How to Approach a Career Change from PR to Marketing

Sally writes:
I was hoping that you might give me some quick advice about how to approach
looking at a career change. I graduated with a degree in communications and
have been working in public relations for the past two years.
In that time I have come to feel that I should have been a marketing major and that
I would be much happier with a career in marketing.
I have found a marketing assistant position that I would absolutely love to take on
but it requires 1-2 years of marketing experience. Would my two years of PR
count toward that at all?
Finally what steps do I need to take to start off in a marketing career?

The Career Doctor responds:
Changing careers is always harder than changing jobs but because marketing
and public relations are so related I cannot imagine you will have too hard a time
making the transition. And from a truly technical standpoint PR is a part of marketing.
Your first step is revamping your resume to move from a PR focus to a marketing focus. Start by examining your past experiences and accomplishments and
how you can put more of a marketing spin on them. Because PR and marketing
use many of the same skills I think you will not have to make too many changes
– simply use more of the marketing jargon (keywords) instead of the PR lingo.
You can research this area by searching for marketing jobs and examining the
keywords used in the job descriptions and requirements.
If you feel as though you do not have enough marketing experience go back
and examine the marketing classes and projects from your college days. If
you only took one or two classes consider volunteering to gain new marketing
Your next step is expanding your network to include more marketing folks.
Consider joining a local chapter of the American Marketing Association the
premier professional organization for marketers. Join an online marketing
discussion group.
Remember that changing careers requires more flexibility than simply searching
for a new job. And the marketing assistant job you mention would seem to be
an easy step for you into the marketing field. Just remember to show the
prospective employer that you have all the things they require.
For more information and guidance on changing careers check out my article
The 10-Step
Plan to Career Change
published on Quintessential Careers.
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