In today’s digitally advanced world, strong communication skills are a must, both professionally and personally. Organizations are starting to realize that the phrase “image is everything” applies today more than ever, as a strong online image could now very well be a deciding factor for success.
With these changes, more and more millennials are capitalizing on organizational needs for building a strong Internet presence by pursuing undergraduate degrees in communications. The millennial generation grew up with the emergence of Facebook and Twitter, as well as the invention of the iPhone, so who could be better for organizations to turn to in order to satisfy their communications needs?
However, knowing how to operate a smartphone or how to post a selfie on Instagram is not sufficient for a millennial to thrive in a communications-related position. As this generation navigates through college, here are three essential skills to focus on developing before entering the workforce:
- Social Media for Business: There is a large difference between posting on a personal social media account and handling the social media outreach for an organization. You must learn how to strategically post content for a vast audience when coordinating an organizational page. The content that you post will undoubtedly depend on the target demographics of your organization, such as age range and geographic location. To cater to these demographics, you must learn the proper practices for analyzing them through such software as Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics .
- Creative Thinking: In the field of communications, you must always be willing and able to think outside the box. Whether it is coming up with a detailed and expansive campaign to drive awareness for certain products, or simply the day-to-day operations of creating shareable content, creativity is a must. To stand out from competitors in any field, an organization must be filled with professionals who are able to maneuver their way into the public’s mind through the creation of relevant and memorable content. The only way for entry-level communications professionals to set themselves up for success in the workplace is to develop a creative mindset during their college years, as creativity is often a difficult attribute to develop on the fly.
- The Basics: This may seem like a given, but many employers are shocked by how many entry-level professionals lack a number of basic skills. One such trend is the lack of phone skills among millennials, which undoubtedly hinders employees from completing such important tasks as telephone pitches to clients. As communications majors, it is expected that you develop strong writing and grammatical skills, as it will be virtually impossible to function in a communications-related profession if you are constantly making typos in content that will be shown to the public. You may know how to calculate an organization’s total weekly reach on its social media pages and have a knack for coming up with creative ideas, but if you leave the basics behind, you will ultimately end up left behind as well.