The Job Search – Tara Wood

October 31, 2006 at 2:46 am 7 comments

It is never easy to look for a new job. It takes a lot of time, effort, hope and disappointment… and let’s not forget blood, sweat and tears! Just trying to find work is hard work in itself. As post-graduate students all hoping to get our hands on a job in PR we could all use some help starting the job search.

I did some research on what kinds of tools and techniques work best for those of us looking for careers in communications. The information I came across wasn’t all that shocking since there are some universal truths involved in job searching. I realized, however, that identifying what techniques to use and what tools are available helps make sure you’re job search is heading in an effective direction.

An important technique to use is self-assessment. This happens BEFORE you actually go out and start looking. The job search tools that help you conduct a self assessment include online / print surveys as well as career coaches or counsellors. This step narrows down your search for you by clarifying what your strengths and interests are so that you don’t waste time researching and applying for jobs you either don’t suit or just don’t want.

And speaking of research, gaining background information about an employer or a position is the next step in the job search. Using your self-assessment, you can now research different organizations to try and pair yourself to a suitable placement. This research also becomes an invaluable tool when you are preparing for an interview.

Once you’ve narrowed down your search and identified specificly the right placement for you, it is VERY important that you edit and edit and edit your resume and cover letter. In most cases this IS your link to a potential employer. Never underestimates its power! With one innocent little typo you can very easily be sifted out of the pile and never again considered for a position.

Now, once you’ve taken care of all that, you need to start looking for the right job. This step involves taking advantage of all the tools that are out there including:

– Classifieds

– Career Fairs / Events

– Staffing Agencies / Temp Firms

– Recruiters

– Government Employment Offices

– Internships

– Job Search Sites
(which are really where the jobs are coming up the fastest and I would suggest becoming intimately familiar with this job search tool)

– And most importantly… NETWORKING

I wish I could say that it all just flows from there, but as far as the job search process goes it never stops being a challenge. By making sure to use as many tools as you can it will make the search easier. There are many resources available and I could list them for days and days. The most important thing though (which was highlighted consistently throughout the material I read through) is to never give up. Persistence does pay off. Remember that the jobs are out there for you to find – So go get them!

shaking hands

  • Make sure to check out the Career Resources section on the IABC website. It is very user friendly and it provides significant info for PR job seekers!

IABC Job Seekers

  • Also take a look at the following links to help motivate you in your search and to keep you optimistic.

Advice from PR Leaders for the Class of 2006

Jobs Are Out There so Don’t Panic

Edited by: Rebecca Ford


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Transnational Companies “Netiquette & the Electronic Era”

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jamie Gill  |  October 31, 2006 at 9:41 pm

    Hello Tara,

    I just read your posting for this assignment. All your information seems very accurate and it shows you researched well. I agree with all the stuff you mentioned about jobs. I do believe self-assessment is important, as well as Networking.

    Just from taking Emerging Business Technologies, Writing for PR and Intro to PR, networking has come up at least once in the lectures or discussions. Hence, from Networking being brought up in 3 classes in our program, shows networking is very important.

    The list you made on where to get jobs, I am glad you put that up, it makes people aware of where to start looking for jobs.

    Good Work
    Jamie Gill

  • 2. prclass  |  November 1, 2006 at 7:38 pm

    Hello Tara and Jamie

    Yes networking is important to the communications or any profession. We need to keep in mind that there are foundational skill sets and talents that are necessary across most communication jobs: writing, strategic thinking and planning, presentations, and having a consistent framework or mode of work behaviour – the soft skills.

    One of the quotes in Tara’s link struck me as relating to this course:

    “Jeffrey Zack, senior manager, crisis communications, national public relations at Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, New York: As a PR professional, whether you work in-house or for an agency, you will be an advocate for your company or your clients. It’s an occupational hazard that PR people can become myopic, one- dimensional or, worst of all, chirpy as they further the business interests of the people they work for. Don’t let it happen. To be successful in their careers, communicators must earn the trust and confidence of senior executives. In a complex world, specialization is important. But having a broader perspective – seeing the bigger picture – will enable you to connect the dots, be more creative, have greater influence, get better results and have more fun. And view yourself as a work in progress who still has much to learn.”

    Open eyes and ears, reading the traditional press and the new social media, and even reading literature are important to communicators developing communication abilities and having knowledge and evidence for supporting communication decisions.

    A few people have commented on the reliability/unreliability of certain sources. Academic journals codify information, but often new ideas are occurring in unresearched, or little researched, situations. Sometimes experiential knowledge should be trusted even if it has not reached the codified stance. As long as people follow the “general knowledge in a field” concept when researching through non-traditional sources, or people realize they might be out on a limb and are acting by instinct on trusting non-research related resources but are willing to do so, then they have probably weighed and considered whether to use such knowledge.

    When you can use trusted measurable research do so. When you choose to use unfiltered research, know why you made that choice and be sure that your intended benefits out weigh the potential risk.


  • 3. prclass  |  November 2, 2006 at 12:13 am

    Hello Tara!

    I really enjoyed the way your blog is layed out. It is well written and factual with links to very informative website’s that have boosted my hopes of finding that perfect job for me after graduation in April.
    I am overwhelmed with feelings of both excitement and nervousness when I think of diving into the PR world. I have a plan to move to the big city of Toronto and scour the city in search of my perfect job! I may have to support myself with a bartending job until I find my perfect job, but hey, at least I have a plan to fall back on right? In the meantime I’ll take you’re advice and network, network and maybe do some more networking!
    In conclusion Tara, I think you have a great talent for working with people. I have worked in a group with you and can easily say that you’re a great student and team player and I know there’s a great job out there for you too!
    Thanks for the encouraging blog with great tips. I know I will most definately be using your tips and guides when I take off to find my dream job in TO.

    Cheers Girl!
    Alison Katelan Geraghty

  • 4. prclass  |  November 3, 2006 at 12:30 am

    Hey Tara,
    Great blog. You really laid out the foundation of job seeking.
    Many people make the mistake of not doing a self-assessment or not researching probible employers. I feel that many people should read your blog so they are not stiving for careers that don’t suit them.
    Networking, networking, networking….. We need that drilled into our heads. It’s who you know and not necessarily what you know in our business.
    Awsome job!!! you really showed soon-to-be graduates the basic outline of what we need to do to start our job hunt 🙂

    Monica Charron

  • 5. prclass  |  November 6, 2006 at 12:38 am

    Hey Tara, I really enjoyed reading your blog, it really put down the foundation for what many of us will be doing in a matter of months! I liked how your stressed the importance of reaserch, it is something I belive is easily forgotten.

  • 6. Tara  |  November 6, 2006 at 2:15 am

    Hey everyone!
    Thank you for all of the positive feedback!

    Research, networking and a broad perspective are the topics which have been highlighted in response to this blog. What I think is interesting about these areas is that they seem fairly basic and obvious in relation to the job search process. All too often, though, they are pushed asside or assumed.

    It sounds like a lot of you are feeling fairly positive and / or optimisitc about job searching in the PR field. I was hoping that this topic would do that for you. When I chose this topic Dana said “That’s somehting the whole class can benefit from” and hopefully you all are!


  • 7. prclass  |  November 9, 2006 at 8:49 pm


    I’m so jealous that I didn’t get this topic! You researched it very well and I agree on all your points about the different ways on looking for a job. This is something that I can definitely take into consideration when I graduate!

    Good Job!

    Jen C


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