Graduation is coming up in a couple of months for many of you. I have no doubt that you’re compiling portfolios and preparing to turn your tassel and bust into the news world with reporter’s notebooks blazing. In addition to finishing up your classes and internships and building relationships with fellow students (your future colleagues and bosses) let me also give you one piece of advice: Don’t wait until graduation to start applying to jobs.
Applying for jobs from May through August can best be likened to an episode of “Survivor.” The applicant pool will be flooded and it will be harder to stand out and let your accomplishments shine. Take an hour or two each week and start making connections. If you’re planning to move, start a search of local publications and familiarize yourself with the playing field. One of my favorite ways to network is via social media (it got me my first job). Track down the names of hiring managers and leaders of news organizations and start following their updates on Twitter. Larger news organizations like Time Inc. and Condé Nast even have their own career twitter handles. Engage with updates and offer your comment. Make relationships before you need to reach out.
OK, one more little piece of advice: Always be searching for jobs (even if you’re comfortable where you are now). It’s good practice to keep your resume/portfolio site fresh and to keep an eye out for opportunities. Browsing available job offerings is a great way to see where the journalism industry is headed. It’s also a smart way to motivate yourself in the position you’re currently in.
Here are five sites I recommend when you start/continue your search:
LinkedIn is a good first step in your job search. Make sure your profile is updated with information (similar to what you’d put in a resume) and add connections you’ve worked with. LinkedIn recently rolled out its Job Search app which makes it pretty easy to check out open positions in the journalism field. What I like about it is that when you open a job listing, LinkedIn will display connections you already have to the company. This makes it easy to reach out directly to connections you already have about job prospects. With LinkedIn Premium (it’s a paid service but you can get one month free) you can view how you would compare to other applicants based on the information in your profile. The decision to apply to a job is more encouraging when you see that you’d be in the top percentile of applicants. LinkedIn also allows you to apply with your profile in some cases which lessens the application process time.
MediaBistro’s job board is another top place to search for positions. The advanced search categories allow you to select which industry you are interested in and filter jobs that way. MediaBistro also has a freelance marketplace (paid subscription required) which allows you to make a profile and allow editors (looking for freelancers) to come to you.
If you’re specifically looking for magazine jobs you’ll want to follow ED2010’s Whisper Jobs online and on Twitter. The site rounds up positions with a variety of magazines and allows you to search for paid/unpaid internships and full/part-time jobs. It’s one of my favorites.
Journalism Jobs is one of the oldest and most popular sites for job searching in the industry. According to the site’s “About Us” blurb, JournalismJobs.com receives 2.5 to 3 million page views per month. What I also like about the site is that you can set job alerts. These alerts will come to your inbox and notify you when a position within your search criteria (salary, location, title) is posted.
MEO Jobs combines listings from media, communications and the arts and compiles them into a daily email sent right to your inbox. This daily job newsletter is smart for thinking outside of the typical “news job” box and opening your mind to other possibilities. The MEO site also features direct links to the career centers of major organizations like Time Inc., Facebook and NPR which saves you a step. The jobs are aggregated and moderated by Marc E. Oppenheim, Associate Dean of The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication.
Which sites do you use when searching for jobs?
Comment below or tweet me @brandibroxson
Brandi Broxson is a magazine and digital editor with a knack for storytelling. She’s won awards for her writing from Florida Press Club and is a recent graduate of the Ted Scripps Leadership Program. Brandi is the producer of a weekly show centering on philanthropies called Good Work SWFL and also is the creator of a bi-monthly podcast focused on writing and social life. In addition to her editor roles she also acts as Facebook coordinator for SPJ’s Generation-J community and serves on SPJ’s Digital committee as LinkedIn and Google+ coordinator. She’s passionate about social media and makes a mean to-do list. Read more about her here.