The art of self-editing

An open notebook with an empty page with a pencil and glasses on it, there is also a magnifying glass, camera and pottos all laid on a map

If you want your editor to love you, turn in clean copy. It is as simple as that. Not only will you win over your editor and they will possibly buy you lunch, but it makes both you and your editor’s lives easier.

Think about it.

The cleaner the copy you turn in as a writer, the less changes you have to make later on. It also allows your editor to turn your copy around quicker. This means you avoid a grumpy, sleep deprived editor at your Monday morning meetings. And everyone wins when the case of the “Mon-daze” is avoided.

So, here are my five tips on how to write clean copy and earn a free lunch from your beloved editor:

  1. Take a Step Back
    After you have finished a new piece of writing, leave it for a few hours before making your first round of edits. This allows you to become unfamiliar with your piece allowing you to read it objectively.
  2. Read Your Writing Forward, Backward and Sideways
    Read your writing over and over again. You obviously can’t read your work sideways but reading it backward disrupts the narrative flow, which helps you catch mistakes you’d normally skim over. Read your writing starting with the last paragraph, working back up to the beginning.
  3. Read it Out LoudScream it if you want but just make sure to not get a noise complaint. Reading your work out loud allows you to keep your brain from automatically correcting mistakes.
  4. Have a Colleague Look it OverThe more eyes on a piece before it reaches your editor, the better. If you have people willing to read your work, take them up on it. There is a good chance that they will catch mistakes that you have been subconsciously skimming over.
  5. PENCIL TAP
    Take the tip of that writing utensil that is going out of style and tap on every single word. This helps slow your brain down so you don’t fill in the blanks when you edit your work. It makes your brain focus on each individual word rather than your brain trying to predict the rest of the sentence. If you follow these five tips, you will be enjoying your favorite pizza place or preferred coffee joint in no time. And all of it will be at the expense of a happy editor.Written by: Dylan Wakefield 

Alumni Spotlight: Sara Pimentel

 

Photo’s by Sara Pimentel.

With May approaching, many of our graduating staffers have begun job hunting and looking to alumni and recent graduates for guidance and direction on what is wanted in a public relations agency. We hear in classes or from internships the importance in making connections. Creating connections is valuable in any field of work but especially in public relations.

Networking is Key

Networking is a valuable skill because it opens opportunities with future clients, PR pros, news outlets and journalists. In TGC we create personal relations with our clients, but it can be easy to forget that the most important relationships we make are with our fellow interns. A great way to network is through the connections that we make with alumni in our agency. Our alumni provided our agency with guidance and growth and it is valuable to stay connected with their lives.

Sara Pimentel, alumna of TGC, graduated from California State University, Chico in Spring 2016. She served TGC for two semesters as an Account Executive and Editorial Director for eight different clients. Since graduation she moved to San Francisco and worked for two different PR companies. She interned for SHIFT Communications and was recently employed as an Assistant Account Executive at Finn Partners. She faced some difficulty transitioning from the small town of Chico to the Bay Area because she had to start from scratch, but was is also exciting for that same reason. She got to recreate herself and build new relations with those surrounding her.

Enjoy what you do

Sara emphasized that when choosing a job, it is important to keep in mind that you need to enjoy going to work every day. On her job search the core culture values she looked for was a company that was understanding, fun, supportive, spontaneous and open. These core values are what led to the beginning of her career at SHIFT Communications.

Sara was thankful for her experience interning with TGC and working on multiple accounts because it prepared her for an unusual experience interning with SHIFT. She worked on 7 to 9 different client accounts simultaneously.

“My team knew it was a lot,” Pimentel said. “But they trusted me, and I was able to do it.”

A company’s culture is everything

 

Moving away can be tough you are given a clean slate, starting a new job can be challenging. Sara said the most important lesson she learned from working at SHIFT is the value of being honest.

“If you have too much on your plate, tell someone,” she said. Pimentel chose SHIFT because of their supportive culture. Finding a supportive agency was valuable to her, she emphasizes how important it is to not be afraid to tell someone you are feeling overwhelmed, you are a team and they are there to help.

Change is good

She has just begun working for Finn Partners, and so far she loves it because it allows her to be more creative. Finn works with consumer technology clients, so she is familiar with the space and the products, but it’s still a new world.

San Francisco has become her home and she does not see herself moving away for a long time. She hopes to become even more confident in her abilities and eventually have people looking to her for advice.

Work with what you have

Her advice to graduating students is: “Know what you want, but be flexible. You have to go with the flow. Some things will happen just like you dreamed they would, but a lot won’t, and you have to make that work.”

Written by, Hope Lumbley.

Study Abroad and Job Outlook – How to leverage your study abroad experience in an interview to land the position

Anyone who studied abroad knows the experience is truly life-changing. Living and studying abroad helps you develop and test your abilities on the deepest level.

Although studying abroad is an incredible life experience, very few U.S. college students are able to make the trip. Only 1 percent of U.S. students studied abroad during the 2012 to 2013 academic year. This is understandable, considering the potential cost and time commitment of studying abroad.

Since so few students have the opportunity to study abroad, this experience can be a great resume booster or an additional area to draw upon when answering interview questions.

Resume Essentials
Although study abroad experience makes you more marketable in the U.S., you must communicate the experience on paper as it pertains to a job you want.

Some things to highlight on your resume about your study abroad experience include:

  •      Language skills. It’s one thing to have studied a language for several years, and another to have actually lived in a country that speaks the language. Even if you went to another English-speaking country, familiarity with different sayings or spellings can be helpful when marketing yourself.
  •        Global work/internship/volunteer experience. There is a common misconception that studying abroad is actually partying abroad. It is easiest to battle this stigma by showing that you have actual work or volunteer experience during your time abroad. Additionally, this is a good way to show that you are passionate about getting involved and immersing yourself in the local culture.
  •        Blogging experience. Study abroad blogs are great for multiple reasons. Not only do you have the chance to chronicle your experiences and growth, but a blog is the perfect opportunity to show your personality to potential employers. Including your blog on your resume allows employers to get to know your personality and assess your writing skills.

Interview Success
Making yourself look good on paper and then delivering on that in an interview are two very different skillsets. After you land an interview, it is important to review key points you would like to emphasize about yourself as an applicant.

This is another great opportunity to incorporate your study abroad experience, and expand on points you may or may not have included in your resume.
In particular, try to:

  •       Emphasize your adaptability. It is not easy to move across the globe and adjust to a completely different culture. It is important to mention how you were able to adjust to the changing environment and work with a diverse range of new people..
  •        Connect your experience with the company. Many companies operate internationally. With appropriate background research on the company you are interviewing with, you can find potential ways to connect your study abroad location with one of the company’s locations or clients. Someone interviewing you may even have travelled to that same location, and that is an easy way to build a lasting bond.
  •      Focus on your accomplishments. Studying abroad is full of challenges, and interviewers love to hear that candidates are able to overcome problems. When possible, turn a struggle into an accomplishment to convey your perseverance.

09.06.11_ROI_Abroad_v4-01-810x3206

Infographic Credit: Course Hero

by Alek Irvin, account executive

Sealing the Deal: Interview Tips For College Grads

Job interviews can be nerve-racking, especially for college grads who may not have as much experience interviewing as other candidates.

As the graduation date comes closer, now is the time students should prepare for interviews and learn to stand out from the rest. Below is a list of interview tips to impress an employer and get your dream job.

 1. Practice, practice, practice!

It is important to practice with friends, family, your professors, etc. Going over standard interview questions with people you trust will help you feel more comfortable when the real interview comes.

The Chico College Career Center offers mock interviews to help college students with suggestions and critiques.

2. Have your resume memorized.

A lot of times, companies will ask you questions based directly from your resume. If you have listed “assisted in media pitching,” be prepared to explain exactly what media pitching you did for that company. This Huffington Post article offers some other great resume advice.

3. Be aware of your body language.

Make sure you give a solid handshake, make good eye contact and sit up straight. Having good body language will show your enthusiasm for the job at hand and portray your positivity.

Menshaking
Photo credit: Victor1558, creative commons, original photo

4. Bring questions.

Research the company beforehand and come up with some quality questions about the company. Coming prepared with questions shows the employer your determination and strong work ethic.

5. Say thank you.

Make sure to get the contact information from the interviewer and send a follow-up thank you email or letter. Hand written cards make more of an impact and show you put time and effort into thanking them for their time.

With these tips you will be prepared and confident to impress the interviewer, show them why you are the best candidate for the job and seal the deal.