Help Wanted: From graduation to gainful employment

Who’s hiring? by Adam Clair
May 15, 2009, 6:49 pm
Filed under: Blog | Tags: ,
Adam Clair

Adam Clair

With the economy the way it is, there are a lot of places that are cutting their staffs or, at best, have instituted hiring freezes for a little while. Believe it or not, though, there are still some places — even some media outlets — that are adding employees. You just have to find them.

The easiest way to do this is with the bevy of job sites at your disposal on the Internet.

Of course, there are the big ones like Monster and Career Builder, but because they’re so sprawling, it can often be hard to narrow things down to what you’re actually looking for.

Then there’s Craig’s List, which has a lot of decent stuff, too. Unfortunately, the site is a little clunkier, the jobs tend to be a little less appealing, and as a whole there’s a greater chance for getting scammed.

For people like myself who are looking to make a mark in the media field, there are a few job sites targeted at us specifically. usually has some solid listings, and there are good new postings every day at Media Bistro, even if it includes more than just journalism stuff (included the dreaded public relations).The problem with these sites, naturally, is that there isn’t always a whole lot to choose from, and you’re competing against thousands of other desperate journalists.

As such, I’ve taken to exploring job sites for other industries. Namely, Idealist is a great resource for not-for-profit work, and has a lot to offer by way of government employment.

Last, never underestimate the power of cold calling/e-mailing someone at an unlisted place. If there’s a newspaper/magazine/Web site/whatever you really want to write for, try to find its human resources rep (or anyone, really) and see if they’re looking to expand in any area, and if they’re not, don’t be afraid to propose they do (tactfully, of course). You’ll hear a lot more negative responses before you get a positive one, but it never hurts to ask.


Tweeting for a job by ahoffstrom
April 27, 2009, 12:53 pm
Filed under: Blog | Tags: , , , , ,
Amanda Hoffstrom

Amanda Hoffstrom

Do you want instant updates on the job market from career experts, online job boards or specific companies you hope to work for? My advice is to join Twitter and start following the people who will point you in the direction of your first job.

A few months ago, I was extremely skeptical of Twitter. I saw it as a Facebook status-like update with nothing more than people telling each other what they were doing all day. Why would I ever need to know that?

Then, my dad sent me a list of hot tips for a cool job market from the University of Michigan parent newsletter, and in it was a link to a list of 50 Twitter users to follow if you’re searching for a job. I took one look at the list and decided I would test it out.

Though I follow nearly all from the list, the five that I’ve found most helpful are:

  1. Willy Franzen (@willyf), the founder of One Day, One Job – “the insider’s guide to unique and exciting entry level job and career opportunities for recent college graduates,” who also put together the list of top Twitter users to follow
  2. Heather Huhman (@heatherhuhman), who almost always posts about internships or entry-level public relations positions
  3. Lindsey Pollak (@lindseypollak), author of “Getting from College to Career”
  4. Steven Rothberg (@stevenrothberg), the man behind
  5. Alison Doyle (@alisondoyle), author of “Internet Your Way To a New Job”

In this world of social media, Twitter offers a quick way to stay connected to leaders in your chosen profession. In my case, news organizations are just as important to follow as the career experts. I also follow companies I’m interested in working for, previous employers, journalism and media job boards, and yes, some friends.

I have found that once you start following someone, they often follow you back, and may respond to you if you post a question or solicit advice about looking for a job. If you follow the right people, you can also find job openings. I have applied to positions via Twitter’s job search engine and through links companies post on their account.

If you are skeptical of Twitter, try it. You might like it.

Mired in journalistic malaise by Adam Clair
April 23, 2009, 4:22 pm
Filed under: Blog | Tags: , ,
Adam Clair

Adam Clair

I didn’t get into journalism to make money. Nobody does.

I got into it because I like telling stories and because I have so few of my own to tell. And, for the last few years, that’s what I’ve done as often as I could. I’ve held numerous senior positions with the Daily Collegian. I interned at Philadelphia Weekly. I freelanced for about a dozen different online and print music magazines that no one has ever heard of.

Let me digress before this turns into a cover letter.

Anyway, while I’m not shocked I don’t yet have a $100,000 salary lined up for when I graduate in May (and, frankly, don’t ever expect to make that much as a journalist), it sucks that I don’t have any job at all.

Not that I haven’t been looking. I’ve sent my resume to a thousand different places, only to find that none are hiring. I’ve tried talking to the people I know already entrenched in the journalism industry, but most are too busy updating their own resumes for fear of layoffs to help me out.

It’s discouraging.

So I’m trying to diversify a bit. Four years ago, I was almost certain I’d be working for a newspaper. Now, I’m not so sure. I’m not even sure newspapers will still exist four years from now.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Everything is fair game: magazines, web sites, radio stations, publishing houses. Anyone who will pay me to write. Except, of course, public relations firms. I’m not that desperate yet.

But I’m getting pretty close.