Gaining A Professional Edge

BY: Maura Olek (’17)

On Wednesday, November 16, the PRSSA and AAF Marywood Chapters hosted a workshop on learning how to build a resume, sell yourself to potential employers, and unlock the power of LinkedIn.

Karla Porter, director of programs and marketing at The Arc of Luzerne County and co-chair and co-founder of NEPA BlogCon and Squirrel Girls Tech Camp, presented the workshop entitled “Gaining A Professional Edge.”

I was personally very excited for this talk because as a [super] senior who is graduating in May 2017, I can use all the information for resume building and how to gain an edge as a professional. I am so happy that we had a chance to attend this workshop right on campus.

This is my personal review on the night:

We first talked about the qualities an employer or someone interviewing you is going to look for. The most important characteristic Porter would look for is the ability to analytical. Employers are looking for people who they don’t have to constantly watch over. As students, I feel like this transition can be difficult because we have had people holding our hands for so long, whether they be parents, teachers or professors. So learning this skill and how valuable it is can make a huge difference in your preparation for job hunting.

Porter also discussed the value of LinkedIn. Whether you are a freshmen or senior, it is never too early or too late to join. She stressed that LinkedIn is not a platform to build your resume but rather a social networking site for professionals. LinkedIn, she said, is especially great for college students because they can post statuses and make comments on things that will get their name in front of potential employers.  She recommended making connections with professionals you aspire to be in your field and staying active on the platform, engaging at least times a week.

Don’t make resumes a laundry list of bullet points. College students should not have a resume more than one page. They should be a snapshot of what we have done. One thing I found extremely eyeopening was when she said many larger companies use machines to screen resumes for keywords before they get sent to a recruiter. So keywords really are key if you want you resume to be seen.

This workshop was extremely educational and eye-opening. Resumes and networking are often things I put to the back of my mind because, honestly, they scare me. However, workshops like this make me feel a lot more comfortable with the idea of putting on paper why someone should hire me.

One thing Porter said that I will definitely remember now and in the future was this: “Never undersell yourself.”


Maura is a senior advertising and public relations major. She is the social media editor for The Wood Word and Her Campus Marywood. She is on the social media team for Marywood PRSSA and AAF. Maura loves dogs, traveling and coffee.

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