Class Notes: Jobs, Resumes, Self-Marketing

Take Advantage of Your Surroundings

  • Before jobs come internships and before internships comes on-campus experience; school paper, school websites, school magazine, school radio station, school TV. Get my drift?
  • Many internships look for some previous experience. If you submit a resume with nothing compared to your competitor who has done all of the above … he or she wins.
  • How do I get started? Knock on the door, say hello and be open to new things. Send an email. Make a phone call. Network. Do it all. Now is the time

 

Think Outside-the-Box

  • Freelance for outside publications or radio stations … you don’t need a previous internship, you need some clips (on-campus) or something substantial to show you can perform the task.
  • Treat your classmates and peers as competitors … always try to be better off in your career and your experience then others you know. Always try to be the hardest worker you know.
  • What can you do, that others haven’t? What will someone say wow about?
  • Network at functions, meetings, cold call people, ask power position individuals for advice.

 

Apprehensions

  • I’m nervous, I never wrote or did anything like this before. So what! That’s what college is for … test it out, see if you like it.
  • How much is enough? Do I get involved with everything? It depends on your major and career goals. Everyone is different. Assess your goals and do what you think is necessary. Talk to a professor/advisor.
  • I work, I commute, I take a full course load, how am I supposed to do more? Sacrifice is an important characteristic. Understand that need to work hard now to reap the benefits of landing a job later. Remember that there is always someone out there working harder.

Landing the Internship

  • Prepare: Update your resume, edit your resume, let someone look it over, put it on plain white paper, do not be fancy. Write a cover letter specific to that internship, be to the point, not longwinded and overly creative.
  • Target: Where do you want to apply? Proximity … to your home or your campus housing, where you  live. But if you want to move, then open the search wider.
  • None of them are guaranteed, so don’t take chances by applying to only a few.
  • Apply: Four-month lead time … don’t wait until May for a summer internship. The beginning of the semester is a good rule of thumb.
  • Interview: If you get called in, that’s a good thing. You need to look presentable, speak clearly, do not show any signs of nervousness and come prepared with understanding the company you might intern at shortly.

Journalism Internship FAQ

  • Credit CubReporters.org for this info
  • “The best internships are paid.” … Not true. Some of the best internships are with media outlets that attract many applicants but don’t offer compensation. But these opportunities can be the gateway to jobs because “experience” itself is prized by employers.
  • “It’s better to intern for a big name media company than a small one.” … Employers look for the most qualified candidates to fill job openings. You might get to do a lot more substantive work for a small newspaper than a large national paper. Prospective employers are more likely to be impressed by the responsibilities you had than the name of the company you interned for.
  • “I’m graduating this spring, so I should be looking for a job, not an internship.” … Of course you should be looking for a full-time job. But consider doing an internship as a back-up plan. With the current state of the media and the economy, good entry-level positions might be difficult to come by. An internship certainly beats unemployment. And sometimes media companies hire interns who do a good job.

Internships done, graduation done, now what?

  • Time to get a job … apply for everything and anything. With this job market, there are no guarantees.
  • Use your connections and networks from four years of college.
  • See if the place you interned at is hiring.
  • How many jobs should I apply for? As much as it takes. 250-300 is not too much by the way.
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