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PRSA Tampa Bay Helps Job Seekers at Met. Min.

By Joseph Priest, APR

Sometimes, PR professionals can demonstrate the best of PR when they’re not directly doing PR. Our chapter’s recent participation in a résumé review session at the Metropolitan Ministries main office was one of these times.

On May 21, the Public Service Committee organized our participation in a résumé-review and job-search counseling session for disadvantaged job seekers as part of Metropolitan Ministries’ life skills program. The program provides a range of life-management and career-building services to help people in critical economic need. These services include one that takes in people for a period of six to nine months during which they live at residence halls on Metropolitan Ministries’ main office and attend a series of workshops and activities to help them reset their lives and prepare for a new future.  

Our team took part in one of these workshops to help about 20 economically disadvantaged job seekers who were looking to rebuild their business writing and personal communication skills in order to restart their careers.

Three of our members participated:

  • Leslie Allen
  • Karen McAllister
  • Joseph Priest


Our team: (from left) Karen McAllister; Noel Ramos, Director of Employment Services, Metropolitan Ministries, and coordinator of the session; Leslie Allen; and Joseph Priest.

Our afternoon consisted of the three of us presenting our top writing and job-search tips to the attendees; dividing into three groups where each of us evaluated a different group of the attendees’ résumés on areas such as neatness, organization, and effectiveness; and then meeting with each attendee to share our feedback and provide general advice on their job-search strategies.

 

Leslie Allen shares her job-search communication tips.

Although we just had a few hours to contribute, our team had an amazingly rewarding experience. We were able to offer high-level communication advice to job seekers who don’t normally have access to this kind of counsel.

 

In particular, many of the typical job seekers in the Metropolitan Ministries program are different than many of the typical PR candidates that we more commonly work with in that they are older, have already had several jobs in a diversity of areas, and may face special challenges with their ability to work or with their job histories. These challenges can include having regular access to transportation, having special family needs, or having health problems.

 

Karen McAllister offers feedback on a job seeker’s résumé.

The way our team came together to apply our skills to address these different challenges and give personal counsel to the candidates truly exemplified both the professional value and community benefit of what our profession offers. It was rewarding to be a part of this event, and rewarding to be a part of PRSA Tampa Bay.

The Public Service Committee is planning to build on this session with similar events later this year. Stay tuned for more details on PRSATampaBay.com.

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