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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:

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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 542 questions posted.

You are currently viewing questions 6 thru 10.

  posted: March 14,2014 10:49 AM -- submitted by: Lourdes del Rio Valdes
Q6: I have been the managing director/Founder of a public relations firm since 2001. I want to transition to an agency or corporate setting. What is the best way to position my skill set, since I have done a lot. Prior to managing an agency I worked for the American Red Cross and directly handled the events for September 11. Thank you for your time.

A6: It sounds from this brief description that you have an interesting background. Are you a member of PRSA? If so, you could benefit from a mentor through the College of Fellows program. It's a benefit of membership. A mentor would be able to look at your resume, answer specific questions, even recommend a definite course of action based on you, your community, type of agency or corporation you're interested in, etc.

If you aren't a member, I recommend networking with other PR professionals and understanding what is happening in your community, what opportunities are available or may be coming available, etc. You might also want to attend PRSA or other like professional organization meetings.

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

  posted: March 8,2014 12:18 PM -- submitted by: Candyce Miales
Q7: Hello, my name is Candyce Miales and I am a graduating senior from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro majoring in Political Science and minoring in German. I am interested in pursuing a career in Public Relations. I would like to know if you could offer any advice on what employers are looking for when hiring employees in that field. I do not mind going back to school and want to have the skills to efficient in the workplace. Where is a good place to get started?

A7: First, you should know what public relations professional do -- day in, day out. To learn more about our profession, I suggest you shadow some PR professionals and see first hand. You might talk with public relations professors at your college to get the names of professional with whom you could connect. If your college has a PRSSA chapter, talk with the students to learn more about the knowledge, skills and abilities they have and to understand more about the body of knowledge that is central to our profession.

You will want to discuss with these people who know you a bit and understand your interests better what they recommend in terms of advanced study.

Regards,
Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA


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

  posted: March 6,2014 09:37 AM -- submitted by: Michele Baccare
Q8: I have a BA in journ., MA in PR, 4 years news reporting, and 8 years exp as an asst director and then dir. of univ relations at a NJ univ. I took off the last 15 years to stay home with my kids. I've done a little freelance work but have spent most of my time volunteering for kids' schools and sports teams. I'm now interested in getting back into the field. I'm an avid reader and news consumer, proficient in computers and social media. How do I account for my time off? Advice appreciated!

A8: As with all things, accuracy and transparency are the best advice I can give you.

Look back at the work you did with your volunteer activities and your consulting work during the last 15 years and see which of those used your communications and PR skills and talk clearly and specifically about that work and the results of that work. Whether paid or not, your skills, your level of knowledge and understanding of audiences, etc. will be what potential employers are looking for.

Also, in today's economy "interrupted" careers are much more common than 10 years ago. Hiring managers look for accomplishments and results, so structure your resume with outcomes, not just outputs.

Good luck and welcome back to the profession.
Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA


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

  posted: March 4,2014 08:32 AM -- submitted by: Sierra
Q9: Hello,
I am a student graduating in May 2014 with a Bachelors in sociology. I am interested in starting a career in public relations. I have communication skill through counseling and recruitment experiences from previous jobs. During my job search I've found many jobs that require experience as a PR professional. As a graduate student what would be the next steps in starting a public relations career without any exact experience working as a PR employee?

A9: Sierra,
To be a successful public relations professional you need to understand what we do and how we do it. You need to acquire the knowledge, skills and abilities specific to public relations. Just having communication skills gained through your counseling and recruitment experiences won't guarantee success.

If you are serious about a public relations career, first talk with public relations professionals to learn what we do and how those professionals entered the field. If your university has a PRSSA chapter, talk with the students and the adviser. If your community has a PRSA chapter, attend meetings, meet professional. Learn about the body of knowledge within public relations. Shadow people. Become an intern. If you are still serious about public relations as a profession, take some public relations and communications classes, attend seminars, workshops, etc. In short, learn.

Ours is a wonderful profession, which requires hard work (as do all professions)both before you enter and during your practice as a PR professional.

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

  posted: March 4,2014 08:25 AM -- submitted by: Liv
Q10: Hey!
I need some help. I have completed my A-levels (pre-med subjects) but can't decide what to pursue in university. I can't decide between Occupational Therapy and Dietetics. Any other suggestions are welcomed. I tried applying for job shadowing but was turned down as there are too many interns (graduates) in my country now (Malaysia). I like biology, chemistry, psychology and nutrition and I enjoy working with kids.

A10: Liv,
This site is designed to talk with individuals interested in public relations and communications work. Your areas of specialization fall outside our expertise.

Best of luck to you as you determine your next steps.
Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA

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

  posted: March 4,2014 08:23 AM -- submitted by: Vlad
Q11: My question is a bit tricky...at least to me. I got accepted to a masters program in strategic communication and public relations in an American college in Greece. Is it accredited in the United States and feel it is a great opportunity. I want to know what opportunities do I have with this type of program and if it is worth me doing? Will getting this degree further my knowledge and opportunities? I just am going crazy because I feel this is a big gamble. But I feel no reward without big risks.

A11: Vlad,
No one can answer these questions but you. An accredited school is always a good choice. Whether you have additional knowledge and opportunities depends on you, on how hard you work, on how open your mind is, on the classes you select and how deeply you embed yourself in the Greek culture and language while you are at University. Consider the advantages you can gain from being a resident in another country. Have an understanding of multiple cultures is critical in today's business world and will only become more so as our world gets smaller through technology.

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

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