Interview tips and advice from SDC

There was much to learn at the Eastern Michigan University 2014 Student Development Conference held by the Public Relations Student Society of American on December 5th. There were three guest speakers who discussed different aspects of public relations and after lunch there was a panel of three professionals who answered questions about interviews and provided students with feedback about their resumes. The three professionals that joined us and shared their advice were; Kevin Devine, who is the director of Student Media at EMU and advisor of the student newspaper The Eastern Eco; Kelli Cesarz, digital public relations and social media director for Moncur and from Team Detroit Daniel Blenman. I learned a lot from the three panel members and they offered great advice for interviews and gave great advice on adjusting my resume.

There was much to learn during the question and answer portion of the SDC and I can see myself using this advice every time I have an interview now.

  • Always do your research. There are so many ways to research information about the company, employers and employees, that will not only prepare you more for the interview but will also look good to the employers.
  • Do use words like “expert” or “specialist” but don’t undersell yourself either.
  • Recognize that everyone have weaknesses and you are no different but you are willing to learn from those weaknesses which can turn negative aspects of the job in to positive aspects.
  • Don’t include any political views or church involvement since not everyone has the same political views and those aspects could offend someone.
  • Ask about future involvement in the company.
  • Don’t be afraid to leave home. There are many times people don’t make an interview because of fear or being unsure about moving out of state but the majority of the time business’s are able to provide help to future employees to move.
  • Be conscious of hygiene, perfume or cologne, and clothing options.
Source: Huffington Post

Source: Huffington Post

I suggest that everyone should use these tips for interviews because these tips show employers that you are willing to put in the work and dedicate yourself to the job. Even if you don’t get the job, it is a good idea to still reach out to the employer and thank them for taking the time to interview you and ask for advice about your interview skills. On top of these interview tips the panel also shared advice about typing, organizing, and preparing a resume.

  • Put all the knowledge gained from school projects, papers, role plays, etc in the skills area of your resume.
  • Develop multiple versions of your resume and cover letters to reflect on which position you are applying for.
  • Always double, triple, and quadruple check spelling and grammar.

After receiving all this advice I had the opportunity to sit down and show Ms. Cesarz and provide her a copy of my resume that I received critiques about.

  • I do not have very much experience in the public relations field since every job I’ve had has been in a restaurant, but Ms. Cesarz suggested keeping only two of the five jobs I had listed and provide aspects from those jobs that I could relate to the public relations.
  • I removed my high school education from the education portion of my resume and just kept EMU in there and included my date of graduation.
  • Under my skills portion I included projects that I had recently done in some of my classes such as creating a website and making videos.

By making these small adjustments to my resume I feel as if my resume takes my lack of work experience and really describes who I am and shows that I am a hard worker. Also by reworking some portions of my resume I removed some unneeded information that freed up space to include skills that relate more to the public relations field. It is important to remove unneeded information from resumes because an employer looks at a resume for about two seconds and having aspects that aren’t about the job can immediately eliminate your resume. Also creating more than one copy of a resume can come in handy when applying for multiple jobs. When applying for different jobs having different copies of your resume can highlight the reason you are qualified for that specific job.

I learned a lot from the SDC and will be using all the advice I was given when looking and applying for internships over the next couple months. I would suggest to anyone looking for a new job to use all the tips and advice provided.

 Kaitlyn Branum
Guest Blogger
EMU PR Student
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