How Not to Get a Job in Public Relations

In: Business and Management

Submitted By buckbanks
Words 1002
Pages 5
In addition to my PR responsibilities, I am also in charge of the employee hiring process. I field cover letters and resumes, handle initial interviews and administer our agency writing test. Sometimes this work is interesting and even enjoyable. Sometimes it's baffling. Not to mention irritating.

My most recent HR experience certainly fell into the latter two categories. I had received via e-mail the cover letter and resume of a young woman who had graduated from a local university two months before with a degree in mass communications. As we were looking to fill a summer part-time internship, I invited her — let's call her "Jane" — to interview.

She performed satisfactorily in the interview, demonstrating confidence in her abilities and familiarity with the agency. But she didn't really impress me, and while her resume had several internships and showed some relevant experience, I was not in a rush to hire her. So I thanked "Jane" for her time and asked whether she would agree to take our agency writing test. She said she would and I e-mailed it to her. As always, I did not give a firm deadline to return the test, believing how long it takes an applicant to return the test is a fair gauge of how much she wants the job.

Our writing test has a part where the applicant is asked to write a one-page press release based on about 25 bullet points from which to select content, a PR savvy part where a problem is posed and the applicant proposes a solution, and an editing test where we assess the applicant's grasp of Associated Press style, basic grammar and spelling, and attention to detail.

The interview was on a Wednesday and I received "Jane's" completed test the following Monday — five days later. I looked through it and found it to be a generally lackluster performance, with poor writing, poor organization, uninspired ideas and a profound inability…...

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