Q. I graduated in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in PR. Due to the poor economy; I decided to teach English in Asia for a year. Now, I am considering teaching for another year and am wondering how this will affect my ability to transition to a PR job when I return to the US. I would like to find a PR job that allows me to utilize the skills I have built while in Korea, i.e. public speaking, training, and relationship building. I would like to stay away from a traditional writing-based PR job. Do you have any suggestions? -MS
A. Your teaching experience might lend itself to the growing number of training positions that I feel will be created as the economy improves. Many organizations curtailed training programs over the past few years, but agencies and companies are reassessing their training needs as a way to keep and develop employees.
A teaching-only resume, however, will not be sufficient when competing with young professionals who have been working in PR for the two years you’ve been out of the country. While in Korea, you should seek out resume-building volunteer activities that support your interest in PR.
Finally, most PR jobs–including training positions–require proficiency in writing, so you may need to adjust your thinking. While public speaking and relationship building are important elements of PR, very few jobs rely solely on these limited aspects of the profession. Success in PR requires a broad base of relevant experiences and abilities, beginning with writing.