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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

(Get a mentor)


There are currently 634 questions posted.

You are currently viewing questions 11 thru 15.

  posted: June 19,2015 10:39 AM -- submitted by: Robert Z.
Q11: I and the others in my office at a large company were laid off more than four years ago, and though I've been on literally dozens of interviews since, I haven't yet found a new job. My predicament's now complicated in my opinion by my being older, and feeling that I can take on more rewarding challenges (even with the gap in my experience). I agree a sensible answer is new training & education, but from what I know of friends' & others' careers, it's not a game-changer. What should I focus on?

A11: Training, of course, would be a good activity, but knowing what to train for is difficult. Social media is the “going thing” right now, but younger people are graduating from college well equipped to fill the need in that area.

Many of us who have been laid off have chosen to go into business for ourselves. Call it “free-lancing” or whatever you wish, but putting your experience to work can, well, work. Instead of looking for a full-time job, think about opportunities for “filling in” by taking on a writing assignment or perhaps the management of a project. Get exposure by attending the luncheon meetings of the nearest PRSA chapter. If money is tight, attend without paying for lunch; most chapters allow that. Offer to write articles for the chapter’s newsletter (whether it’s online or on paper). You might conduct a workshop for chapter members and offer to participate as a panel member when that’s appropriate. By involving yourself in such activities you can remain current in your specialty while seeking opportunities that, hopefully, will lead to employment—either part time or full time.

Here’s hoping this will help.
expert response from: Jim Haynes, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: June 16,2015 12:58 PM -- submitted by: Melissa
Q12: Hello-
I started at my company as a receptionist less than six months ago. However, since my start date two employees left my department which lead to me moving from reception to receiving to accounting and now I will be taking on my manager's daily duties so he can work on special projects. While I am glad to move up, I have not been offered any raise in pay whatsoever, which I desperately need as I am barely scraping by. Is it appropriate to ask even though I haven't been there a year?

A12: I am not a human resources professional and an HR related site might be able to give you better information.

However, when managing people, my HR partners always advised that when giving people more and different job responsibilities, an increase in salary was proper. Do you have an internal HR person with whom you could talk?

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

  posted: June 16,2015 12:55 PM -- submitted by: Jaswant
Q13: I am a Btech(CSE) graduate ,I have applied for fresher devloper as i have done 6 months Industrial training in and I am having two job offers as devloper,in one company i would be given 6 months training as devloper and in second job option company will give me training for hardly one month and I have to work on MVC that is new to me and i have not worked on it So please guide me which job option would be best for me. Thanku

A13: This site is related to communications and public relations. Perhaps you can locate a similar site related to technology. That would give you better career advice than we can.

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

  posted: June 15,2015 05:37 PM -- submitted by: Matthew
Q14: Hello,

I currently work in a department that consists of myself and one other person, who is focused on marketing efforts - so, I am the only communications/PR-focused person in the company at this time.

My question is about how I can best find either a mentor or a way to better advance my career from both a learning and development standpoint. Would it make more sense to look outside the organization, at the communications department of our parent company, or another option?

Thank you!

A14: Matthew--

Check with the president of the PRSA chapter nearest you to determine if the chapter has people available to serve as local mentors. The advantage of doing that is that those people will be acquainted with the local market and should be equipped to work with you.

PRSA's national organization has members of the College of Fellows who have volunteered to serve as mentors. Go to
Then select "Go to Mentor Match" and provide the information requested. That will put you into the College of Fellows' process to match you with a PRSA mentor.

Best of success to you!

expert response from: Jim Haynes, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: June 15,2015 05:28 PM -- submitted by: Dee Kreitsma
Q15: I am 54, and lost my job a year ago. I have tried everything, including looking for jobs out of my experience zone. I am 'overqualified' all too often; sometimes perfectly qualified in experience, but lack the actual education required to apply; lack recent experience (even in simple positions like a call center agent); etc. etc. Recently I was told by Work Source WA that 'over 50 getting a job is unlikely due to the cost of insuring therefore I should consider self-employment'. ADVICE!!??!!

A15: Dee--

This site is limited to providing information to public relations professionals. If you work in PR, please post again with more specific information so we can attempt to assist you.
expert response from: Jim Haynes, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: June 8,2015 03:06 PM -- submitted by: Annie
Q16: I just started a new job where the person I'm replacing is still in the job. I'm supposed to be shadowing her (which we did the first week) but now in the second week she hasn't shown me anything new. So I feel like a slob at my desk because she hasn't given me any work to do. I asked if she needed help with anything but she just says not right now. I would like to take on more responsibility. Should I just wait till she's gone to ask our boss for more work or can I go the boss now ?

A16: Annie--

Don't go "over the head" of your supervisor. Let her know that you want to learn from her experience. Ask her to teach you how to ____________ (one skill at a time).

Best of success!
expert response from: Jim Haynes, APR, Fellow PRSA

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