How To Market Yourself: Alumni Perspective

Guest Blogger Rebecca Porter ’16
(Written May 2016)

It’s almost one month until graduation. One month. But who’s counting, right? Well, if you’re a senior you might be, or you might be swimming in cover letters, resumes, and prepping other materials to send out to future employers. But what does life look like after graduation? How do you market yourself to set yourself apart from the rest of the bunch? Sometimes it’s hard to see the overall picture so I’ve decided to do a little research for those that are concentrating in professional writing and rhetoric by reaching out to PWR alumni who have been bridging the gap between their concentrations and the professional world. Their answers have me hopeful and after reading the next few blog posts that CUPID has dedicated to this, you should be too.

I have surveyed 20 alumni who have generously allowed me to pick apart their brains to answer my questions about the best strategies they use to market themselves and the platforms in which they do so. To break down their responses I’ve incorporated a couple of charts to showcase different aspects of their answers, but I have also themed the blog posts. So, to start, I am just going to give an overview of the findings. The next posts will be more in depth about resumes, websites and portfolios, and advice from an Elon PWR alumni perspective.

So, why is this important? To understand how to be effective Regardless, as PWR concentrations we realize that context is everything, and from the chart below we also realize that there are a lot of different contexts that we could be engaging with after we graduate.

Industries in Which Professional Writing and Rhetoric Alumni Have Been Employed/Currently Employed

Type of Industry # Of Jobs (N=71)
Education 3
Technical and scientific communication 2
Publishing, broadcasting 4
Service (healthcare, retail, food) 4
Management, business, financial, legal services 14
Community and social services 9
Marketing, advertising 3
Social media, web design, other media 5


So, what does this mean? Your first job is not going to be your only job. If you don’t believe this study please refer to this, which discusses similar findings for technical communicators. The idea of switching jobs can be scary for some and reassuring to others. Yet, being able to understand that the materials you create and the ways in which you market yourself depend on the context in which you are attempting to engage with is vital.

So, if a job looks interesting to you, and you think that you are qualified, apply. Unsure about resumes and other materials used to market yourself? Don’t worry, I’ve got you cover in the next post to come.

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