD students.

So, what are some things to be aware of if you are a student (undergraduate, graduate, or PhD) about the job market?  Or, what are some activities I need to be prepared for and what I can do now?  Here are just a few elements to consider and think about.

  • Interviews: Interviews are one of steps that students, undergraduate and graduate, for getting a job.  Students not only have to be prepared for all types of interviews:  one-on-one, one-to-many, and even Skype interviews. Do mock interviews for all situations so you are prepared for the real one.
  • Social Media: You have to not only think about social media in terms of managing your own reputation online, but you have to think about the various ways you can be creative to get the attention of potential employers. There are some amazing examples of what others have done to try to get an internship/position in the workplace, but there are some things students who are looking at research/academic positions can takeaway for inspiration as well. Here are some other tips to consider as well.
  • Presentations: In some cases, you have to possibly present on a topic in a classroom or even present your own research, or even a campaign you lead or were part of from your previous internship/job.  You have to determine what is your time frame, what are the expectations for you in terms of documents to bring with you for the presentation, and how much time you have for the presentation.
  • Online presence and influence: Be aware of what others are saying about you and what other sites like Klout/Kred are saying you are influential in. These sites serve as a guide for you – but you may not want to primarily focus only on these scores – but instead use these to help you engage others online with your blog, Twitter, Pinterest, FB, and other sites to share articles and information/updates related to these topics. This goes across all students as well – even in the PhD – especially if the areas you are marketing for are in social media or emerging technologies.
  • Doing your research:  Look at the culture within the agency, university, and other organization to determine if this would be the right fit.  The environment you are working in will help you be productive and effective in your work, so this is important.  Other research can come from looking at various job listings as well as guides like Mashable has produced to help out young professionals. Formulate also your talking points – know your strengths, share your experiences in the field, and know how you are different compared to the other job candidates. In addition, for academic jobs, know who has done research at your university in social media or the field you are in.  The Institute of Public Relations just launched their Social Media Research Center, so this would be a good starting point.
  • Showing your personality and proper etiquette:  Saying thank you with a handwritten letter, acknowledge and thank others for kind comments via social media, listen and be transparent in conversations, and modesty is a wonderful trait.

These are just a few things to think about.  Looking for a job right now in a tough economy is going to be challenging – you may need to be persistent and work hard at this every day.  It may take some time and effort, but it will be worthwhile in end. I wish you all the very best!

Have a great day!

Best Wishes.