Graduating in December. How do I market myself to employers? Special snowflake details inside.
I have several related questions, so please bear with me.
I'm an English major in the professional/technical writing concentration at a large, lower-tier 4-year university in the USian South. I will graduate in December with a 3.6 GPA, having written an undergraduate thesis and with membership in several Honor societies. I am an adult student and a single parent, in my late twenties. I don't have a minor, but I've taken a basic computer science course in programming. We used Alice
to create very simple object-oriented programs and got a broad overview of the agile software development process.
It is extremely important to me to get the best possible job in my field that I can, so that I am able to support myself and my kid. I do not have a security clearance, but I would probably qualify for one, as far as I know. (Many jobs in the field seem to require that the applicant already be cleared; I presume these jobs are geared toward ex-military.)
I am working at a remote internship that has given me some specialized skills. I'm rewriting medical software manuals from Word into structured PDFs/HTML. We're writing to DITA standards and single-sourcing as much as possible. I can use FrameMaker and oXygen XML author. By the time December rolls around, I'll have about 8 months of part-time experience at this.
I have rewritten and polished my resume and cover letter. I have a professional website and a blog. I have either scrubbed or completely locked down all of my social media accounts, and I've polished my LinkedIn. The professional website, which I made using a popular WYSIWYG editor, has impressed at least one hiring manager already. I upgraded the website so that it shows no advertisements and has its own domain. This upgrade came with credits toward ads on Google and Facebook.
*Should I use these credits to market myself to possible employers, or is this weird/tacky? If I should use them to advertise, how?
I have begun applying to entry level positions. One employer in another part of the South has expressed strong interest, to the point of proposing to fly me out for an in-person interview. My skills match up with this job very, very well. However, I don't want to move to another part of the South. I want to leave the South entirely, and would in fact be happy to leave the US entirely. I would like to live in a place that is more friendly to my politics and values (very liberal).
*Should I accept the offer of an in-person interview when I am 80% sure I don't want this job because of location?
I'm hesitating, because... what if this is the only offer I get? We have discussed salary and it sounds reasonable for the location, although not great. The company is mid-size.
*How can I make myself more attractive to employers on the Northeast or West Coasts, or in Canada or Europe?
I speak very basic French.
I've discussed the fact that I'm looking for a job with professional contacts, friends and acquaintances, and asked them to keep an eye out for possible jobs that fit my skills.
*What else should I be doing to market myself to potential employers?