TV news jobs go to the polite and prepared

Are you one of the many May journalism grad still looking for a job?  If so, KTUL-Tulsa news director Carlton Houston’s 10 ways to win a job in TV news is must-read column for you.

His list does include some no-brainers like using formal language vs. “texting” your emails and other correspondence, but here are three of his best tips:

It’s Not Just Television Anymore: Writing skills are critical in the digital age.  To develop these skills you have to be an avid reader and writer.  Expect a writing test – under deadline – if you get the interview.

If You Want The Job, Say So: Expressing enthusiasm for the job can go a long way.  Would you hire someone who seemed bored or disinterested? Always assume there is another strong candidate competing with you for the same gig.

Carry A Notebook And Printed Copies Of Your Resume: At our station, the interview process involves multiple meetings.  Having your resume stored on your smart phone is great… but not for someone who only has five minutes to meet you during their busy day.  Be prepared.

And here are three things to add to the list:

Know the news of day.  Be sure to watch the station’s newscasts, read the local paper and be aware of the big world and national headlines.  Some news directors give current events tests.

Have some ideas about salary.  If you’re lucky enough to have the station really interested, they may start talking salary.  Be aware of what’s typical for a recent college grad.  The chart below shows salaries for 2010 grads and the 2011 data should come out in August.

Share what you’ll bring to the job.  Without being arrogant, you need to be able to articulate how you can help the station get the work of the day done and done well.  Think about how you will answer the question, “Why should we hire you?”

Happy job hunting!