By Eli Natinsky
IABCLA Vice President/President-Elect

Thank you to everyone who attended “IABC SoCal’s Happy Hour: Build Your Network and Share Tips and Tricks for Succeeding in the Coronavirus Job Market” on September 10 via Zoom.

Karen Trachtenberg, an IABCLA board member, led the conversation. Karen’s worked across several industries, so she’s gone through a job search or two. Here are her thoughts:

1. Expectations: it’s best to know exactly the type of role you want before you begin your search, as a blanket approach probably isn’t going to land you your dream job. If, for example, you’d like to do social media for Formula 1, then drive in that direction. 

2. Online Presence: make sure your social media looks and sounds professional. This is especially true of LinkedIn, as it’s a place for business communication and not personal politics. Also, leave the photos of you at a raging kegger back at college! 

3. Associations: look for any and all networking opportunities — it’s worth your time if you make just one genuine connection with another person. (Karen: “Make friend. Get job.”) In addition to IABCLA, comms folks in the Southland can get involved in Social Media Club LA, PRSA Los Angeles, and a host of similar groups. Given the pandemic, many of these organizations have virtual networking sessions so a long drive to and from a venue doesn’t need to be a consideration — at least until COVID is over. 

4. Recruiters: it could be worth the money to pay a headhunter who’s had demonstrated success to help you in your search. He/she may have the contacts, know-how, and  industry insights to land you a position. 

5. Introductions: be proactive! When you meet someone new, ask them for an introduction to another person in your career area. Most people genuinely want to assist others, so they’ll probably be happy to put you in touch with their colleagues. 

6. Cover Letters: 

A. Short: keep your cover letters brief at less than a page. In fact, Karen typically keeps hers to two or three paragraphs. 

B. Unique: mention something in the document that’s not on your resume — you don’t want your cover letter to be a repeat of your CV. 

C. Tailor: adapt your resume and cover letter to each position. 

D. Writing: be sure to show off your writing skills if you’re a communicator. 

7. LinkedIn: 

A. Premium: paying for the platform’s premium service is a good investment as it can provide information and analysis to assist you in your search. 

B. Groups: join LinkedIn groups aligned with your interests and participate in discussions, as it could help you stand out and draw the attention of employers. 

C. Video: a personal video is another way to draw attention to yourself. Some folks now have short recordings in their profile summarizing who they are and what they do — a cover letter or an “elevator pitch” of another sort.  

D. Messaging: do cold email others. Sometimes it can be difficult to reach out to folks you don’t know, but just be genuine, honest, and to the point. (“I noticed this opening at your company, and I’d love to contribute! Here’s how I can help…”)

We appreciate the advice, Karen!  

Please stay up to date on IABCLA by returning to our website and by following our group on social media: FacebookLinkedInTwitter, and Instagram. We’ll have several online gatherings this fall, including a second DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) webinar on October 21 at 12 p.m. via Zoom.