By: Abby Cousineau
Summer is my favorite time of the year, not just because school is out and the weather is great, but simply because I have more time to relax and focus on myself. The best part of summer is that I actually have the motivation (thanks sunshine) and the time to accomplish my personal goals. This summer, I have my usual goals of getting out to the beach and camping as much as I possibly can, but I also plan on improving myself as a professional. Here are a few of the things I plan on doing before the busy fall semester arrives.
- Rewrite my resume.
You and I may not be so different…perhaps you also have an outdated resume, which hasn’t been touched since the prime of your freshman year. With some of my free time this summer I plan on editing the heck out of this piece of paper, and hopefully by the fall, I will have a product that actually resembles a current version of myself. Your resume is most likely the first impression you give to future employers, so it’s important that it is up to date, well written, eye catching and free of errors.
- Make personalized collateral.
I went on a lot of agency tours this past school year, and with each visit I gained at least five new business cards. Well, I was doing some spring cleaning and found all of these wonderful pieces of card stock and it got me thinking, what if I had my own business cards to hand back to these professionals I meet? Although I don’t have my own company, PR students are taught to build their own brand, and what better way of doing this than with personalized collateral? With all the extra inspiration the nice weather gives me, I plan on making my own business cards and my own logo. You can read my tips on how to create a logo here.
- Read the headlines.
One of the things I absolutely, positively need to start doing this summer is reading the news every morning. I have been waiting for someone to slap me on the wrist for not doing this, and since no one has, I am going to do it myself. I have great shame in not staying up to date on the current world we live in, and instead of feeling guilty about it any longer, I am going to change my ways. In PR you need to stay current and reading the news is necessary when doing this. Aside from the regular news outlets, one could also check out prdaily.com, prweek.com or prnewsonline.com to get your daily PR-related news.
- Write more.
I do love to write and I honestly don’t do the best job of writing on a regular basis. Since I recently developed a blog, I want to continue posting something a couple of times a month, if not weekly. I was once given some advice from a PR pro who told me to write and don’t stop writing. To write dumb things, smart things, small things, big things—it doesn’t matter as long as you are writing something. With the free time I have, I want to follow this word of advice and devote more time to writing. In PR, strong writing is a skill you need to have and there is no way to get better at it, unless you do it and you do it often.
- Develop social media.
My last goal of the summer is to develop stronger, more visually appealing social media accounts. It is important to let your personality shine through, but I definitely need to do some auditing of my accounts. It is time to leave high school in the past and redefine the more mature person I am today. Your social media account should show who you are, so a good tip is to be you, just the version you would be cool with your grandma seeing.
Although these are my personal goals for the summer, everyone can work on at least one for themselves. Anyone getting a degree in a professional field should have a strong resume and some personalized business cards on hand. It is important to know what is going on in the world we live in no matter what you’re going to school for, and strong writing skills and appropriate social media accounts are always a positive in the eyes of employers.
The summer is a great time to work on yourself both professionally and personally. What are some of your goals this break?
Abby Cousineau is a junior at EMU majoring in public relations and minoring in graphic design and marketing. Abby is currently serving her first year on EMU PRSSA E-board as Social Media Director. She was drawn to social media because it allows her to merge her passions of writing and design. You can usually find her outside any time the weather is nice, or at Sweetwaters Café, where she is a shift manager. Connect with Abby on Instagram @abcattt.