Interview Questions: What Do Hiring Managers Want?

Marie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

Interview Questions-What Do Hiring Managers WantInterviewing questions can be routine or complete surprises and everyone struggles with having the perfect answer.  You don’t want to sound rehearsed but you don’t want to be caught off guard.  You definitely don’t want to say anything that won’ t get you the job.  And, I’m sure, you often said to yourself, “That question again.”  Well, there is a method to the interview questioning madness.  Behind every question, the interviewer is hoping to learn more about you – what’s your real personality, how do you think,  how do you handle yourself.  The next time you are asked the same question yet again, here’s what the interviewer is trying to find out:

  1.  Tell me about yourself.  The interviewer wants to see how articulate you are and what you think are the highlights of your career.
  2. What are your weaknesses?  This question lets an interviewer know how self-aware you are.
  3. Where do you see yourself in five years?  No one wants to hire someone for the short term.  Speaking about your career goals will help convince someone that this job is a home for you not a short-term stopover.
  4. Why us?  You may need a job but a company wants to hire the right person for the job.  Be able to explain why their company is the right spot for you.
  5. Why did you leave your last job?  How you work is important.  If you can’t work in a certain environment or with certain personalities, it’s important for an interviewer to know.  No one wants to set someone up to fail and a company needs to make sure you can work in their culture.
  6. Do you have any questions?    Show an interest, show the homework you have done.  Be remembered for the great questions you asked.  Even if you have decided this isn’t the job for you, ask questions.  You never know what other opportunities will arise.
  7. How would you handle this problem?  Catching you off guard will enable an interviewer to see how you react and how quickly you think.  You may not be able to answer the question but how you handle it counts the most.
  8. What would your co-workers say about you?  This question will again speak to your self-awareness and how you related to your fellow workers.
  9. Did you catch the game last night?  This or another type of surprise question can be asked to get you to relax and get a ‘real’ response.
  10. Hobbies? Outside activities?  How you handle your personal life can say a lot about you and what type of employee you will be.

Time to change your answers!

Horizon Air Apparent Suicide by Plane: A Big Lesson for Crisis Managers (Updated)

Scott Sobel, MA Media Psychology, kglobal Agency 

There are so many unbelievable true stories in the news that it is sometimes hard to know what is real and what is Hollywood fiction. The tragic incident involving a Horizon Air ground crewman is one of those cases where truth is absolutely stranger than fiction.  Twenty-nine-year-old Richard Russell is believed to have committed suicide last Friday after he stole a commuter airliner from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac). Authorities are still investigating whether Russell did indeed commit suicide or lost control of the aircraft. He wasn’t a trained pilot but managed to use a tug to pull the aircraft to the runway, turn on the plane without a key and take off in the complex multi-engine turboprop, putting-on an aerobatic show for the next hour-and-a-half. Then, with military jets following, the 76-seat Q400 crashed into a remote Puget Sound island, killing the pilot and destroying the plane.

The last aviation crisis emergency response and prevention case I created and organized less than a year ago included the plausible scenario of a disgruntled and armed former employee threatening his way past a general aviation hangar front desk security guard and then possibly taking a hostage.  The potential active shooter held-off authorities while holed-up beneath a commuter jet housed in the flight test hangar. We involved all airline manufacturer staff, local first responders, the control tower, the nearby airport authorities, a nearby school and the news media. The Federal Aviation Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were all aware of the exercise and subsequent debriefing. That was an accepted likely scenario. After the Sea-Tac incident Friday, I wish I had also offered a list of other, more improbable practice cases.

So, what happens to the aviation industry after this unbelievable Sea-Tac incident has become reality? Consider again, a non-pilot, a trusted multi-year employee, with no reported mental health issues steals a plane, is able to take off and fly for nearly two hours before apparently, deliberately, crashing the aircraft! What if Richard Russell had bad intentions for others or what if someone else, a non-pilot terrorist could have flown that aircraft into a populated area, a skyscraper in downtown Seattle, Vancouver, San Francisco?

Every flying passenger, aviator and aviation employee knows what happened in the U.S. and elsewhere after the 911 attack. Airport security measures were drastically changed following trained pilot terrorists, riding as passengers committed mass murder. But now an insider, a non-pilot ground crewman has breached the next level of our seemingly naive security threshold.  How will aviation hiring practices, security clearances and accesses be changed?

This Sea-Tac case should additionally be a game-changer for crisis managers. How do we crisis and reputation managers have to change our practices in order to prepare our clients and employers for that absolute worst-case scenario? I’d strongly suggest that we continue to create and practice that most likely role-play as a priority, but it is also prudent to consider creating an addendum. Don’t miss the opportunity to work with your industry experts and clients to set aside time to consider the least likely scenario as well. The Sea-Tac aviation tragedy will have implications for airport security and screening around the world and should hold lessons for crisis communications practitioners and reputation managers in any business.

As you prepare crisis scenarios and prioritize your role-playing and desktops for the most-likely scenario, don’t ever overlook the least-likely scenarios that could, of course, also have great impact on a business’ or organization’s reputation, and set-up chains-of-events that result in injuries or death. To paraphrase an old saying, prepare for the very worst (and even unbelievable) and hope for the best. History shows anything can happen.

Scott Sobel -Horizon Air Apparent Suicide by Plane: A Big Lesson for Crisis ManagersAbout the Author: Scott Sobel is Senior Vice President, Crisis and Litigation Communications, at kglobal, a Washington, DC-based full-service communications firm that influences public policy, increases market share + builds awareness for our commercial and federal clients. He counsels some of the world’s best-known corporations and is also a former in-house corporate public relations practitioner; major market and TV network police and investigative journalist and a media psychologist.;


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Be Aware: 2017 Hiring Trends

2017 Hiring TrendsMarie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

The hiring season has begun and hiring trends are emerging.  While some aspects of interviewing will stay the same, technology is starting to make a huge difference as are the skills employers need and want. Understanding how the interviewing process is changing, will give you an edge.  According to the Addison Group,  expect the following trends:

  1.  More Interactive Interviews.  Panels, one-on-one sessions, and phone screens will continue to be in use, but video interviewing will expand.  Why?  It allows hiring managers to get a ‘feel’ for a candidate’s personality and it lowers hiring costs.  Look for these interviews to become more common in the early screening phases of interviewing.
  2. Skills.  The Addison Group sees a rise in companies seeking specialized skills.  They believe that candidates with specialized experiences, when combined with more working experience than junior candidates, will find greater success in the job hunt.
  3. Technology.  Technological fluency will be critical for success in today’s job market.  There is a high demand for candidates invested in learning or those who have already applied technology to their work.  Your proficiency with various technology/tools should be highlighted on your resume.

Stay ahead of hiring trends!


U.S. Advertising And Marketing Execs Reveal Hiring Plans Through 2016

jobs200A CommPRO News Update

According to research from The Creative Group, thirteen percent of executives in advertising and marketing plan to expand their teams in the second half of 2016. This is up from 11 percent in the first half of the year.

The majority of those surveyed said they expect to maintain staff levels and hire primarily to fill vacated roles in the next six months. Additionally, 20 percent of ad execs and 10 percent of marketing execs anticipate increasing the number of freelance staff through the remainder of the year.

“Many companies are adding to their bench of marketing talent, particularly within the digital space,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. “Employers seek professionals who can help build their businesses’ online presence, support year-end campaigns and strategize for the future.”

Marketing and Advertising Specialties in Demand

When execs were asked which areas they plan to add staff to in the second half of 2016, they reported a range of specialties. Content marketing, brand/product management, digital marketing and web design/production topped the list (18 percent each).

Advertising and marketing executives were asked, “In which of the following areas do you expect to hire in the second half of 2016?” Their responses:

Content marketing: 18%

Brand/product management: 18%

Digital marketing: 18%

Web design/production: 18%

Marketing research: 17%

Creative/art direction: 17%

Print design/production: 17%

Customer experience: 17%

Social media: 16%

Media services: 15%

Public relations: 14%

Copywriting: 14%

Account services: 13%

Interactive media: 10%

Mobile design/development: 10%

Note: Multiple responses permitted. Top responses shown.

Recruiting Challenges

Over forty percent of execs discussed how difficult it is to find skilled creative professionals today. Hiring managers at small advertising agencies (20-49 employees) and large advertising agencies (100+ employees) expect the greatest difficulty, with 50 percent of respondents in each group reporting it is somewhat or very challenging to find the talent they seek.

When asked which types of roles are most difficult to fill, the top responses were web design/production, customer experience and brand/product management.

About the Research

The national study was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on 400 telephone interviews — with 200 marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 200 advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.

Interview Tricks: 10 Techniques To Watch For

Interview TricksMarie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

Interview tricks are becoming more prevalent.  Interviewing is becoming more sophisticated.  Hiring managers are using different techniques to discover what they want to know.  Many are specific questions but others can trip you up if you are not careful.

Here are some tricks to watch out for:

  1.  Let me show you around.  This is done to see what you are like on a casual basis.  Your guide will be very informal and it will give the company an idea of what you will be like to work with on a day-to-day basis.
  2.  The silent treatment.  Don’t rush to say something just because there is silence.  If the interviewer continues to remain silent, just ask if you can provide any more information.
  3.  Overly friendly.  A good interviewer will put you at ease.  But don’t get too comfortable.  Chatting will make you reveal more than you should.
  4.  How much you do know about us?  This is designed to find out if you have done your homework.  If you haven’t prepared, the interview might end quickly.
  5.  Why do you want to leave your current job?  Remember don’t bad mouth your employer in any way.
  6.  What’s your dream job?  Your dream job is the position you are interviewing for.  Speaking about working in a different industry or doing something else is not going to get you hired.
  7.  Follow-up.  If you are asked to follow-up about something, make sure you do.  Not following up could signal your lack of interest.
  8.  Are you honest/trustworthy?  Checking for honesty can be asking if you have ever told a lie or asking the same question multiple times during an interview.  Just be truthful and you won’t come across as not trustworthy.
  9.  Do you have any questions?  This shows that you are interested and are inquisitive in general.  It also give you a chance to learn more about the position to insure the job will be a good fit.
  10.  Are you polite?  Remember everyone you come in contact with, can make or break you chance at getting a position.  Be on your best behavior at all times.

Have you been ‘tested’? Let me know.


Social Media: 10 Ways To Get Recruiters To Find You

Your Social Media Posts-5 Things Recruiters Look For


Marie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

Social media is an important way of life now.  You put your company and your clients out there to be found but do you put yourself out there?  Recruiters and hiring managers use social media to find potential job candidates.  Here are some things you should be doing:

  1.  Make sure you show up in searches.  Ensure your profile contains the keywords for the jobs you want.  Remember that internship you had way back when?  Make sure it doesn’t have keywords or you will be showing up in searches  in an area you left a long time ago.  Current keywords and no old keywords.
  2.  Add contacts.  You want to be seen as much as possible and have anything you posted, shared.
  3.  Get a good headshot.  You want to look as professional as possible.  PhotoFeeler is a program that will review your online photo to make sure you are sending the right message.
  4.  Stay active.  Update your profile.  Use any summary section to your advantage.  Let the reader know who you are and what you do.  And post regularly.  It can be a business article you read, something about your company or client.
  5.  Beware of personal sites.  You might think a recruiter will only look at LinkedIn or Twitter but we do check candidates out on Facebook and other sites.  Having one professional profile and another showing questionable posts or photos will not help you land a job.  So clean up your sites and only post want you want a potential employer to see.
  6.  Be consistent in your branding across all platforms.
  7.  If you are employed, keep your search confidential.  When editing your profile, turn off the ‘notify your network’ section.  This way you won’t be calling attention to the fact that you just redid you profile.
  8.  Use groups and chats to connect with other professionals and get involved in industry discussions.
  9.  Be a thought leader.  Start building your brand and posting about your areas of expertise.  You can share your thoughts and articles but also those of others.
  10.  Follow company job sites and recruiters.  When you are on a site that uses hashtags, search using the hashtags and your area of interest.

You can and will be found online.  Just follow the rules so you pop up!

Cover Letters: 4 Rules For A Good Cover Letter

Marie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

Cover letters. Are they important or not?

In a recent survey by PayScale, only 18 percent of hiring managers said cover letters were an important part of the hiring process.  On the other hand, some managers use them as a filter and others expect to see one.

If you do a cover letter, follow these rules.

  1.  It’s about ‘them,’ not you.  It’s not I, I, I.  It’s about what you have to offer them.
  2. Know ‘their’ need.  Make sure you have visited their web site and that you have read the job description thoroughly.  Don’t send a generic cover letter, send a targeted one.
  3. Meet ‘their’ specs.  Read the description and match their requirements to yours.  Make sure to drop those keywords in your cover letter and your resume.
  4. Have a ‘name.’  If you have a referral name, make sure you put it in the first paragraph.  Name dropping can help and you want to make sure it doesn’t get overlooked.

Just as you must customize a resume, you must do the same for your cover letter!

Interviewing Etiquette: 13 Tips To Lower Your Stress

marie-rapertoBy Marie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

Interviewing etiquette can be stressful.  You don’t know what is to come and you want everyone to like you.  It can be a recipe for disaster.  What you have to remember is that everyone interviewing feels this way and hiring managers and recruiters take it into consideration.  But, as the interview approaches, the nerves come out.  What can you do to help this?  Well, there are a few tips to follow that can help you through the process.

  1. Job Interview Do your homework.  You may not know much about the job but research the company.  Is this the type of company you want to work for?
  2. Bring a working pen, clean paper and two copies of your resume.  The interviewer will probably have your resume, but you don’t know if you will be meeting with others.
  3. Dress appropriately.  Ladies, avoid oversized jewelry.  Wear natural makeup and a hairstyle that keeps your hair from falling in your face.
  4. Turn off your phone.  Lowering the volume or placing it on vibrate is not respectful to the interviewer.
  5. No gum.
  6. Be on time.
  7. Practice a firm hand shake and wait for the interviewer to initiate the shake.
  8. Listen, don’t speak.  You want to answer questions concisely.  You don’t want to be a chatterbox.
  9. Be careful of your body posture.  Bad posture could mean you are not interested or bored.
  10. Be nice to everyone and SMILE.
  11. If your interview is over a meal:  Do not drink.  Watch your table manners.  Remember to take small bites so you don’t have to speak with your mouth full.  Don’t order the most expensive item on the menu and, if you were invited to this meal, don’t offer to pay for it.
  12. On the same day, send a thank you note.  While email is fine, you can also send a handwritten note in the mail.
  13. Do not tweet/post/blog about your interview.

If you follow the basic tips, you will feel more confident and appear less nervous.

Happy interviewing!

Social Media In Your Job Search: 5 Sites To Be On

By Marie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

Social Media and Job SearchUsing social media in your job search can be a very powerful tool.  It can connect you to recruiters, hiring managers, alumni, like-minded professionals and even to organizations where you want to work.  What is most important on networking sites is making sure that you are utilizing your profile to the maximum advantage.  The site or sites you use must show you off so that people can notice and/or find you.  Here are some tips for leveraging LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest an Google+ :


  1.  Build your profile by including all of your experience from your resume with keywords, skills and accomplishments.  Include an pertinent web links, such as your portfolio.
  2. Make sure your contact information is there.  If you want to network, you must be accessible.
  3. Use a professional headshot and headline.
  4. Update your profile regularly.  You can post articles etc. to show your interest in the field.
  5. Join groups and follow organizations in your field.
1.  Your handle should be your name or a combination of your name and profession.
2.  Use a professional headshot.
3.  Create a professional profiles that shows your top skills.  Add links to your website, LinkedIn profile or your portfolio.
4.  Follow professional organizations and join in Tweetchats/Tweetups.
5.  Search hashtags relevant to your search.
1.  Create your profile and include information from your resume and a professional photo.
2.  In the ‘About’ section, you can let your network know that you are searching.
3.  Utilize the ‘Circles’ feature.
4.  Connect and share content.
5.  Be active in hangouts.
1.  Make sure your profile is personalized.
2. Use privacy settings and lists to manage who can see personal or professional content.
3.  Build your network and join relevant groups.
4.  Start discussions by commenting/answering questions.  Be professional.
5.  Utilize Facebook’s job boards and apps.
1.  Write a headline with your career goals and top skills.
2.  If you can, create an infographic resume to highlight your skills/accomplishments.
3.  Develop boards to highlight your career interests.
4.  Follow recruiters and professional influencers.
5.  Add links to your other social media profiles to your images.
See you on social media!

Your Six Seconds: 3 Ways To Get Your Resume Read

marie-rapertoBy Marie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

Your six seconds, what does that mean?  Studies have shown that hiring managers/recruiters scan your resume and they scan it for 6 seconds.  It’s scary to think that a decision will be made in that short time frame.  That’s not a lot of time but, as a recruiter, I can tell you that it’s enough to get an impression of the candidate.  Whether it’s less than six or more, it still means that you have to get your message across quickly and targeted to the reader.  So what can you do?  Here are  things that you can do to make your six seconds count.

1.  Make your resume readable.  Your resume must be clear on a desktop, a phone or a tablet.  It must be readable – lots of white space, a nice sized font, not crammed and not too long.  In most instances, only the top third of your resume will be scanned.

2.  Your resume must highlight your skills.  The keywords reflecting the job requirements from the ad or description MUST be in your resume and they should be in the first third of it to ensure they will be seen.

3.  Don’t look like a job hopper.  If you were laid-off and are freelancing, make sure your resume is clear on that.  If you are in a long-term temp assignment, put (Contract Assignment) after the title.  Have a gap?  Use a short explanation – maternity leave,  parental care leave etc., if you can.

You want to show that you have the skills to do the job and not have anything pull from those skills.  Keep it simple.  If you pass the one-third scan, you will make it to the next round.


Summertime Job Search: 3 Tips To Sizzle In The Job Market

Summertime Job SearchIs it productive to do a summertime job search?   Many job seekers think that recruiters/hiring managers will be away for the summer.  That’s not true.  While people do take vacations in the summer and around holidays, very few people take long vacations any more and, if they do, they have someone to cover for them.  In the business world, summer is ‘business as usual.’

Interviewing during the summer can take longer because of vacations, but candidates do get hired.  Also, as business tends to pickup during the Fall, many employers hire during the summer so employers can be in place.

How do you keep you search going in the hot times ahead?  Check out these Summertime job search tips:

1.  Network:  Use personal and social events to get the word out about your search.  Summer social events tend to be more relaxed and people tend to listen.  Meet new contacts to add to your network.

2.  Keep Going:  Make a schedule and keep to it.  It might be slower, but it’s not the time to stop your search.

3.  Review Your Resume:  Is it current?  Does it adequately reflect your skills?  Do you want a Twitter resume?  Does your resume work in the digital world?

Keep working on your job search through the summer.  You will find yourself three months ahead of other candidates!

Cover Letters: 5 Tips to Maximize Readership

CoverLetterIn the job search world today, getting noticed can be the hardest part.  Recruiters and hiring managers are bombarded with resumes and only spend a few seconds scanning each one.  What should you do to  be noticed?  Make sure your cover letter stands out and is easy to read.

Cover letters serve as an introduction, should state why you are applying and discuss your qualifications concisely.  They should end with an ask for a meeting or interview.  Make sure your cover letter adheres to the following:

1.  Is on one page with three short paragraphs.

2.  Each paragraph should have 2-4 sentences, maximum.

3.  Set your spacing to optimize white space –  double space between paragraphs, one- and-a-half spaces between sentences.

4.  Use bullets or lists to highlight skills.

5.  Proofread, proofread, proofread.

Resume Rules: 2022

Resume Rules 2019


Marie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

A new year brings new resume tweaks.  Covid has changed things.  Job hunting is more tech-oriented than ever.  Working from home, office or a hybrid model have made professionals more time conscious so keeping your resume on target is a must. No one has time to waste.

Here are the resume rules for 2022:

Use a Professional Summary or Objective:

Whichever you use, keep it brief. You want to communicate your achievement. Leave out all the arrogant adjective – trustworthy, master, expert etc.  In your summary, you want to speak about your accomplishments.  In your objective, you want to highlight the skills you have used to get you where you are.

Include your Linkedin profile:

You have the ability to include more information on your profile than on your resume so include a link to your Linkedin profile on your resume.  Remember to update your profile and make sure dates etc. agree with your resume.

Make Your Resume Easy to Read:

With a remote workforce, resumes are read on a variety of devices – desktops, tablets and phones.  Remember to leave a lot of white space and bullet points.  Keep paragraphs to 2-3 sentences.  Applicant Tracking Systems don’t always read boxes, graphs and borders so simple is best. Try opening your resumes on different devices to see how easy it is to read.  Keep your resume to two pages, if you can.  Remember, you can use addendum pages to list accomplishments, awards, media hits etc.

Use an up-to-date font such as Avenir, Garamond or Calibri.

Include Pandemic-Related Content:

Showing how you managed your job while working remotely could be a plus.  Explain how you handled your clients, managed your staff or worked on new business in this new pandemic world.  Your motivation and resourcefulness could be a plus.

Vaccinated?  No one is sure if this will be an issue yet.  It’s a personal choice to put it on your resume or not.  In some cases, it might be important if the position requires you to go to the office for meetings.

The Basic Resume Rules don’t Change:

Your resume must:
1. Have just the pertinent information.
2. Be customized for each job.
3. Be strategic in content.
4. Have the most relevant information at the top of every section.
5. Be concise, have white space and be easy to read/scan.
6. Be applicant tracking system (ATS) ready – no headers/footers, graphs, color etc.
7. Not have old, outdated material.
8. Include appropriate keywords.
9. Use bullet points to make it easier to read.
10. Be error free.

Resume Styles:

There are three basic resume styles: Chronological, Functional, and Combination.
A chronological resume is still the most used format and it includes a listing of your work history, beginning with your most recent job. This is a great format for your master resume.
A functional resume highlights your major skills areas.
A combination resume utilizes parts of both the functional and chronological resumes. It lists skills on tope followed by the work history.
Whatever format you use, remember to customize your resume to target the specific abilities and duties listed in the description.

What Goes On Your Resume?

1. Your name, address, telephone numbers and email address. Identify your phone numbers if you are putting more than one (cell, business, home, message etc.)

If you are looking for a remote opportunity, put that under your personal information or in your objective/summary.

2. In your work history, put the company/agency name with a short explanation of the nature of the organization. Hiring managers might not be familiar with your employer or you might be working in a specific product unit.
3. If you are looking for work in a PR or Advertising agency, list your clients or account expertise.
4. Under education, list the school and degree.
5. If you are fluent in a language or have knowledge of specific or technical computer programs, list them.  Do not use general terms like computer literate and only list languages you are fluent in (read, write and speak.)
6. Current Board/Committee memberships can show your interest in a field or philanthropic area. List them.

What Does Not Go On Your Resume?

1. Don’t list any personal information such as birthdays, marital status etc. While common practice outside of the US, it is not legal here.
2. Keep the names of your references on a separate sheet and give them out when asked.
3. Salary information does not belong on the resume. If a job ad asks for salary history, it should go in your cover letter.
4. Don’t include any activities that are not relevant. You can always make a separate addendum page if you want them.
5. The phrase, “References available on request” is outdated and should not be used.

6. If you have been working for ten or more years, you can drop the bullet points from earlier jobs.  It’s the company name, title and dates of employment that are necessary.

When writing your Resume, remember to:

1. Eliminate pronouns. Resumes should not include I, he/she.
2. Tailor your summary to the position you are applying.
3. Don’t include non-sequitur information.
4. Use bullet points to make it easier to read.
5. Avoid jargon/buzzwords.
6. Do not include personal information.
7. If you feel your resume is too long, eliminate from the bottom. You don’t really need bullet points for your first jobs.
8. Include as many keywords as possible. Use the keywords from the advertisement or job description when possible.

Words Not to Include on Your Resume:

Unnecessary words that don’t add anything, describe anything or showcase your writing ability should be eliminated from your resume. You want to be clear and concise so eliminate words like:

Extensive experience
Team player
Problem solver
Interface with
Aptitude for
Works well with
Good communication skills
Measurable results
Good work ethic
Bottom-line oriented

Words to Add to Your Resume:


Sending Your Resume:

It’s a digital world when it comes to job hunting so your resume will be sent electronically.
Transmitting your resume with a generic name can cause it to be overlooked or to get lost in the system. Be professional and name your resume file properly. You want hiring managers to know it’s your resume and make it easier to track through their email system.

1. Use either a PDF or Microsoft Word Format.
2. Personalize your file by adding your name – MarieRapertoResume.
3. Don’t use a version number. Just keep it simple.

Remember – Customization is King!

PR Students: Guide to Building a New Career in Public Relations


Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR

Though perceived as a long party, a career in Public Relations is more than popping champagne and expensive lunches. Thanks to the fierce competition for jobs, getting one’s first foot into a PR career can be a daunting process. However, that’s not to say a graduate cannot make it, because many have made it.

To launch a career successfully, PR students should stand out to increase their prospects. Several steps, highlighted below, can help a marketing student build a new career in PR.

Key Steps to Building A Career In PR

#1. Master Storytelling

Getting one’s points across easily and concisely is crucial within the marketing and communications space. So, entrants into the PR world need to master the art of writing for different audiences, using different tones, and messaging on different platforms.

Being imaginative and hooking an audience through a story’s plot is crucial for achieving each writeup’s objective.

#2. Watch Social Media

Previously, social media networks were not considered in hiring processes. However, times have changed, and hiring managers check social media to learn more about a candidate. Presenting a positive image of themselves on social media is of utmost importance to a PR student.

Recognizing that PR is about positive reputations, marketing, and communication, students should be conscious of what’s associated with their social media accounts.

#3. Marketing

Promoting one’s skills is essential for entrants into PR. Perfecting and marketing one’s brand can provide a great portfolio for someone working towards a career that involves marketing large brands.

For PR students, being bold with CVs and networking with industry experts can make a huge difference. Worth noting, attending PR-related events and talks can help marketing and communication novices get industry insights while collecting useful contacts.

#4. Why work in PR?

When applying for a marketing and communication role, PR students should understand why they want to work for a specific marketing agency.

Preparing for a role in PR involves conducting research and tailoring one application to a company’s needs. PR graduates should also research organizations they want to work for. This helps candidates tailor their CVs, thus increasing their employment opportunities.

As well, knowing why one wants to be in PR helps bring out their personality. Passion and enthusiasm for the industry cannot be trained into someone like core skills. Therefore having the hunger and drive to succeed in a PR career—drawn from understanding why one wants a career in PR— is essential.

#5. Get Immersed in media

Understanding the media landscape as it exists both online and offline helps PR students understand the stakeholders to whom one will be pitching ideas and stories. Plus, immersing oneself in media will accustom a PR student to what type of content gets results within different media agencies

Being hungry for information—including current affairs across different media— can help a student during interviews. Often, interviewers ask questions based on current affairs to assess whether a candidate is conversant with current discourses in the marketing space.

#6. Learn Transferable Skills and volunteer

While a degree is important for a career in PR, employers also look out for transferable skills one has learned from different industries as well as from volunteering. With many administrative skills being transferrable, PR students should seek internships that help them learn some essential office skills and earn experience in a corporate environment.

RONN TOROSSIAN - HOW MANY FOLLOWERS DO YOU NEED ON INSTAGRAM TO GET PAID?About the Author: Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, one of America’s leading PR firms.

Looking For A Job When You Don’t Need One – The Passive Search



Marie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

Looking for a job when you don’t need one is extremely important. You want to be prepared if that ‘perfect’ job that you’ve always wanted turns up or, due to unforeseen events, your current job ends. While you don’t want to be overtly looking, here are some ways to be seen as a great candidate:

  1. Keep your resume up-to-date. You may not be sharing your resume but keeping it current is important. If you need it, you won’t have to delay sending it to someone and you won’t forget anything that you have done.
  2. Online profiles should be kept current also. This is where hiring managers and recruiters will find you.
  3. Networking is very important for your career. Building personal/business relationships can help in every step of your career.
  4. Stay active. Share and write content when possible. Posting on online sites will help demonstrate your knowledge of the field. You want to show that you are an expert in your field.

You never know, so be ready.

6 Ways To Show Confidence In An Interview

Marie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

Showing confidence in an interview is a necessity but you most be careful that you do not come across as arrogant or over-confident. Hiring managers are trying to access how you would fit into their culture along with looking for the right skills and experience. You must find the right balance between confidence vs. arrogance.  Here are some tips to follow:

  1.  Prove it.  Provide data and samples so an interviewer can made the determination that you did it on their own.
  2. Allow the conversation to flow. Be prepared to speak about your experience and skills but also listen to what the company needs. Listen for clues about what they want and what their culture is like. Not every job will be the perfect job for you. Better to find out before you start.
  3. Tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Dishonesty in any form is considered a very undesirable trait. An interviewer is looking for someone who is honest about their experience and skills. Be yourself in an interview.
  4. Manners count. Interviews can be stressful and you can easily come off as a know-it-all. Things like being on time, prepared and having researched the company all show that you are interested.  But looking at your phone or watch, sipping your coffee and negative body language can make you look patronizing.
  5. Ask questions. Asking questions shows that you have done some research, you have listened to the interviewer and that you are interested.  Remember, questions on vacation time and benefits should wait to your last interview.
  6. Use referrals/recommendations. If someone referred you, let the interviewer know. If you have written recommendations, bring them with you. You might be able to use one to prove your accomplishments. Having someone speak to your experience/skills is a plus.

Confident not arrogance will get you the job!

Interviewing: 3 Tactics For An Effective Interview

Interviewing Dos and Don'tsMarie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

Interviewing is difficult. With the pandemic, I’m seeing less in-person interviews and more  over the phone or on video.  Limited time, online delays, not seeing facial features etc., all make the process even harder.  For hiring managers, the most important step is to plan out your interview prior to the call.

  1.  How much time do you have? To structure your interview, allow at least 10 minutes for candidates questions and about 10 minutes to talk about the opportunity. Then allow the most time to question backgrounds and direct experience with the remaining time on personality/culture questions.
  2. Ask specific questions:  What have you done; Do you have experience with; How did you/would you handle this situation; On your resume, you said___, can you explain what you did.  With limited time, you want to find out as much as possible.
  3. To find out personality/culture matches ask questions like:  Tell me about; How did you handle; Did you ever see a situation like; In your opinion; What do you like/dislike about a particular situation/job.

Preparing in advance will help you get the most out of the interview.  Both candidates and interviewers need to be prepared!

Job Search Traps: 7 Traps To Avoid

Job Search Traps -7 Traps To Avoid

Marie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

Job search traps are a reality.  Unfortunately, the internal hiring process is out of your control.  You can’t make hiring managers call you back quicker or make decisions faster.  The hiring process can be quite long and frustrating.  But you can be making it more stressful without realizing what you are doing.  PayScale has identified 7 job search traps to avoid:

  1.  Trying to go it alone.  With 80%+ of jobs being filled, through networking, asking for assistance is important.  Not everyone will be helpful or know of a job opening but some will be able to answer questions about a company or have connections.
  2.  If it sounds too good to be true…  Getting a job offer is exciting but beware.  Watch for the warning signs:  The salary you are offered is way too high; you were not called for an interview or never met the people you would be working with; nothing has been put in writing; you have been asked to put money upfront; your instincts are telling you something is wrong.
  3.  Picky/Not picky enough.  It’s important to think job offers through. Accepting any job may not be the best thing to do.  If it’s not right, you will be right back where you started.  Of course, there may not be a stream of job offers coming in.  Do your homework.
  4.  Don’t count on others to manage your career.  Work with recruiters and for assistance but it’s up to you be manage the process.
  5.  Putting your search on hold.  Hiring decisions can be lengthy but, until the you sign on the dotted line, it’s not a done deal.  Keep looking.
  6.  Applying for the wrong jobs.  Answering jobs that don’t fit your background or skills is a waste of time.  In fact, it will just make you feel more frustrated when you don’t get answers or the job.
  7.  Not asking for feedback.  Not everyone will let you know why you didn’t the get job, ask anyway.  Thank the company for considering you but was there anything the other person had that didn’t.

Finding a new job can be difficult so don’t sabotage yourself.

Resume Mistakes: 7 Mistakes To Avoid

Resume Rules - 2018Marie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

Resume mistakes can cost you a job.  Even in an environment where jobs are plentiful and candidates scarce, mistakes on your resume can get you eliminated from the search.  Hiring managers don’t spend more than a minute reviewing resumes so you have to make a great impression in a short time frame.  Here are 7 mistakes to avoid:

  1.  Typos.  Your resume represents who you are.  You don’t want someone to think you are sloppy and can’t proof read.  It’s important to check and recheck your resume every time you send it out.
  2.  Formatting Problems.  You want to show an employer that you are detailed-oriented.  Formatting errors will show that you are not.  Watch out for any inconsistencies in format – using bold for headlines, size of type fonts, spaces between numbers, etc.
  3.  Not Customizing Your Resume.  In today’s market, every time you send out your resume, you should be customizing it to the specs mentioned in the ad.  You want to show an employer that you are qualified to fill this particular position.
  4.  Clichés And Overused Words.  Use verbs that are action oriented and make sure not to use the same one twice.  Quotes and clichés will only make the reader roll their eyes.  Keep your resume simple and to the point.
  5.  Tailor Your Summary/Objective.  You make think you have a general summary or objective on the job of your resume.  However, you need to make it fit the job.  Tailoring is everything.
  6.  Too Much/Too Little.  You need to insure that your resume is scannable and easy to read.  The information in your resume should pertain to a particular position.  Any other information can be distracting.
  7.  Use Appropriate Keywords.  Part of customizing your resume is using keywords from an employer’s ad or job description. This is particularly important if you are applying online.  Applicant Tracking Software uses keywords to find qualified candidates.