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Advice for applying for communications role/resume.

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Leaver?, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. Leaver?

    Leaver? New Member

    Hi folks,
    I am applying for a communications role in a health related area.
    While the profile for the job doesn’t mention needing to have any Medical qualification, I’m looking for any links to how to tailor a sports journalism resume and the skills for such a role?
    Has anyone here gone from sports to this area of the communications biz?
    Any advice would be great. Thank you.
  2. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    Not specifically medicine, but I made the jump from sportswriting to corporate communications about 15 years ago by explaining how, as a sportswriter, my duties meant having to be more well-rounded than any other department in the newsroom and being able to report on and communicate a multitude of topics -- news, features, business, entertainment, explanatory, etc. Even medicine would apply to a degree, if you're reporting on injuries and dealing with such things as HIPAA.

    I think your cover letter is going to have to carry more of the load than your resume, to explain how your work history and experience translate to the field that you're pursuing.

    I'll be honest with you: It will be a challenge getting prospective employers to see past the stereotypical "toy department" sportswriter archetype. You must show your diversity and adaptability -- and how your skills (multitasking, daily deadlines, multimedia, numerous audiences, etc.) will/can translate into a corporate environment.

    And, just to be additionally honest, you'll have to persuade a prospective employer that you're "housebroken" ... that is, able to carry yourself in a non-newsroom way. As I work to help some of my journalist friends escape from bad situations, I am finding that many of them don't realize that the, shall we say, colorful nature of a newsroom does not go over well in Corporate America. The collection of empty Diet Coke cans and Stewie Griffin dolls that you keep on your desk in the newsroom? Yeah, that doesn't fly. In some cases, I'm learning, there's an unspoken bias against newspaper types because their business environment is completely antithetical to how "real world" companies operate. Basically, newsrooms aren't analogous to an insurance office. (Vive la difference, I say, but ... .)

    You've got some challenges ahead of you, but you can do it as long as you promote your skill set and how your talents can help the company. Remember, you're there to sell yourself to them ... not the other way around. (Way too many people operate under the opposite assumption.) Use your journalist's skills to listen and learn about what they need ... then address those needs in a confident but friendly way.

    Good luck.
  3. Leaver?

    Leaver? New Member

    Thank you for that reformedhack. Very insightful tips.
  4. "Leaver?", I admire your grasp of what's right and your chutzpah. You know a bad animal when you see it.

    I've known -- OK, here Harry_K_Parker goes again! -- a ton of journalists. They went in all sorts of bizarre directions. The ones who landed right at no point questioned their qualifications or capabilities. They just said, dammit, I'm going to go for this as a first step in saving myself, saving my family, saving my relationships with the world.

    Hell, I can be a communications director for an aeronautical organization even if I don't know jack about that particular area. I can take on medical communications. I can read up on it, educate myself. In my free time, I can tour hospitals and clinics, talk to professionals, get an idea of the topics.

    You know, it all comes down to that horribly corny line: Yes, I can.
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