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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.

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There are currently 625 questions posted.

You are currently viewing questions 21 thru 25.

  posted: March 7,2015 02:08 PM -- submitted by: Israel Urbina
Q21: 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.

A21: 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
Q22: What am I doing wrong? I send out resumes but never get interviews. I want to send someone my resume for review.

A22: 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
Q23: 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.

A23: 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

  posted: March 4,2015 03:49 PM -- submitted by: Kim
Q24: What's the best way to get into freelance/contract PR work? I have 10+ years experience in PR. What are your suggestions about going about this new career phase? Are there any tools or online resources to find available freelance/flex work in the PR field?

A24: Kim--

Check out the information on and

Some guidelines from my experience:
- If you are employed, don't give up your paycheck until you have regular income from freelance/contract work.
- Do whatever you enjoy and are good at.
- You may find the easiest type of freelance work is writing.
- If you are a member of PRSA, work through your contacts there. Don't hesitate to ask members and leaders for suggestions and contacts.
- Don't expect to work full time as a freelancer. If 50% of your time is billable, you're doing quite well.
- You need to charge something like 130% of what you would be paid if you were salaried. Remember that you will have no benefits, and you'll have to pay for your own office, etc.

I will send you more information by email.

expert response from: Jim Haynes, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: February 27,2015 10:51 AM -- submitted by: Catalina Gomez
Q25: My long term goal is to work abroad in the PR/Marketing Field. I'm torn between making a decision to stay in my current company with the possibility of a promotion or going abroad for 3 months to do an internship. I graduated college a year ago, and am still at the entry level. I was thinking of staying at the company until the end of the summer to complete a year there, and then going abroad for the 3 months. Is it too late in my career to do an internship? Would greatly appreciate your advice!

A25: Catalina--

Your input leaves many questions unanswered, so it's impossible to give you a definitive response.

I suggest that you request a mentor through this site and work with that mentor by email and telephone. Perhaps that will help you make a decision.
expert response from: Jim Haynes, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: February 27,2015 10:46 AM -- submitted by: Toryah Cameron
Q26: Should I expect to do a written assignment as part of the interview process and are there certain types of questions that I shouldn't expect to see? Like perform a website assessment?

A26: Toryah--

Because writing is the most common skill needed by beginning public relations practitioners, some organizations require candidates to take a writing test. That writing might be a news release, writing for a website or some other type of writing. It would be unusual for a candidate to be asked to assess a website. However, PR is an extremely broad field, and it's possible that an Internet-based organization would ask a candidate to undertake such a task.
expert response from: Jim Haynes, APR, Fellow PRSA

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