Job hunting for new journalists

In just a couple weeks, hundreds of new journalism graduates will be starting their job hunts in earnest.  Though we’re hearing a lot of bad news about job prospects overall, there are openings.  In a recent check of company Web sites, Tribune had posted seven TV news jobs in the past week, Media General has posted about 40 in the past month and Scripps has more than 20 TV news openings at last check.

In addition to networking and putting together the very best resume you can, Virgil Smith, who heads up recruiting for Gannett. offers this advice:

  • Add a summary or profile statement to the resume to distinguish who you are and the special digital/multimedia skills and experience you bring to a potential employer.
  •  Add references to the resume to make it as easy for the hiring manager or recruiter as possible.
  •  Build a web site that showcases your resume and your best work.

You may have heard much of that advice before, and Smith acknowledged that today’s new grads are facing a tough economy and increased competition from veteran journalists who have been laid off.

VirgilSmith71x95“The recent graduate has to emphasize what special skills they bring to the organization that the more experienced journalist may or may not have,” Smith said.  “Be flexible regarding location and the type of work you accept, which gives you a better opportunity to join an organization or simply stated, to get a foot in the door.”

Smith also pointed out that he’s seeing an increase in part-time or freelance work available for entry-level journalists.  And he suggests that follow up is critical for today’s job searches.

“After sending your resume, contact the hiring organization or recruiter if possible to find out if your skill sets match what they are seeking.  Ask them if it is okay to check back on a regular basis with them for open positions,” Smith said.

There are lots resources out there for job hunters, including Joe Grimm’s Ask the Recruiter column on the Poynter Web site.  Below are a few recent posts that may be relevant to your own job search.  And feel free to comment with suggestions and links to other helpful content.

Always send a formal cover letter?

Apply even if there are no openings?

How to get a job at a Web site?


1 comment for “Job hunting for new journalists

  1. November 30, 2009 at 5:36 am

    It would be interesting to know who will fill those vacancies that are arising. Will it be graduates? Or those made redundant elsewhere who re-skill? Good news that there are still some vacancies arising though.

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