In this interview, the conversation centers around the job hunt and what to do during the search process. Our featured guest is Mary Rogus. Professor Rogus will discuss the elevator pitch, as well as the power of networking. She is currently a professor in the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University. Follow Professor Rogus on Twitter!
1/12/15 – Interviewed By Scott Proietti
1. How important is it to have confidence during your job hunt?
MR: Absolutely vital! If you don’t have confidence in your abilities to do a job, why should anyone else? Any job search is basically a marketing process—you are selling yourself. Does any product or service trying to sell itself waffle about its ability to meet your needs or its attributes? Of course not.
2. What should a job seeker include in his or her elevator pitch?
I believe the elevator pitch needs to be focused on exactly what the employer’s needs are for this job and how your skills/abilities/background meets those needs. Do your homework and choose 2-3 points in your background that are right on target for the job.
3. What would be your best piece of advice to any person struggling to find work?
If you are struggling to find a job, it may be that you’re searching in too narrow a field or too narrow a job description. Too often people underestimate the value of their skills and abilities to other fields. For example, in the Scripps School of Journalism we tend to focus students job searches as reporters, editors, producers, and other journalism jobs. But these students have excellent communication skills, written and oral, and those skills make them qualified for jobs in many fields, outside of the journalism field.
4. How can a job seeker use the power of networking to increase his or her chances of finding a job?
Networking is only valuable if it is regularly pursued and maintained. But those students who I have seen actively network (and that means not only meeting people, but following up with emails and phone calls to develop relationships) have absolutely been successful in increasing their job opportunities upon graduation. To really parlay networking into job opportunities you have to get your work in front of those you network with. When meeting someone who could be a job or internship contact in the future ask for a business card. Then ask if you could send him/her samples of your work. Finally, comes that follow-up by sending work samples and request for feedback. Keeping an ongoing communication with those resources who provide good feedback by touching base every six or seven months with updates on what you’re doing a new work sample or two for critique.
5. In your opinion, what are the best methods to schedule and effectively manage your time, either in the workplace or during a job hunt?
First, it’s important to remember that a job hunt is like a full-time job. You should research every job you apply for and customize your cover letter/introduction email to that job. All of that takes time, and you set aside time to do it, every week if you’re actively searching. Just as you have time scheduled for classes or work, you need regularly scheduled job search time. Everyone develops their own tools to keep their schedule, but the important thing is to have a schedule and stick to it. Make sure there’s personal time in that schedule too—you have to eat, sleep, and relax if you’re going to be at your best during the job hunt or work.