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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 585 questions posted.

You are currently viewing questions 6 thru 10.

  posted: October 27,2014 09:40 AM -- submitted by: Catalina
Q6: I am interested in working in PR and marketing with a particular focus on consumer brands. I have considered going to grad school, but how much more beneficial is getting a master's for a career in PR? Is it worth doing, and what type of master's degree would be a good fit for the field I want to get into?

Thank you.

A6: While marketing and public relations are related, they are different disciplines. You might want to explore where your greatest interest lies.

Determining what is right for you requires far more information than you're able to provide here. Are you an entry level or experienced professional? What is your undergratuate degree? What work experience do you have? What is your passion?

Once you're clear on your elevator speech, begin networking. Attend local professional meetings -- PRSA, IABC, other communications and marketing related groups. Meet people, ask about their backgrounds, how they entered the profession, what they look for when hiring people, etc.

One caution: don't ask for a job in this setting and don't take up too much of one person's time. The professional is there to network and talk with colleagues, just like you are. Ask instead if the person has 20 to 30 minutes at a later date to talk with you about his or her career. Email or call to schedule the time.

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

  posted: October 27,2014 09:28 AM -- submitted by: Lala
Q7: Hello! The job market today is getting so competitive, especially when it comes to the field of communication. I was wondering if it would really help to get a doctoral degree in communication if I wanted to become a consultant or hold a manager/executive level position in an organization? I do not really want to teach, but I do want to advance my career beyond entry level.

A7: Lala,
We do work in a competitive environment and job searches can be a challenge. Knowing what is right in your case is difficult with so little information. Are you a member of PRSA? If you are, I recommend that you seek a College of Fellows mentor, free to PRSA members. This mentor will be able to look at your existing education and work experience, ask you questions and coach you on areas which need strengthening, etc.

If that avenue isn't available to you, talk with the counselors and advisers at your college/university to gain greater insight.

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

  posted: October 26,2014 04:15 PM -- submitted by: Abhishek
Q8: I am currently working in a small IT company as developer (still under training period) , i have got selected in renowned company for the profile of IT operation. So I am confused, for what should i go, developer profile in a small company or a big company with IT operation as a profile ? please help me out

A8: Abhishek--

This site is intended to assist people in public relations as they seek employment or promotion. We are not equipped to assist IT personnel. Please seek assistance from IT web sites or local IT organizations and personnel.


expert response from: Jim Haynes, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: October 7,2014 10:43 AM -- submitted by: Steve Hawkins
Q9: I am 65. I want to work. I like to work. I have extensive experience -- former journalist, corporate PR executive, agency executive. I am interested in part-time, contract, fill in or even full-time work. My age seems to be a negative. How can I get past the age thing? I still have much to offer and I enjoy working!

A9: Hi Steve, There is something to say for us boomers who still want to work. My response to your questions is, "It all depends..." How much money do you want to make? What do you want to do? Where are you located? What kind of work do you want to do. I put myself in your shoes and asked myself where I might find work. I would say that I could be a free-lance writer, strategist, consultant. I would find work by networking at my region's public relations meetings. I might look at state and federal contracts that are being deployed in your region. With technology, you are not really restricted by geography, but you might not want to do a lot of travelling. Or, that could be a plus. And by getting on a board or two, you meet your region's leaders and opportunities most likely will open up. If you would like to discuss further, contact me off-line.
expert response from: Deborah Saline, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: October 3,2014 05:09 PM -- submitted by: Veronica Spak
Q10: I am currently a senior communication major at the University of Maryland. I am looking to apply for entry level positions for my post graduate career. When should I start looking for positions and applying? Is it too early to start now? I have seen many positions that are of interest to me, but it is difficult to tell if they are looking to hire immediately or in the future. Any advice on when to apply?

Best,
Veronica Spak

A10: Veronica--

By this time you should have completed at least two internships and developed a "show and tell" portfolio that displays and explains the work you have done. If you haven't done that, you are at a disadvantage in the highly competitive job market.

Whether you look for an internship or a "real job," it certainly is not too early to get started.

Locate a professional organization in your specific field of communication and attend the organization's local meetings. Meet professionals and distribute copies of your excellently designed business card. Collect the professionals' business cards and follow up by email. Ask for a 15-minute informational session with those who work in areas in which you are interested. You can do this by telephone if you can't get a face-to-face session. Ask for names and contact information for people who might be hiring. Yes, this is called "networking," and it's the best way to get to know the local market and the organizations where the jobs are.
expert response from: Jim Haynes, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: October 3,2014 05:00 PM -- submitted by: Katie
Q11: It has been a challenge to find an entry level PR position since graduating this past May, even with 2 internships listed on my resume. I am considering going to grad school, but can't decide if it will significantly improve my chances of finding a job. Would it be beneficial to get a masters in Graphic Design? That is my weakest area of necessary PR skills and one of the most important. What do you suggest is the best approach to take to bettering my chances of landing an entry level job?

A11: Katie--

A masters in graphic design may enhance your efforts to find a job in design.

If you are interested in finding a position in public relations more quickly, here’s what I recommend:

You need to know each of the people to whom you send a resume and cover letter. The best way to do that is to attend PRSA chapter meetings.

Check the websites of the nearest PRSA chapters and put the dates/times/locations of their chapter meetings and other events on your calendar. Work out a way to attend some of them. Be there early, and take along a generous supply of business cards and hand them out to professionals whom you meet. This is not the place to distribute resumes. Collect a business card from each person, and send your resume to them by email.

If you can, volunteer to help with registration for a chapter meeting. That’s a good way to meet professionals.

If you haven’t already done so, go to http://www.praccreditation.org/documents/aprstudyguide.pdf and examine this 150-page Study Guide for Accreditation in Public Relations. Go through the study guide carefully, and check off those KSAs (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities) where you have experience that you can document. Pay attention to the KSAs where you need to improve. Seek workshops, publications and so on that will help.

expert response from: Jim Haynes, APR, Fellow PRSA

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