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PR PRofessional A Newsletter for entry-level PR job seekers

Spring 2014

Keeping An Open Mind For An Open Future By Kathryn Levine

variety of experience,” said Resau. “Focusing yourself in one area in college is not smart because you need to be a generalist.” Remaining flexible while searching for your future career is essential to varying your skills and knowledge. By doing this, you are making yourself a more valuable asset to employers and increasing your chances of getting placed in an entry-level position. Resau advises current public relations students and recent graduates to “keep things manageable, see what you like, see what you are good at, and be agile.”

Penn State alumni and VP of W2 Communications, Tom Resau, speaks to public relations students on March 19, 2014.

Many of today’s aspiring public relations representatives have tunnel vision towards a certain career path. However, Tom Resau, vice president of W2 Communications in Washington, D.C., broke that mold and advises that others follow in his footsteps.

Once you find the right fit for you, it is time to hone in on it and become an expert. Resau did just that when he accepted the position with W2 Communications, a technology public realtions agency that specializes in cyber security. He realized his interest in technology and went on to gain his masters in Management Information Systems (MIS). This eventually led to his position as a vice president of the company. “Find what you like, try a lot of things, and find what stirs those passions in you,” advises Resau. “If you can bring that kind of passion and knowledge to the table, that’s tremendous.

Always having dreamed of working on “the hill,” Resau believed his career path would take a political turn. After completing several internships on Capitol Hill his mind was, for the most part, made up.

In addition to finding your area of expertise, Resau stresses the importance of doing the proper reseasrch to efficiently get the message across to your target audience.

However, post graduation, Resau worked for a variety of companies and ultimately ended up working in cyber security, an industry in which he had no prior knowledge or experience.

Resau claims that quality is more important than quantity. He says sending out a few media pitches to the correct audiences is much more effective than sending out thousands of pitches to the wrong people.

“If I had it to do over again, I would have diversified my internships. I would have interned in many different organizations so that I could have gotten a wide

According to Resau, off-target, uncoordinated media outreach is counterproductive at best and decastating for credibility and reporter relationships at worst.

PR PRofessionals

The newfound power of a “power outfit” says it all By Kathryn Levine When it comes to interview attire, it is no longer about the “power suit.” Interviewers are now looking for a “power outfit” that brings out the most confidence in their prospective employees.

While you should work to fit the mold of the company, it is necessary to remain comfortable in your own skin. A “power outfit” is something you look and feel your best in, which is likely to lead to a successful interview.

Brenda Ferguson Hodges, a California-based image consultant and career coach, explains how the first 30 seconds of your interview are where first impressions are made.

In addition, the fit of your outfit is important. You want to find a middle ground between looking like you are going to the club and looking like you just rolled out of bed.

“Appearance affects hiring decisions and plays a major role,” said Hodges. “Hiring managers need to be able to visualize you in that position they are trying to fill.”

Finding a suit that is perfectly tailored to your body will aspire comfort and confidence. This new, self-assured demeanor will resonate with your potential employer and could land you the job you have always wanted.

There are several universal rules regarding appearance and attire in interview settings. When it comes to your outfit or your makeup, it is encouraged to keep it simple and conservative. Dark hues are suggested for suits and accessories, such as tote bags, while makeup should be subtle and hair should always be well groomed.

“The most important thing you bring to an interview is confidence. What you wear and how you wear it helps convey that,” said Williams. “If you aren’t comfortable in your outfit – that will come across in an interview.”

Several years ago these rules were much more strict and conservative, but the workplace has evolved, and so has its dress code. Now employers and experts are encouraging interviewees to customize and adapt their appearance to fit the mold of a company. Being able to accommodate your wardrobe to the company’s style will help you to stand out among your competition. “It’s imperative to check out the office attire prior to showing up for the interview. It’s another bit of research that you can arm yourself with to give you an edge,” said Linked-In’s career expert Nicole Williams. “If everyone at the office is wearing shorts and a T-Shirt and you arrive in a three-piece dark suit, you’ll be out of place and won’t fit in. Half the battle in interviewing is proving that you belong and can be part of the team.” Page 2

Marcia Smith reviews Kate Myer’s online portfolio during a job interview.

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