Chapter Rewind | Management 101 with HR Pro Mark Havard

October 5, 2018

By Elizabeth Lytle

Whether you’re a seasoned public relations professional, a practitioner just breaking into the field or a student looking to land the perfect internship, navigating the competitive job market, or the ins and outs of your workplace, can be a daunting task. At FPRA Orlando’s September professional development breakfast held at the beautiful Hub 925 co-working space, Mark Havard, director of human resources for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, shared key insights to help members take their careers and leadership skills to the next level.

Mark Havard
Director of Human Resources, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts

Crafting a Standout Resume

On average, each job posting attracts 250 applications. And, despite the hours you’ve likely spent crafting your resume, hiring managers spend mere seconds scanning it. So, how do you ensure your resume catches the eye of a potential employer? Havard shared several tips – utilizing white space, keeping design simple and tailoring your objective to the position you’re applying for – but stressed one key point: show, don’t tell.

Anyone can say they are motivated, dedicated or passionate, so it’s crucial to back up these claimed qualities with real-world examples. Potential employers are not interested in the responsibilities you’ve been tasked with; they’re interested in the results you achieved while managing those responsibilities. Students seeking their first internship can take advantage of this advice, as well. Highlighting academic accomplishments, accolades and community involvement can effectively illustrate initiative – a sought-after trait in internship candidates.

Acing Your Interview

According to Havard – who has interviewed countless candidates in his career – the best way to make a lasting impression in your interview is to do your homework beforehand. Knowing the company’s mission, purpose, vision and values is key and will help you tailor your answers in a way that personally resonates with the interviewer. Plus, your interviewer is investing time in you, so it’s important to return the favor.

Agencies, companies and PR departments always have their clients top-of-mind, so Havard advised kicking your background knowledge up a notch by researching issues affecting the industries the company serves. With client-specific questions at the ready, you’re guaranteed to make a unique impression.

Another reminder from Havard: relax! Break the ice, establish a rapport and treat your interview like a conversation.

Leading With Success

Nearly every public relations practitioner reports to a boss, but how many can say they follow a leader? According to Havard, you can clearly differentiate between a boss and a leader by assessing whether your supervisor is working above you or working alongside you. Noting that engaged employees are proven to go the extra mile, he covered his top tips for leading with success, including being visible and accessible, clearly communicating expectations and making a concerted effort to publicly celebrate employee achievements and accomplishments.

Regardless of where you are in your career path, commitment, passion, empathy and dedication are crucial to your success. Havard’s insights underlined the importance of these qualities and we would be wise to keep them in mind as we work toward becoming effective leaders within our organizations and community.

Quotes Corner

October 5, 2018

Six Tips on Using Your Personal Social Media for Professional Growth

By Maddie Kjosa, Quotes UCF

Maddie Kjosa

Maddie Kjosa

Social aptitude (almost) looks better than a resume.

For anyone in the Communications/PR field, having a strong social presence goes a long way in establishing yourself as a professional. It indicates dedication to digital, adaptability, creativity, and ability to tell a story through something other than press releases or news articles. Having a strong presence also eliminates the struggle that many college students or fresh graduates face in getting a job with no prior experience.

With dedication and creativity, you can enter an interview with skills in content creation, analytics, SEO, CMS, and more, all without interning or spending money on courses/conferences.

This is something I’ve seen clearly in my time as a Communications student at the University of Central Florida. Across campus, I see students of every major focus more on their digital presence, whether it be via blogging, vlogging, becoming a micro-influencer, or having Instagram photoshoots with friends. Call it a trait of our generation.

Yet regardless of how old you are or how much you know, it is never too late or less important to have a strong social media presence. This is a field new to everyone. Therefore, it is paramount that we as communications professionals know how to use it, and moreover, use it well.

So, whether you’re fresh out of college or years into a career, here are some tips to get you started on using your personal social for professional growth:

  • Find what you love. It’s much easier to focus on one or two major aspects of your life in creating a digital presence.
  • Find the medium that best serves telling the story of that love. It can be slightly depressing to see people who seem to do it all, but there’s always one platform they do the best. Determine what “the best” is for you; videos, writing, photography, etc. After doing this, mainly use that medium in your social media to continue improving your skills.
  • Get a support network. Some of the best communications professionals got their start by connecting with others of similar goals. Being in FPRA is a HUGE start, but also seek locals or friends who love what you love and create content together!
  • Learn about social media tools by using them on your personal accounts. Interested in social analytics? Sign up for a free Hootsuite account and connect your accounts to it. You can also browse the in-program analytics offered by Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to see what metrics matter on each platform.
  • What about website analytics? Create a free Google Analytics account and connect it to your website like I did for metrics like bounce rate, user data, and more.
  • Take advantage of mobile apps! The App Store is filledwith a variety of apps that social media professionals use to create content. Some of my favorites are Canva, Unfold, Adobe Spark Post, Adobe Lightroom and PicPlayPost. Tip: I always test apps out on my personal social before using them professionally.

While more exist, these are all really easy and beneficial ways to start improving your professional social media skills with personal accounts. For all of my fellow UCF students who plan to attend Intern Pursuit and similar job fairs, remember that any skill you learn personally can and should be on your resume, portfolio and mentioned to employers. For example, explaining how you used Instagram Analytics and engagement tactics to increase your following by 500 accounts in six months. It doesn’t have to come from a job to be valid experience!

Due to the nature of social media itself, I offer one final word of advice: stay current. You never know when the next big thing will hit, and staying current will ensure that your social strategy is too.

Member PRofile: Brian Hutchings

October 5, 2018

Brian Hutchings
Senior Communications Specialist, Central Florida Expressway Authority

Give a brief explanation of your job.
I’m the main point of contact for the agency for the media and general public, often referred to as the agency spokesperson. My particular focus is on construction projects as well as future projects that are in the planning and design stage. I also spend time marketing E-PASS, the agency’s electronic transponder (save time and money at!). What I love about my job is I get to work with great people and that no two days are alike.

How long have you been a member of FPRA and why did you join?
I joined in 2018 – I’m a newbie to FPRA. Why? Because Jeff Grainger encouraged me to join! Honestly, it was not a tough sell. I saw the value in joining FPRA and I was certain that I would gain both personally and professionally from the experience.

What has been your favorite FPRA event so far?
Media Mash Up, and as a bonus I get the honor and responsibility of helping to organize this year’s Media Mash Up event.

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
I am an avid runner and will be competing (and hopefully COMPLETING) my 13th ½ marathon. That said, 13.1 miles is plenty for me, I have no desire to double the distance by doing a full marathon – that’s just crazy.

What was your first job?
Member Services Coordinator with the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives

Fun fact:
When I left my job at the PA State House of Representatives, I took off and traveled the U.S. and Mexico by myself for two months before relocating to Washington D.C. It was a great adventure with lasting memories.

Contact Information:
Brian Hutchings, 4974 ORL Tower Road, Orlando FL 32807