Sunday, April 25, 2010

Resume Etiquette

Employers judge you before they meet you. They look at your resume and cover letter to determine if you are suitable for the available position. Therefore, the impression you create with a resume and cover letter is critical, because it is the first step towards landing a job. In my opinion, it is the most important. Employers won't grant you a minute of their time if your resume and cover letter display unprofessional behavior. Don't freak out, though. There are ways to avoid leaving the wrong impression.

Here are 13 Ways Your Resume Can Say 'I'm Unprofessional' by Marc Cenedella:

1. Random/cute/shared e-mail accounts

2. Failure to proofread

3. Including photos

4. Unprofessional voicemail

5. Using lazy words including 'etc.' and 'same as above'

6. Cookie-cutter resumes

7. Resume exceeds two pages

8. Listing a spouse as a reference

9. Not spelling out the name of an employer or school

10. Not providing a city or state for an employer or school

11. Omitting the area code from a phone number for a reference or employer

12. Providing only a first name for a supervisor or reference

13. Including phone numbers that are no longer in service for references or employers

Cenedella's list hits all the common resume mistakes. However, it doesn't hurt to add to the list. Below are my contributions to Cenedella's tips.

1. Pay attention to typography- First, fonts should be either 11 or 12 points. Never go lower or higher unless for the header and section titles. Second, don't use fonts that are difficult to read. Good choices are Times New Roman and Arial. Lastly, maintain one font throughout the resume.

2. Do not include hobbies- Only supply information relevant to the job. The information you provide should show your value to the organization or company. So, unless your hobbies add to your experiences and achievements, do not insert them in your resume. Employers want to see skills, not unrelated hobbies.

3. Avoid intricate designs- Resumes should never contain fancy designs or colored background. But, it is acceptable to use a border and shading. Keep it formal and the employer will thank you for one less headache.

4. Avoid redundancy- Using pronouns such as "I" or "me" are not needed. Employers already know your resume is about you. Furthermore, statements including "available for interview" or "references upon request" are a given. Employers expect you to be available for an interview or to present references if inquired.

5. Unprofessional ring-back tones- The rule for voicemail applies to ring-back tones. So, using Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-Lot as your ring-back tone would not be a good idea.

6. Never use slang- Nothing says “I'm unprofessional” like a cover letter that begins with "what's up" and ends with "laters." Don't use slang in any business document.

7. But, do use action verbs- Write in a way that shows your intelligence, professionalism, and expertise. After all, you are writing for an employer in a mid to high-level position. Action verbs are a perfect way to prevent weak wording and to get your message across to the employer. Visit this site for a list of action words.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Case study: Marriott Hotel and social media

I often notice that companies are in a rush to have their foot in social media without proper knowledge of how to utilize it to create a successful social media presence. Companies need to understand that a social media strategy is essential.

Marriott Hotel is a perfect example of a billion-dollar company that employs social media correctly.


Chairman and CEO of Marriott International Bill Marriott recently published a blog introducing an advance telepresence called GoThere Virtual Meetings. The technology allows small groups of people to host conference calls in their hotels. People were skeptical about the new technology, because it may discourage travel. In response, he wrote, “What we heard from some of our customers is if we offered telepresence, they would actually hold more small meetings of typically fewer than 6 people at our hotels. These would be meetings conducted on less productive conference calls or meetings that might never have happened at all.”

His reply illustrates Marriott’s active role in listening to guests. By taking advice from guests, current and potential customers will have a more memorable and enjoyable experience at their hotel. Blogging is a way for Marriott to show their proactive stance to cater to their guests as well as network with people who are writing and creating dialogue about Marriott.

They even established a blog by their Executive Chef and other particular hotels, including Renaissance and Courtyard. These blogs give insight into employees and hotels that offer a different experience than regular Marriott hotels. By establishing a variety of blogs, they are attracting a diverse group of bloggers, readers, and guests. Blogs allow others to see the company in various angles and in other places of the world.


Marriott uses Twitter seamlessly. They reply to potential and current customers, creating a push and pull relationship. They can discover guests having a bad experience in their hotel, giving them the opportunity to fix the problem before individuals leave. This is extremely important because by catching guest complaints, they are eradicating a problem that could become a crisis. They also reply to individuals searching for discounts and package deals. Directly replying to each individual displays a helpful and supportive attitude, which always goes a long way in customer service.

The Marriott is committed to protecting the environment. They use social media to show this dedication by maintaining a Twitter account solely for environment-related updates. Their involvement to save the planet reveals their ability to respond to sensitive and central world issues. This profile allows them to publicize information that their guests and potential customers would never have known, such as the ways they have gone green.


Print media is declining; that is not new. On the other hand, television news remains stable because of its ability to quickly relay information that is visually appealing. Therefore, it is no surprise that Marriott has a YouTube account offering Marriott news. A Marriott news channel attracts an audience who doesn’t have time to read and prefer subscription updates.

YouTube is almost like Google. People use YouTube to find information and/or for entertainment. The Marriott has a second YouTube page dedicated to those two aspects. Through this channel, they can share information to their subscribers on a regular basis. This channel is great, because it compliments all other social media networks. For example, they produced videos about telepresence and presented a green tour of Marriott International Headquarters. Connecting news and stories across social media channels are important, because all platforms should support each other. In my opinion, this is a major reason the Marriott performs well in terms of social media. They’ve implemented a strategy that creates interaction and builds relationships across all media platforms.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Remember…

I found my passion for public relations during my ninth grade of high school. At that time, I had little understanding of what PR really was. All I knew was that I found its broad application into any field intriguing. I think that’s what really drew me to the PR field. I could do anything with PR. I could be like a butterfly and fly until I found the right leaf.

Ever since that moment, I’ve been on a PR path. Currently, I am a junior majoring in PR at the University of Oregon. I am interested in international or community development. Other attractive fields are public affairs for the Army and sports PR.

Anyway, enough about me. Let me tell you why I am blogging.

Once again, I am attempting to start a blog. But this time, I am required to blog in order to receive a grade. This is a positive thing. I have the opportunity to regularly share my thoughts and generate dialogue with networks of similar interests. Moreover, it means I won’t turn into a blogcrastinator, which is the primary reason my past blogs failed. Maybe this time I will continue blogging after I finish the course. After all, third time's the charm.