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Need Career Guidance? Pose a Question to the“Ask the Experts” Forum

If you have questions about your job search, turn to our career experts and get the edge you need. Members of PRSA’s College of Fellows are ready and willing to help you with two programs:

Ask the Experts: Answers to quick questions about your job search. Examples include:

  • How should I respond to these types of interview questions: "Tell me about yourself” or "What are your salary requirements?”
  • How can I develop a network? Where do I start?
  • What am I doing wrong? I send out resumes but never get interviews.
  • How long should I wait after an interview to hear from an employer?

To ask a question, scroll down to the question form and fill it out. When you’re ready to submit it, click the "Submit Question" button at the bottom. Many of your questions may already be answered in the more than 300 responses listed below so you may wish to review them first.

Mentor-Match: In-depth coaching. Examples include:

  • Resume review
  • Interview coaching
  • Individual career assessment and coaching
  • Tips for dealing with current job situations

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There are currently 608 questions posted.

You are currently viewing questions 1 thru 5.

  posted: March 27,2015 02:45 PM -- submitted by: Miranda Emery
Q1: I recently moved from a rural area in Arkansas to Atlanta, Georgia. Since graduating with my master's in 2011, I have been an adjunct instructor teaching communications courses at a state university. I've also assisted professors with upper level communications courses and freelanced on two projects with an Arkansas marketing firm during that time.
I have joined PRSA and PRSA-Georgia in order to start networking, but I wonder if you have any other advice.
Thank you.

A1: Miranda,
You are taking exactly the right steps to move forward in your career. Georgia PRSA is active and has many good professionals. Now you need to get out and network with them. You might start with contacting the chapter president for a brief informational interview. I also recommend attending chapter meetings and getting involved in committee work -- it's a great way to meet people in a new community.

As a PRSA member, you can also request a mentor as a member benefit. Your mentor from the College of Fellows will be able to talk about your specific skills and talents and steer you through this transition.

Hope to see you at the Atlanta PRSA conference in the fall.

Good luck,
Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA
expert response from: Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: March 25,2015 10:24 AM -- submitted by: Pearl Ramashaba
Q2: I keep applying for jobs but not getting anything. I have a Media Communications and Culture degree and I am currently working as a senior Public Relations Officer. I have 8 years experience, please assist with a sample application letter.

A2: Pearl,
The internet has lots of resources for job seekers. You will be able to find sample cover letters there. Excellent advice on the total job search process is also out there.

The very best way to find a job is to network into it. Let people you know that you are looking, talk with people in the companies where you want to work. Is your resume reflective of what you do and the results you achieve? If not, you'll need to work on that as most positions are online submissions of your resume and hiring managers look at that often more than a letter from what I've observed.

Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA


expert response from: Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: March 25,2015 10:16 AM -- submitted by: Cal Laurel
Q3: I am a high school senior and I am doing a Career Research Project. I have chosen public relations as my career and now I am in the process of gathering information. If I could talk to someone in the field of public relations that would help me in my research tremendously. A response from someone within your organization would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

A3: Cal,
Talking with a PR professional is an excellent idea. Since I don't know where you live, I can't recommend anyone directly, but I suggest you go to the PRSA (prsa.org) website again and look under Network at the top of the page. Click on chapters and districts. This takes you to a map and that should give you the name of a PRSA chapter in your area. There is a contact function on the left side. Email or call that person. And ask to talk with someone.

Hope you enjoy working in PR as much as I do.

Good luck.
Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA
expert response from: Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: March 7,2015 02:08 PM -- submitted by: Israel Urbina
Q4: Hello, i am doing paperwork to apply for a resident visa for Australia and in the part of skill assessment the institution rejected my experience since they argue that a PR Manager should have at least 3 or more subordinate in managerial, supervisory or technical positions with 3 or more subordinates. In my experience the PR department is not that complex, how do you recommend to answer them? Examples of organization charts of big companies may help. Thanks in advance.

A4: Israel--

You are correct that public relations and corporate communications staffs are quite small in smaller organizations. However, the functions and sizes of staffs are much larger in large organizations.

I have emailed you illustrations of "typical" public relations organizations in larger organizations.

Hope that information is helpful.
expert response from: Jim Haynes, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: March 5,2015 02:49 PM -- submitted by: Mitchell Boggs
Q5: What am I doing wrong? I send out resumes but never get interviews. I want to send someone my resume for review.

A5: Mitchell--

You must KNOW each person to whom you send a resume. The best way to get to know PR people is to join PRSA (if you're not already a member) and become active in your local chapter. Attend monthly meetings and trade business cards. Follow up by email. Find members who work in areas of your interest and ask for informational meetings with them--to give you "the lay of the PR land," so to speak. Ask each one for specific recommendations of where you should apply.


expert response from: Jim Haynes, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: March 4,2015 04:06 PM -- submitted by: Tanya Graddick
Q6: Good day Ms. Hennen,
After 12 years of being a stay-at-home mom, I want to get back into the workforce. I am interested in Public Relations, and am currently volunteering as a Public Relations Coordinator for a non-profit called 'Stop the Violence Prevention Outreach'. My previous work experience is in Advertising. What steps (contacts, resume advice), would you recommend to transition into Public Relations? Thank you for your time.

A6: Sounds as if you're doing some good things. By volunteering, you're gaining an understanding of what PR professionals do and you have some experience to add to your resume. Be sure to keep copies of the communications plans from your volunteer position and other things that will make up a recent portfolio of your work. Remember to capture the results of the work you're doing.

I recommend getting involved with your local PRSA chapter, meeting professionals in your area and attending meetings, professional development sessions, etc. In most cases, one find a job through a contact one knows and who knows one's work.

As you increase your network of PR professionals, begin asking for informational interview to learn more about what that person does, how he or she got started and who are the critical people to know in your community.

You might also wish to earn your accreditation to demonstrate to potential employers that you're keeping current with knowledge and trends in our profession.

Good luck in your career adventures.
Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA
expert response from: Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA

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