On Oct 22 our chapter held its PR Career Workshop event. With the current lackluster economy it’s been difficult for many people to find a job, and for those in the public relations field, it has been no exception.
The workshop committee of Chris Orris, Stephanie Markadonatos, Stephanie Gandsey and Jose Alfonso Villalobos brought together a variety of experts from across the spectrum to address all aspects of the job search. In addition to speaking on the various areas of a modern online job search, speakers worked one-on-one with the attendees, critiquing everything from resumes to portfolios and offering simulated interviews so participants could practice their skills.
One attendee, Alexander Osipov-Krizski, summed up the response of many attendees. “Last week’s event offered a lot of important insights,” he said. My favorite ones were the resume critique, portfolio check, and practicing of an interview.”
Professional resume and copywriter Frank Short kicked off the event by profiling what separates a good resume from a bad one, particularly now that many companies rely on computerized keyword scanning of applicant’s resumes.
Jeff Carrigan, from the Big Shoes Network, spoke of the resources available to those job seekers trying to find a job online, where the large majority of open positions are posted these days, using his own job website as a prime example. Both Frank and Jeff have spoken at our chapter events in the past, and are well versed in the needs of today’s job search needs.
Samantha Hosenkamp, Social Media Manager at Ragan Communications, brought up the importance of using social media as a resource for the job search, but more importantly, how to translate online networking into face-to-face networking skills. Hosenkamp brought up quite few resources including how to use Twitter to find potential networking opportunities.
Such guests included former chapter president Cynthia Lamb, APR, talking about professional etiquette. She brought the do’s and do not’s of interviewing for a job, including referencing the timeless Emily Post as a guide.
John Brooks, APR, board member of the Chicago chapter of PRSA and a frequent guest at our chapter events was there speaking on portfolios, and shared his own portfolio as an example. He brought up his experience working with the Lutheran Church and described a letter in his portfolio written about his outstanding work helping the pastor whose congregation turned out to number the infamous BTK killer among its members. He explained how recommendation letters such as those were worth “their weight in gold.”
Future career events are planned for 2012, including a potential job fair.