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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?”
  • 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.

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There are currently 654 questions posted.

You are currently viewing questions 21 thru 25.

  posted: August 26,2015 03:52 PM -- submitted by: Zareen
Q21: I'm a 15 year Comms / PR specialist that has agency and in-house exp. I've recently left my job w Shell in Asia. In my last role I was country lead for stakeholder relations, crisis, strategy and corp affairs content. Am not American and currently in Boston on holiday. Im looking for new opportunities and a new env and have since decided to apply for jobs here. I've emailed int headhunters and submitted my cv to specialized PR firms.
Any advice on next steps and who to speak to on salary etc?TQ

A21: Zareen--

You have impressive experience, and I am certain that you would be perfect for almost any large corporation. That’s the good news.

The not-so-good news is that the American market for public relations practitioners is extremely competitive, and seeking a position “from afar” will be challenging. Sending a resume, even if it’s impressive, seldom attracts interest unless the job-seeker actually knows the person to whom the resume is sent.

How do you meet Communications/PR professionals? If you lived in Boston, New York or any other major USA city, I would recommend that you join the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), attend PRSA chapter meetings, and perhaps become involved in the chapter.

If you know Communications/PR professionals in the USA, you might seek their help in meeting other professionals, who could vouch for you and introduce you to others. But that’s difficult to do on a holiday visit.

What about salaries? Here are links to the best salary information that I have available:

I will email you a copy of a 2015 salary survey that provides additional information. Be aware that salaries vary considerably from area to area.

Best of success to you!

expert response from: Jim Haynes, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: August 5,2015 04:16 PM -- submitted by: Sean B
Q22: I just graduated with my BA in Comm. in May, but failed to complete an internship while in school, but did gain relevant experience from a PR Laboratory class. Now that I'm looking at a wide open career path in front of me, I'm feeling like I've made a mistake by not gaining internship experience, as it seems to be borderline necessary. I am in a position where I can't afford to leave my job for an internship, as most are unpaid.

Not necessarily a question, just seeking insight.

A22: Sean--

In today's highly competitive market, an internship is valuable for the job seeker and sometimes required by employers.

Perhaps this will help:

1. Go to, download the Study Guide and go through it carefully. Assess your status using the KSAs (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities) described. Give yourself a grade, 1-10 on each. After doing that, you’ll have a good idea of how you stack up against the competition.

2. Now find a mentor—an experienced professional who’s willing to take the time to work with you. Go to follow the process to apply for a mentor. Once you have a mentor, follow his/her recommendations to the letter.

3. Volunteer to serve the PRSA chapter nearest you. This will allow you to enhance your resume and, at the same time, become acquainted with PR/communication professionals. Before you apply to anyone for a job, you need to KNOW the person.

Best of success to you!

expert response from: Jim Haynes, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: August 3,2015 04:22 PM -- submitted by: C Neal
Q23: 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.

A23: 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
Q24: 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?

A24: 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
Q25: 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.

A25: 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
Q26: 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?

A26: 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

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