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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.

Mentor-Match: In-depth coaching. Examples include:

  • Resume review
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  • Individual career assessment and coaching
  • Tips for dealing with current job situations

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There are currently 618 questions posted.

You are currently viewing questions 6 thru 10.

  posted: April 19,2015 03:04 PM -- submitted by: Abhilasha
Q6: Hi,
I'm from India & just got accepted into NYU's M.S. in Public Relations & Corporate Communication course.I'm skeptical about job opportunities.Could you please throw some light on what kind of job opportunities & salaries do entry level professionals have? Given that I'll have only 12 months to make a mark before my OTP deadline, what are the chances of me getting an H1-B Visa from an employer in the USA?As an international student what steps should I take to ensure success in PR field?

A6: Abhilasha--

You need to ask those questions of your contact at NYU. A counselor should be able to answer some of your questions and direct you to contacts who can help you.

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

  posted: April 17,2015 04:44 PM -- submitted by: Kennie
Q7: How do I get past applicant tracking systems? I know I'm qualified for the jobs I apply for, but I get booted out because I don't have the keywords they're looking for. How do I even know which keywords to include? Most larger companies are using ATS, like Taleo (which is brutal on applicants). Most advice now is to circumvent the whole thing and go directly to the hiring mgr, but when I tried that is wasn't well received. She let me know she doesn't appreciate unsolicited resumes. Help!

A7: Network. Network. Network. Know what you're looking for. Be able to state that clearly and concisely. Make a list of companies and/or agencies where you would like to work -- research their culture, values, mission, etc. to be certain the company is a good match for you. Look within your personal network to find contacts who work for your target companies. Get introductions. Begin setting up informational interviews. Be prepared before the interview so you can ask good questions. Take notes.

Join the local chapter of PRSA, attend its meetings and events and meet professionals in your area. Ask for informational interviews. At each interview, ask for the names of 3 other people you should contact.

Most jobs are found through connections and personal referrals. It's hard work, but the rewards are great. And you will be building your network and, sometimes, making life-long friends.

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

  posted: April 17,2015 03:45 PM -- submitted by: Frank
Q8: 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

A8: 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
Q9: 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

A9: 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
Q10: 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?

A10: 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
Q11: 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.

A11: 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

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