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How can I land my first job?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Thomas Romanelli, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. Thomas Romanelli

    Thomas Romanelli New Member

    I graduated with my Bachelor's degree in journalism May 9th. I was a stringer for a weekly newspaper for three years, I spent a year writing for the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees (now RailRiders) writing feature stories on the players, and I have been a stringer for a daily newspapers since January. I also have a ton of clips and an online portfolio I built. Why am I having such a hard time finding a job? Any tips?
     
  2. Florida_Man

    Florida_Man Member

    You graduated two months ago and you're complaining about not being able to find a job yet? Two months is not that bad, man. A friend of mine didn't find his first full-time job till almost a year after he graduated. He was just as, if not more, accomplished than you.

    You just need to keep plugging away. Unless you had connections who offered you a job before you graduated, nothing is going to just fall into your lap.
     
    sgreenwell and BrendaStarr like this.
  3. BrendaStarr

    BrendaStarr Member

    Be prepared to work multiple part-time/stringer jobs to hone your writing and build relationships as you search for a full-time job. I'd also recommend getting feedback from an editor on the stories you've written and determine what areas you need to improve. It took me five years after I graduated college to get a full-time job with benefits and while there were tough times, I'm glad I fought and grinded it out to get to where I am. If this is truly what you want to do, be prepared and understand that it might not be easy.
     
    Tweener likes this.
  4. Tweener

    Tweener Active Member

    Even if you went to a school and worked for publications most editors are familiar with, there's always going to be stiff competition for work in this business. You need to get as much experience as you can, either through freelancing or part-time work, as Brenda mentioned. You also need to find ways to improve, no matter how good you think you are. Try reaching out to some sports blogs and see if you can do some writing. A lot of people who don't have the experience and resume to go the traditional journalism route have found a way to get noticed blogging.
     
    sgreenwell likes this.
  5. dirtybird

    dirtybird Active Member

    Apply like hell, prepare to eat a lot of shit.
     
  6. Bradley Guire

    Bradley Guire Well-Known Member

    I had seven years of experience, and when I lost my job, it took almost three to find another. Two months is nothing.

    I freelanced and worked at a Toys R Us part time in the meanwhile. Money is money.
     
  7. nodot151

    nodot151 New Member

    It took me exactly two years to find a journalism job after graduation. Waited a lot of tables and did other odd jobs for those two years. Relax, you'll be ok!
     
  8. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Thomas,

    Best way to get a job is to connect with the people hiring. So instead of blindly sending clips and resumes, try to reach out the the editor.

    Or -- better yet -- have some writer or editor or professor you have worked with who can vouch for you reach out for you.

    Connections and networking are extremely important in landing jobs. And in this business, you are expected to be willing to talk to all kinds of people, generate sources, barge in on people and ask tough questions, etc. So apply those skills to getting to know people in the industry who can help you.

    If your cover letter leads with you graduating college and ready for a job, tear it up. Stress your experience and the relevant work you have done. I would get resumes all the time from recent college grads highlighting the fact that they graduated and little else. That's great but not why I would hire you.

    Also, you only mentioned stories you have written. What about video? Social media? A blog? It would help immensely if you had a web presence. Maybe you could be the expert on the local minor-league team or something to show your ability to cover a team, break news, work the web, etc.

    Also, you don't say, but are you applying everywhere or nearby? Sports writing is a tough racket to break into. Even tougher if you are trying to stay in one area.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015
    Tweener and TexasVet like this.
  9. TexasVet

    TexasVet Member

    Thomas,

    There's a lot of good advice here. Don't give up is the biggest thing. If you've worked at the weeklies and dailies as a stringer, and if you're still near them, then let them know you're still around and will be able to work for them. Let them know you would like to expand your role as you now aren't bogged down with school. Also let them know you're looking for a full time job, and if they can help keep their ears open.

    If you're not still in that same town, make it a point to print your resume and work samples and walk into the offices of local sports editors. When I was an editor and publisher, it made more of an impression to me when that happened, and it showed an aggressiveness.

    Don't be too aggressive, but show gumption. And never burn your bridges. Best of luck kid!
     
  10. jaxson5

    jaxson5 Member

    Wish I had an answer. I graduated 9 years ago and have yet to find one. :(
     
  11. jaxson5

    jaxson5 Member

    My question was always, these job all want years of daily experience. How does one get the experience of no one will hire you due to lack of experience in the first place? I've done a lot of freelance and correspondent work over the years and had a part-time gig at a bi-weekly for about 5 years, winning awards and all that good stuff, but it's still not sufficient experience for anyone. I've applied for probably 400-500 jobs over the years and not once has one expressed interest in me. And yet I still try....
     
  12. MNgremlin

    MNgremlin Active Member

    I lucked into my first job. Just started making small talk with the SE at a game. Asked him if there were any openings and there were. Sent in my resume and I was hired.
     
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