By: Abbey Neely, Junior Public Relations major, Austin Peay State University
Trying to make it as a professional in the world of Communication can be incredibly cut-throat: you are constantly working with (and sometimes against) colleagues and other professionals in your field to produce the best product, represent the client in the best way possible, and so on, and because of this, you must always be looking for ways to better your image as a professional, and grasp the attention of future clients, employers and the like.
It has been my experience as a young adult transitioning into a career within the Communication field that there are many ways for a professional seeking connections, employment, clients, etc. to gain exposure and recognition. However, for the sake of this article, I think I have narrowed it down to three key items that can make or break you in your occupational life.
Number One: The Resume
We are told all of our college lives that we need to have resumes, and that we need to constantly be adding to and updating them, but I’m going to tell you again:
A resume can be the difference between landing an interview and bombing one. Period.
Your resume is essentially a snapshot of your life a professional. It lists your qualifications and experience; it gives that employer or that client someone to contact that will vouch for you as a successful and determined individual. Resumes can also tell someone a lot about who you are and how you work. You can tell if someone is organized, if their vocabulary and grammatical skills are up to par. Needless to say, if you show up to an interview or a client meeting with a bad resume or lack of one period, you might as well have stayed home.
Number Two: The Business Card
This one might not be as obvious to some people, but I have learned in my collegiate experience that you never know who you’re going to meet and connect with on a daily basis, and while we live in a very technology-orientated world, where most people just follow each other on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, having a business card that you can pass out to other professionals that you interact with at conferences, seminars, meetings or even at your local coffee shop sends the message that you are serious about your professional life and you want people to have something tangible to remember you by.
Number Three: Social Media Accounts
This piece has become more necessary in recent years as social media’s role in the Communication world has grown. As a professional seeking success in today’s markets, it is crucial that you have experience and are proficient in using various social media platforms (i.e., Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) However, just as it is important for you to know about these platforms, it is just as important to know the importance of using them in an appropriate professional manner. The Internet is forever, and as a result what you post on social media could forever have an impact on your professional life. So tweet and post away, just be careful what you say.
Above all, it is important as a professional to be yourself. Resumes and business cards, Twitter and Facebook accounts: they are all very important in becoming a successful professional. However, nothing is as important as finding what makes you who you are in your life and career and holding true to what you have chosen in life. That, combined with a stellar resume and a snazzy business card, and I guarantee you will experience success.