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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?”
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There are currently 642 questions posted.

You are currently viewing questions 11 thru 15.

  posted: August 3,2015 04:22 PM -- submitted by: C Neal
Q11: I graduated from school in 2012 so I'm no longer considered a recent grad and I did not study public relations, but Mass Media. I am more interested in PR now and would like some advice for someone looking to break into the industry with no experience, no internship under their belt, and no education in PR. I am currently in the DC area.

A11: Dear C. Neal -- While the competition for public relations jobs here in the DC area is extremely strong, you also have the advantage of numerous excellent graduate programs in public relations to choose from. American, Georgetown, George Washington,and Howard University in the city and the University of Maryland in nearby College Park (reachable by Metro) all offer excellent programs with top-notch faculty (many of whom are practicing professionals). Many of the students in these courses study part-time. Explore these and see what might work for you. In addition to getting a great education, you would also develop a strong network among faculty and students. Meanwhile, attend some PRSA National Capital Chapter meetings to meet professionals in the field and learn more about the many facets of a career in public relations. Good luck!
expert response from: Judith Turner Phair, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: July 20,2015 08:18 AM -- submitted by: Steve
Q12: I am currently an unemployed attorney. I graduated at the height of the job market implosion at a time of massive glut in attorneys. I've never been able to get more than short term contract work nor have I developed the necessary skills to become a full time attorney. I've given up on finding a legal job after 5 yrs and would like to find work in something related. How can I transition to positions in other fields like finance or tech companies without being pigeonholed by my law degree?

A12: Steve,
Our focus is on public relations and communications, where our expertise lies. I recommend finding a professional site for lawyers that offers expert opinion.

In the interim, how are you using the contacts from your various temporary positions to learn more about organizations and their needs? Are you part of a professional lawyers' organization, in addition to the bar association where you are licensed?

Does you law school have an alumni association where you could get names of lawyers who have gone into other careers? They could be a valuable resource for you in your quest to find other applications for your law credentials.

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

  posted: July 15,2015 05:00 PM -- submitted by: Gayna R
Q13: I have more than 10 years corporate public relations experience doing everything from media relations, corporate contributions, spokesperson to executive speech writer. I haven't worked in nearly 20 years, but did complete an unrelated degree last year. I've been unsuccessful in trying to re-enter the workforce and would appreciate some advice. I've kept abreast of technology and business and I'm an excellent writer.

A13: Gayna--

As you already know, the field of public relations continues to evolve. New tools, including social media, have become increasingly popular. Be absolutely sure you are up-to-date in your Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs). To do that, go to, download the APR (Accredited in Public Relations) Study Guide, and use it to assess your KSAs.

If you have any “gaps” in your KSAs, then seek books, videos, short courses and mentors who can help you “fill in the gaps.”

A mentor can be of valuable help. Request a mentor through or your local chapter.

You must KNOW each person to whom you send a resume or request for an interview. Become acquainted with individuals who work in PR areas in which you are most competent and interested. To do that: On and, locate the websites of the PRSA and IABC chapters that are nearest you, and find out when and where the chapters meet. Register and go to the meetings with a stack of business cards. Exchange cards with people you meet at the luncheon. Follow up by email using the cards that you collect, thanking each person for spending time with you.

Hopefully you’ll meet a few people who work in areas that interest you. Ask each of them for a 20-minute informational interview--in person or by phone. What you want is a list of two or three people whom you can contact using the name of the person who gave you the information.

If the people you meet at PRSA and IABC meetings don’t work in the PR area that appeals to you, go to the chapters’ websites, locate information on the chapters’ officers and directors, contact those of interest and ask for 20-minute informational interviews.

If this approach isn’t working for you, email me at and I’ll recommend a good placement professional who can be of help.

Best of success to you!

expert response from: Jim Haynes, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: July 13,2015 09:11 AM -- submitted by: Courtney
Q14: Not specifically asking for an informative answer-just some advice.
I'm an A/A* student and feel this massive amount of pressure to choose to go into a top paid profession not only put on me by myself but family members also.
At the same time, I'm passionate about a career in books or a health related career e.g. midwifery. But unfortunately, their paycheques don't exactly meet up to the expectations placed upon me.
I can't decide...the big salary/comfortable living or my passions?

A14: Only you can answer those questions because only you know the situation intimately and, ultimately, you have to live with the decision.

You are asking the right questions. You might want to talk with people in those professions you're considering and learn more about the day-to-day work life to give you greater insight.

You friends and family will have contacts in many organizations. Let them know the type of professionals you want to talk with and they will be happy to give you contacts. Then request a 20-minute informational interview to learn more about the person, his or her chosen profession and the organization.

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

  posted: July 13,2015 09:06 AM -- submitted by: Essence
Q15: Hello. I am a recent graduate and I am having unfortunate luck with getting a job. I am looking for an entry level position or even an internship. I have submitted my résumé and cover letters to jobs that I am interested in but I am not getting any interviews. Any advice? Thank you.

A15: Have you been networking in the profession? The best way to find a position is through contacts you know or friends and family know. This opens the door. You, of course, must do the work of selling yourself once you are with the potential hiring manager.

Also, are you using the network to conduct informational interviews with companies you're interested in working with? Begin by creating a list of potential companies who have missions and value consistent with yours. Search your connections to find people in those companies and request a 20-minutes interview to learn more about the person's position and the company.

Also, if you're a PR professional, attend local PRSA meetings and meet people.

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

  posted: July 10,2015 03:54 PM -- submitted by: Olivia
Q16: I am interested to know is there anyone works in manufacturer company as Public Relations Specialist with MPA degree?

A16: Olivia--

Interesting question, but we don't have an answer to it.

People with all kinds of degrees work in public relations. I know a leading writer and university teacher who has a degree in accounting.

Public relations is a broad and varied field, and I suspect the kinds of degrees held are just as varied.
expert response from: Jim Haynes, APR, Fellow PRSA

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