The journalism job market may look bleak with budget cuts and downsizing news departments becoming a common occurrence in newsrooms across the country, but obtaining a journalism job is not impossible. Journalism recruiters at the 2013 Asian American Journalists Association Convention in New York City revealed that it’s easy to catch their attention by using the right tools, building your journalistic brand and harnessing the power of social media.
One of the most important things is to tell your own story, said the recruiters. The panel said not having your own, personal story is one of the most common mistakes that job-seekers make. To help set yourself apart from other candidates Turner Broadcasting’s Senior Recruiter Lorraine Sembra says to exploit your unique characteristics.
“You buy generic stuff because it’s cheap,” said Sembra. “You are not cheap.”
Another often-made mistake is not updating your social media profiles before heading out on the job hunt. One of the first things recruiters do before meeting a candidate is check out online profiles on web sites like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, said the panel. Michigan State University School of Journalism’s Joe Grimm said that many profiles are not up to par. Grimm advised to take another look at your profile bios and tweek them so that they illustrate your purpose and goals. But don’t be afraid to inject a little bit of your personality into it also, said Grimm.
They also advised to google yourself and to do it often. You might be surprised as to what will pop up on a search. And be ready to explain yourself if something unsavory shows up in the results, said the panel.
The last piece of advice from the panel was to take yourself seriously, but to not take yourself too seriously. They said it was important to be authentic. Your brand should come from a place of reality, said Grimm.