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Résumé Review w/ USF PRSSA Helps Next Gen of PR PRos

By: Joseph Priest, Elizabeth Watts and Davina Gould

It lasted two hours, involved 13 PRSA members and included 22 résumés, but the contribution it made to the future of our local public relations community is incalculable.

 On Feb. 2, our chapter’s Public Service Committee and Students Committee held a résumé review session and mixer with USF’s PRSSA chapter at the USF Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications. PRSA members divided into groups to judge student résumés on areas such as organization, strategy, and effectiveness; discussed their impressions with the students in their groups; and concluded by addressing the students and offering some final tips about starting a public relations career. Then, to reward the students and judges for their hard work, PRSA hosted a mixer where both chapters got to know each other better while enjoying a catered dinner from Carrabba’s. 

PRSA Tampa Bay President Bobby Eagle opens the review session with USF PRSSA President Vanessa Dreher.

Our résumé review team included 13 volunteers who gave up a Thursday evening to help prepare 22 students begin the first chapter in their public relations careers. The members included both seasoned professionals who were able to share lessons from the breadth of their careers, as well as younger professionals and new graduates who were able to offer insight from their recent experience on both the academic side and professional side of public relations.

 Our team included these members:

  • Lauren Bopp
  • Betty Carlin, APR
  • Bobby Eagle, APR
  • Christie Ebanks
  • Davina Gould, APR
  • Mary Haban, APR
  • Mary Margaret Hull, APR
  • Paula MacDonald, APR
  • Joseph Priest
  • Alana Siceloff
  • Jessica Summers, APR
  • Elizabeth Watts, APR
  • Jessica Wyland.

And they’re off. PRSA members (first two rows) plunge into judging résumés while PRSSA members (back rows) prepare to meet with the judges. 

The groups discuss their remarks before meeting with the students.

Our members had a busy night. Assembling in a large classroom inside the USF Communication and Information Sciences Building, they broke into three groups, and each group was assigned approximately seven résumés that it was given about 20 minutes to review. The groups then had all the PRSSA members whose résumés they reviewed come over, and the groups took another 20 minutes to discuss their impressions on each résumé with each PRSSA member. To wrap up the review session, all the PRSA members came to the front of the classroom to share some of their top-line observations and recommendations on how the students could refine their résumés and start their job search. 

Students find out how their résumés fared from the judges.

Bobby Eagle (left) and Christie Ebanks (second from left) go over their impressions.

Jessica Summers (center left) and Paula MacDonald (center right) share their thoughts. 

Although we only had a couple of hours to contribute, our team had an amazingly rewarding experience. We were able to provide 22 aspiring public relations professionals with real-world advice, tap in to a pipeline of the latest public relations talent to consider for our organizations’ hiring needs, and strengthen our relationship with the largest local PRSSA chapter.

The Public Service Committee and Students Committee are working on other ideas to keep our chapter involved in the community and engaged with college students this year, so stay tuned to the PRSA Tampa Bay website for more events and ways in which you can participate. 

PRSA members end the session with some final recommendations to students before beginning the mixer. 

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