Whether or not you’re going into the game industry, read these.
Last week, I got to take part in what I consider to be a privilege — I got to review work portfolios for graduating PR students from the University of Oregon. Think of it as a sort of job interview but without the looming threat that your interview might tank and you don’t get the job; instead, you get helpful feedback and tips from people experienced in the industry you’re entering. It was my fourth time participating in it and I always walk away impressed at how smart new graduates are. So, I wanted to share some tips for anyone else who might be graduating soon and preparing to head into the jungle of a job search. If you’re looking to join games PR, feel free to read Shawn’s blog post too … after this one, of course.
It may seem like common knowledge, but don’t forget to shake hands with the people you’re interviewing with. Make eye contact, smile, and do your best to stay cool even if you’re nervous as heck. Keep your voice confident and if you have a habit ending sentences with a high inflection (read: making a statement sound like a question), do your best to avoid that in the interview.
There’s no shortage of articles on what should be in a resume, so I’ll keep this simple. If you want a deeper article, you can read this one. My tips? Don’t forget to print out resumes for everyone you could possibly meet with, even if they have a digital version already. Make sure you have some measurable outcomes in your work experience. For example: if you saved your job money or made them money through an effort you implemented, tell me the amount and tell me why that’s considered impressive. Triple check your spelling, and if you have any doubts, have someone you know who’s good at editing review it.
This really should show off your best work. If you’re going into PR, I expect to see an understanding of traditional media as well as new media. In simple terms, this means giving me an example of a press release you wrote, a pitch sample, or some research you’ve done. New media examples would consist of a basic understanding of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, blog post writing, etc. and some sort of professional usage of it such as creating a monthly content calendar, SEO practices, and a general understanding of the writing and tone for the platforms. Here are some other tips for inspiration.
One Final Tip (Read This!)
The feedback portion of a portfolio review is a little different than what you might experience in a job interview, but I have to impress upon you this tip with all caps, bolding and underlining. THIS TIP IS IMPORTANT! Take a notepad to a job interview and take notes in it. Note anything helpful. Write down things you can refer to when you send a thank you note to the person later. You want people to remember their experience with you and this is a wonderful way to not forget everything, which can happen with all of the nerves of the interview process. It shows you’re engaged in a two-way conversation and shows you mean action when taking notes.
Got any additional tips for PR students graduating this year? Leave ‘em in the comments. If you want to connect with me, hit me on Twitter at @JesseRad. I’m always happy to answer any lingering questions you have.