PRSSA hosts resume workshop

Brooklyn Cady

Grab a free cup of coffee and some cookies and learn about resume development featuring a guest speaker specializing in hiring management at the Resume Café workshop hosted by Missouri Southern’s Public Relations Student Society of America on April 7 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in Webster Hall, room 129. The event is open to all Southern students.

Once refreshments are provided and the Resume Café workshop is introduced to attendees, Chris Belk, senior manager of Jack Henry & Associates, will deliver a presentation on tips and tricks for building the perfect resume.

“It is the front porch. When the doorbell rings and the employer answers, that is what they see, the resume, right there. It is what gets your foot in the door and gets you noticed,” said Belk. “What you are trying to do is catch attention and it is your first opportunity to compete against other candidates as well. So, it is something that can either set you apart in a good way or bad way.”

Belk is a Southern alum who has participated in several career fairs on campus for careers in information technology. With kids in college, including his daughter-in-law, Dayzah Kelly, a member of PRSSA who is cohosting the workshop, Belk is enthusiastic about providing Southern students with a better understanding of resume development and career readiness.

“If there is experience I can give them as a hiring manager, and I have been doing this sort of thing for a long time, then I would like to give them a leg up,” said Belk.

While it is important to recognize elements that will make a resume successful, it is also necessary to identify areas that are often overlooked.

Assistant professor and PRSSA advisor, Shanna Slavings said the hardest part of creating a resume is getting started. Slavings said the workshop will help students learn, “how to get started, and how to stand out. The more eyes that view your resume the better.”

Belk said another issue people have when creating resumes is selling themselves short or excluding valuable information.

“People have a tendency sometimes to hide relevant experiences that were not even included in their resume. I cannot tell you how many times I have talked to somebody in a job interview and said we really wish we had somebody who could do this, and they said oh, well that is a hobby of mine, I have done that for years. It is like, why is it not on your resume? It happens more than you think it would,” said Belk.

Following Belk’s insights, PRSSA members will give a presentation on how to build an effective resume. Additionally, Career Services provided handouts for students to keep about resume and cover letter writing and how to have a successful interview.

Because resume development is a crucial step in the application process for internships and careers, many Southern professors from the communication department agreed to provide extra credit to students who attend the workshop, including Slavings.

“Resume building is so important. I encourage students to include items on their resumes that make them feel confident about their skills. I think students who are just beginning their professional careers can experience imposture syndrome, but a solid resume helps remind the new professional exactly what skills they bring,” said Slavings.

Students are asked to bring a pen or pencil to write with to complete a feedback form and a worksheet which will be used to confirm attendance for the extra credit opportunity.