If your child is a recent college graduate with a degree in communications or media, you may be worried about the weak economy and how it will affect your grad's job search. People seeking entry-level work in television, radio, public relations, and other communications fields have to contend with stiff competition and a tradition of unpaid or low-paying internships. Workers in their early twenties may need to rethink their social media presences and learn more networking skills as well as taking time to review resume tips to help them land gigs in this competitive industry.
Unpaid internships are a controversial but longstanding tradition in the communications sector. If you can't afford to fund your child's stint as an unpaid intern, why not consider talking to his or her university? Some colleges offer funding for students who want to take advantage of an unpaid career opportunity as part of a job search. If that isn't an option, consider part-time or seasonal internships. Because of the competitiveness of the media sector, your grad should be prepared to start at the bottom—job seekers who aren't willing to do menial tasks as they work their way up the corporate ladder will have a hard time getting a foot in the door.
Recent grads entering the job market also must contend with the influence of social media. Tools like Facebook and Twitter can make or break your child's job search and must be managed to project the right impression. In the media sector, distinctive personalities with a creative flair are often in high demand, so it's important that your grad's online presence shows uniqueness and an innovative spirit. Pictures or status updates that show your child in a poor light—for example, pictures of wild parties or any immature comments that could make employers lose interest—should be removed or hidden.
Job search fundamentals are especially important in the highly competitive media field. Applicants should observe interview basics such as the importance of a confident handshake, making eye contact, and punctuality. Interview attire should be tailored to the company but always be neat, clean, and presentable. Prepare your child to answer interview questions completely, rather than with one-word responses. He or she should also be prepared to ask questions about the position and demonstrate knowledge of the company's culture, focus, and history. Since just about any media company will post this information online, demonstrating awareness of the company is vital to show both initiative and Web savvy. Resume tips and cover letter templates can be found in most word processing software and on many employment websites. Those seeking media jobs should make sure that their materials reflect their personalities and are distinctive.
Any job search in a difficult economy is a challenge, especially for a recent college graduate. Fortunately, opportunities do exist for those who are willing to put in the effort. Competitive industries such as media and communications require applicants to show creativity and initiative to get noticed, and performing well during an interview is crucial to getting hired. A thorough evaluation of your grad's social media presence is also an important part of any job search—especially for those seeking work in public relations.
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