You’re Hired: 8 Secrets to Help You in the Job Application Process

May 1, 2017


A lot of job seekers stress over the content in their applications or send out applications and receive a few (or no) responses. Some candidates struggle with “live” moments like job interviews, whether on the phone or in-person. And others are just tired of running into walls and need a new job.

In his webinar, “The Best Job Application of Your Life,” presented by the PRSA New Pros Section and PRSSA, Danny Rubin — author of “Wait, How Do I Write This Email?” and vice president of Rubin Communications Group in Virginia Beach, Va. — shared eight secrets of the hiring process. 

Here are some of Rubin’s tips to help you stand out and get the job:

1. Don’t be fancy, be you.

Don’t try to “act smart,” he said. Stay within yourself and communicate naturally. Storytelling is key, so help others to visualize what you’re saying.

2. Create a résumé objective statement.

Don’t tell me; show me. How much? How many? “You must demonstrate value in real terms. No one else has your track record of success. Get rid of fluff language and tell people what you accomplished with hard evidence,” Rubin said.

3. Include work experience on your résumé.

“Every résumé bullet point must paint a picture in the mind of the reader,” he said. Use percentages and dollar amounts. Provide “next level” info, and specific people, places and companies. Rather than explain what you do, like a job description would, paint a picture of your success and how you got there.

4. Add a LinkedIn profile summary.

You have 30 seconds to describe yourself. With LinkedIn, show emotion and let people see your personality. It’s a strength — not a weakness.

A three-step formula for LinkedIn success is to “explain who you really are, what you really do and then bring ‘em home,” Rubin said. This works for college students, recent grads, the unemployed, the military and those in transition:

  • Explain what you’re known for, your identity and how you help people.
  • Include your title and company, what you do and areas of expertise.
  • Provide a strong closing sentence, the reason you wake up and why you’re the best person for the position.

5. Write a “storytelling” cover letter.

Learn to tell your own story and doors will open. Understand the power of storytelling — your opening line is key. Everyone else uses a cover letter to recap a résumé. Bur if you tell a story, then things will start to happen.

Remember: “Show me. Don’t tell me. Your story is the greatest asset you have in the job market — period,” he said. How to find a story? Think about a time when you were challenged and overcame an obstacle. When writing your cover letter:

  • Use hard numbers.
  • Name actual people, places and companies.
  • Have a beginning, middle and end to your story.
  • Don’t be vague.

6. Email to apply for a job.

Every email is a chance to stand out. Even in basic emails, you can stand out. “In one line, tease an awesome story,” Rubin said. “Make your employer read your application out of curiosity and increase the odds that they want to hear the story.”

Let your story drive your job application, even in the email. Stories do all the selling — and remember, your résumé should always be one page or shorter.

7. Undergo smart interview prep.

“Know that everyone asks predictable questions,” he said. “Remember to take the focus off yourself and focus on the company and interviewer. Tell three great stories. Have an angle and answer questions with stories.” Also ask questions about the company and tell stories of your own success. A few more tips before an interview:

  • Background check:  Do research on the people you’re talking to.
  • Office insight: Read the company’s blog, news, press releases.
  • The wow factor: Impress your potential employer with what you know about the company.
  • The inception: Come to the table with ideas (tactics and strategies). Explain why you would want to be a part of a team or project and ways you could add value.

8. Write a memorable thank-you note.

Tell the interviewer that you appreciated their time. “Reference a moment from your conversation. Prove you listened and stroke their ego — provide an example of something the employer said that stood out to you,” Rubin said.

“Learn to write well — it will open doors. People will respect you and want to work with you.” 

Amy Jacques

Amy Jacques is the managing editor of publications for PRSA. A native of Greenville, S.C., she holds a master’s degree in arts journalism from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in advertising from the University of Georgia’s Grady College and a certificate in magazine and website publishing from New York University.


Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA says:

Excellent advice from Amy Jacques at PRSA. I hope my COM/PR students at @CurryEdu and our @CCPRSA members read and heed!

May 11, 2017

Nathalie Baret says:

Great, insightful article, thank you for sharing it!

Nov. 7, 2017

Valentina Barton says:

Great insights!! Appreciate you sharing!

Jan. 21, 2018

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