Tips for Job Hunting Student Journalists

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To follow up on today’s class about job hunting and salary negotiation, here’s an excellent article in today’s New York Times about LinkedIn and the best ways to use it.  Read it and learn.

And to summarize today’s class, here are some tips to remember.

Getting the Job:

  • When you go in for an interview, dress well and be prepared to talk about the company knowledgeably.  You should have Googled the company and the person you’re interviewing with so that you can show them you’ve done your homework.
  • Don’t think that just because you have a limited amount of experience, your experience isn’t valuable.
  • Don’t do two internships in similar departments or companies.  If you’re going to do a 2nd internship, make sure it will teach you something you didn’t learn at the first one. Of course, if it’s paid, that’s even better.
  • Once you’re on the job, don’t be a shrinking violet.  Work hard, show up on time, and do your job well.  And make sure everyone knows who you are.
  • Once you’re on the job, a good rule of thumb is if you’re not getting gaining something valuable after 1 1/2 – 2 years, it’s time to move on.  If there’s another job in that company you’d like, work toward getting it.  If there’s no other job in that company you’d like, it’s time to move on.

Getting Paid:

  • Try not to talk about salary until you’re offered the job.
  • If you have to give a salary range when you apply, say on an online application, do your homework on salaries for that job and in that area and put yourself within that range.
  • Learn the tricks of salary negotiation and practice them.

In 1-3 years, it’s probable the software, hardware, cameras and recorders you’re learning now will have changed radically. That’s why knowing how to learn new tech and software quickly will help you stay ahead of the pack as you compete for employment.

Understanding how the business side of journalism works will also help you as you try to make a living in a highly competitive field.

Good luck!

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