Our amazing speakers gave so much information, I'm not even sure how to recap it here. It would just take up too much room. So I'm going to give you some of what I thought were the highlights, and I'm hoping others who attended will chime in with their take-aways.
From Kate Perrin, Founder and CEO, PRofessional Solutions
- The most important thing in any job hunt is networking! If you know the right people, they can hand carry your resume to the HR department, making sure your resume makes it to the front of the line.
- Get personal: Those people you know through your neighborhood, church, synagogue, ski club, etc., may be great contacts when you're looking for work. They may be able to get your resume to the HR department of companies in which you're interested.
- On your resume, adjectives = bad. Show, don't tell, what you did. Results, results, results.
From Suzy Howard, Principal, McCormick Group
- Stay current with what's going on in the marketplace, even if you're in a steady job and not looking for work.
- Ensure you have the "basics." People in communications often think they have the best resumes, the best cover letters, etc. And often that's not the case. Make sure others have reviewed your materials.
- Make sure your materials (cover letters, resumes, etc.) show how you're a value add to the company.
- Volunteering for a professional society is a great way to fill out your skill set and get experience in areas of communications that you may not work with for your day job.
From Katherine McHale, Senior Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton
- Top reasons resumes get tossed: grammar and spelling errors. Also, realize it's possible to "over produce" a resume.
- Demonstrate flexibility. Companies want the best employees. In the case of Booz Allen, Katherine hires the best people, not people who will fill certain contract needs.
- Realize that writing assignments can be about more than just your writing. They can be "culture" tests. How you respond to having to take a writing test can tell a company whether or not you would fit with their culture. (Also, people who are the most overconfident about how they did on a writing test are often the ones with the lowest scores.)
Oh, and I should mention, this is our second time at Bar Louie in D.C. And once again, they did a bang-up job of hosting us. The food came out quick. The wait staff was professional and attentive. The private room was, in fact, private. Thanks to Steve Centrella and his team for the great job once again!