IABC offers a great starting point for career planning given our eclectic mix of communication disciplines – corporate communication, public relations, employee communication, marketing communication, media relations, community relations, public affairs, financial communications and government relations.
What do you need to know to achieve the next level in your career? Investigate resources for the professional communicator, then use IABC’s Communicator Competency Model checklist to determine where you stand – and where you want to be.
These additional links to articles and useful websites can be helpful whether you’re in the job market or currently employed:
Increase Your Visibility
Inside your company, you can increase your visibility by volunteering for a project or task force. Outside your company, you might use your communication skills to benefit an organization of interest to you. For maximum impact, add this experience to your resume as “community service” rather than “volunteering.” IABC/Chicago itself can offer great professional development opportunities, or you might simply network at IABC/Chicago meetings. You also should use technology to leverage your face-to-face contacts. How to prioritize:
LinkedIn bills itself as the largest professional networking site, and appeals as such to communication professionals who would prefer to save the purely “social” part of their networking for Facebook and Twitter. You definitely should build a robust LinkedIn profile with at least three recommendations and a list of all your professional skills in the “specialties” section – this info helps recruiters find you and pulls your LinkedIn profile to the top when you Google your own name. Don’t forget a professional photo of yourself.
ZoomInfo is notoriously inaccurate, but some recruiters use it to find candidates and fact-check resumes. Make sure your info is correct and up to date.
Don’t just “wow” them in person – showcase your expertise online. Join LinkedIn interest groups (such as IABC and Public Relations and Communications Professionals) and add your unique insights to the dialog.
And don’t forget, volunteering can help build a network.
The more you know, the easier it is to take charge of your career. Don’t let an unexpected layoff or a spouse’s relocation leave you “naked” without a knock-‘em-dead resume and elevator pitch ready to go. These articles and web sites will help.
Five tips to help you succeed as a communications professional (CW, November 2014)
CareerJournal.com (Wall Street Journal) focuses on news and trends
Career Advice (MarketingLadder.com) and Vault.com cover the nuts-and-bolts, such as resumes and interview tips. You won’t need a professional writer to draft your resume but you definitely should have colleagues critique it before sending it out, with an emphasis on people who have recently been in the job market.
Assess Your Strengths and Hot Buttons (video 3:28) is self-explanatory.
Your Two-Minute Pitch will help you succinctly tell your career story.
IABC/Chicago sponsors provide members many benefits:
PR Toolkit by PR Newswire
Browse PR Newswire’s complimentary PR Toolkit for press release and news feature writing and formatting advice, tips on photo use, FAQs and pricing information. PR Newswire can maximize your visibility by getting your press releases in front of the right customers, investors and media. By signing up to PR Newswire through the PR Toolkit, IABC/Chicago members can receive a complimentary 12-month membership and discounts on PR Newswire services.
Job Hunting Resources
IABC’s Job Centre has some of the best communication jobs around the country – and we’re not just saying it because it’s IABC. Some employers advertise “ABC Preferred” to find well-rounded accredited business communicators.
Big job boards like Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com advertise lots of jobs but you’re competing for attention with thousands of resumes. Try smaller, more specialized job boards like MarketingLadder.com and Job of the Week – or site aggregators like Indeed.com or ZipRecruiter.
Many jobs are never advertised. How can you find them? Check out the company profile pages on LinkedIn as a start.
And while you might be seeking that full-time dream job, remember that recessions have led many communicators to find fulfillment in freelancing – and the realization that they never, ever, ever want to work for someone else. Check out four tips for considering a freelance career; your career story; the National Association for the Self-Employed, the U.S. Small Business Association; Entrepreneur.com, SCORE, My Own Business, and America’s Small Business Development Center Network.
Remember, your career is more important to you than to anyone else. Put it at the top of your to-do list along with IABC resources and opportunities.