Three Essential Ways to Get Your Foot in the Door in the Public Relations Market

By: Elisa Carrillo

November 6, 2016

For all seniors and juniors struggling to get their job or internship applications noticed, there is no need to worry! Diane Rhodes Bergman, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Los Angeles Opera, and experienced interviewer, gave PRSSA helpful tips on what employers seek in résumés and how to make applicants stand out.

Be memorable (In a good way)

  • The interviewer is faced with a lot of “noise,” or distractions, so make their lives simple and cut straight to the chase. Include information in your résumé that is relevant to the position you are applying for. Your résumé should be no longer than 1 ½ pages, and your cover letter should be no longer than 1 page.

  • “Don’t underestimate the power of tangibility in a digital world”- it is so easy to get lost within text messages or emails. If possible, mail your résumé, cover letter and writing samples to the interviewer directly. A few weeks later follow up with a letter or card to let them know you are excited about the position.

  • Don’t be afraid to spend a little extra cash when buying paper to print your résumé on. Also, be prepared and bring several copies of your résumé and work samples in a folder, ready to go. It will make your work look more presentable and professional

Be hungry

  • You must be willing to do anything to get your foot in the door. Show that you have a “can do” attitude.

  • Receptionists and security guards hold so much knowledge about the company and are often looked over. Be friendly with them, even take them out for coffee, ask them questions about the company, what the work environment is like, or if they are able to set up an informational meeting for you.

  • You have to show the interviewer that you are passionate about the position and want to grow with the company. They want to hire a person that is enthusiastic, that will produce better work, and will be a pleasure to work with.

Be strategic

  • Research the company’s main targeted audience, and create a gameplan on how they could increase their demographic.

  • Don’t be the stereotypical “PR girl/boy.” Show them you can still schmooze and be professional at the same time

  • Study the areas where the company is lacking and find solutions on how to make them stronger.

  • They want to know what YOU  will bring to the table and how can you make their lives easier.


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Established in 1978, the California State University Northridge PRSSA provides students with workshops, networking events, internship opportunities and exclusive agency tours which help further advance their careers.


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