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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 631 questions posted.

You are currently viewing questions 21 thru 25.

  posted: April 17,2015 03:45 PM -- submitted by: Frank
Q21: I have been attempting to break into the public relations industry within the DC metro area and have had plenty difficulty. I am currently working for a non profit but would really like to work for an agency, however, it seems close to impossible. In the DC area, there are so agencies that I find myself reapplying to the same companies. Would you have any suggestions as to how I should approach this, I'm spinning my wheels here

A21: Frank--

The best approach would be to join the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), if you’re not already a member, and be as active as possible in the DC area chapter. Check out their website at http://www.prsa.org/Network/Chapters/Minisites/display/060/National_Capital_Chapter.

The deal is that you need to KNOW each public relations professional to whom you send a resume. The best way to get to know them is to participate in professional meetings, shake hands and exchange business cards. Then contact each of them by email and request a 20-minute telephone conference.

When you “land” such an online conference, ask for information on contacts—not necessarily those who have positions available. Public relations is a fairly small “tribe,” and you’ll probably find that PR professionals are willing to share quite a bit of information that can be of help to you. Keep written records of who gives you information on new contacts, and follow up by email/phone with each person.

Only after you have “met” a person by telephone should you send a resume, unless the contact requests one by email.

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

  posted: April 17,2015 11:36 AM -- submitted by: Neha
Q22: Hi, I am from India working as an Entry level PR Professional in India itself. I wanted to work abroad in PR but not sure how to get it through. I know that PR culture abroad is very different, I am keen to learn the ways the abroad agencies work. Need a proper guidance and a career path which can get me a good job abroad. Be it entry level, Just want to know how to get it through? If you can guide me what criteria does PR agencies follow and what are their requirements? Thank you

A22: Neha--


Go to http://www.prsa.org/Learning/Accreditation/BecomeAPR/#.VTEnmWN_m1s and download the "Free APR Study Guide."

The Study Guide provides information on the skills, knowledge and abilities ("KSAs") needed to compete in the highly competitive field of public relations in the USA.

I hope that will be of help to you.
expert response from: Jim Haynes, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: April 17,2015 11:31 AM -- submitted by: Ryan Stevens
Q23: I will be finishing up my college career in 2 weeks with a degree in Communications and minor in Management at the age of 30. I want to get in PR and I have attended the PR Boot Camp in Boston; I am not really sure what my next steps should be. Previously I was a Lab Tech for 8 years and have been a stay at home parent the last 1.5 years. East New Mexico doesn't have a lot of options and I am having trouble having a firm/company consider me for internships or positions near me. Any suggestions?

A23: Ryan—

Sounds as if you are “stuck” in an area where public relations positions aren’t plentiful. But in a town/city of almost any size, there are jobs in the school district, hospital, government (city, county, state).

The best approach would be to join the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), if you’re not already a member, and be as active as possible in the New Mexico Chapter in Albuquerque. Check out their website at http://www.nmprsa.org/. Even if distance prevents you from attending their meetings, you probably can get more information about opportunities in the east New Mexico area by contacting the chapter’s leaders.

In El Paso, there’s an organization called Public Relations Association of the Southwest. Their Web presence is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PRSouthwest. This organization is not affiliated with PRSA but offers you some opportunities if you live closer to El Paso than to Albuquerque.

The deal is that you need to KNOW public relations professionals. The best way to get to know them is to participate in professional meetings, shake hands and exchange business cards. If distance prevents you from attending meetings in Albuquerque or El Paso, use email to introduce yourself to one of the leaders who works in an industry that interests you and ask for a 20-minute telephone conference.

When you “land” such an online conference, ask for information on contacts near you. Public relations is a fairly small “tribe,” and you’ll probably find that PR professionals are willing to share quite a bit of information that can be of help to you. Keep written records of who gives you information on new contacts, and follow up by email/phone with each person.

Only after you have “met” a person by telephone should you send a resume, unless the contact requests one by email.

Best of luck to you!

expert response from: Jim Haynes, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: March 27,2015 02:45 PM -- submitted by: Miranda Emery
Q24: 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.

A24: 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
Q25: 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.

A25: 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
Q26: 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.

A26: 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

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