As students sat side by side, eager to improve their professional development skills, Texas A&M University-San Antonio hosted a “Clifton Strengths Resume/Interview Skills” workshop on Nov. 9 in Room 145 of the Science and Technology Building.
Participants engaged in activities that used their personalized CliftonStrengths skills during the final professional development event to create a stronger resume and boost interviewing techniques.
Resume and interview skills are important for college students to help move toward that next stage in life after college by utilizing strengths along with the connections and recourses available, said Michael Walik, biology senior at A&M-San Antonio, lead mentor for Silver Liners Mentorship Program.
He hopes participants learn to use CliftonStrengths to successfully present themselves in professional situations.
“When you know your strengths, then you know what you’re really good at, and you can talk about that confidently,” Walik said. “It’s empowering, and it really makes you stand out.”
Students were walked through an activity by Juan Espinoza, assistant director for Transfer Student Engagement.
“In today’s hiring world, you have to be able to articulate the magic that you will bring as a new employee,” Espinoza said. “It’s a skill like anything else; you have to become comfortable with tooting your own horn.”
The workshop encouraged people to capitalize on “blindspots” and see them as opportunities by using knowledge learned from existing positive skills.
Students were often instructed to find a partner and take turns discussing their strengths. This prepared them for a mock interview where students were asked, “What is your best quality?”
The exercise demonstrated all the skills and tools learned throughout the workshop to be applied in a realistic interview model.
The major takeaway from the workshop was learning how to articulate personal strengths, said Marlene Rodriguez, criminology senior.
Rodriguez said going to your first couple of interviews feels like being “a deer in headlights.” Hence, workshops such as these that teach interviewing and professional development skills are important.
Although this is a professional-based development workshop, participants walked away learning more about themselves and how expanding a professional resume requires self-reflection.
“I think it’s really important if you can talk about yourself in a larger scale,” Walik said. “When you understand your CliftonStrengths in a professional sense, you’re really working on yourself.”
“It is a new way of looking at weaknesses,” Rodriguez announced to the room as other participants nodded in agreement.
Espinoza ended with a reminder that there are eight CliftonStrength coaches who serve all students on campus.