Public Relations Talent Acquisition Professionals Share Insights on Resume Building and Job Hunting

It’s 2023. You know how the saying goes: “New Year, New PR Pro,” right?

Three PR talent acquisition specialists participated in a panel discussion for a January 30 PRSA NJ webinar titled, “New Year, New PR Pro: Tips for Resume Building and Job Hunting in 2023.”

The panel included Christina Stokes, Senior Vice President, Director of Talent Acquisition at Rubenstein; Greg Dubas, Managing Partner at CORE Resource Group; and Tina Calo, Director of Human Resources at Coyne PR; and it was moderated by PRSA NJ Board Member Liam Oakes, Public Relations Specialist at Rutgers Graduate School of Education.

The panelists discussed four topics: what skills are needed to succeed as a public relations professional in 2023; how one can excel in their job application and lead their interviews to success; tips for building excellent resumes and portfolios; and navigating diversity, inclusion, and belonging in the industry when seeking job opportunities.

Below are a few key takeaways from our panelists:

What skills do you need to succeed as a public relations professional in 2023 as our industry continues to evolve?

“I think being confident while still being humble — that’s really important. Being able to contribute to a conversation, which means you should be well-read in areas outside of just your personal passion. You should know what’s going on in business, the world, and politics in general, because that information could help you in any brainstorm or your networking with other professionals.” – Christina Stokes

What makes a job application (resume, portfolio, cover letter) stand out in our industry? How does one become “noticed” by hiring managers and HR departments?

“I like a very clear and concise resume … it’s okay to have a couple of versions of your resume to target the role you’re looking for. Nowadays, internships and classes combine PR and social very fluidly. So, if you’re looking for a PR coordinator role, then tailor your resume in that direction, but if you see something for a social media coordinator role that you definitely have the skill set for, then feel free to tailor it a little bit in that direction.” – Tina Calo

Can you share some tips on how to successfully nail your interview?

“From a recruiter’s perspective, I make sure that candidates are prepared and have done their research, have a good understanding of the company, and are ready to engage in conversation. And when asking questions, ask those good thought-provoking questions rather than just general, basic questions.” – Greg Dubas

As a new professional, where does one begin when exploring Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in our industry? Why is it important to have this conversation now as a new professional?

“If you look at a company website, and they have all their staff photos on it, and you notice a significant lack of diversity in one area or another, then ask the questions: ‘Can you talk to me about diversity and inclusion at your firm? What are your initiatives, if any? What steps have you taken? How do you staff your client accounts? Do you find that your clients are asking for more diversity on their account teams?’ … [DEI+B] is going to take commitment from all of us. It’s not just one person being the spokesperson. It has to be everyone, and it has to be from the top all the way down to our newer professionals.” – Christina Stokes

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