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Resume/cover letter advice

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by sportsguydave, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. sportsguydave

    sportsguydave Active Member

    Hey everyone...

    A question. Last year, I made a career move that, to be honest, turned out to be a disaster. I left an SE position to take a sports writing position at a larger paper, more money, all that. It went sour quickly, as for some reason they didn't think I could write, even though they had assumedly looked at my clips. Luckily, I was able to find something else, get back to being an SE and eject from that bad situation just in time.

    My question comes in how to address that situation when looking for future jobs. I know from experience that the three-month gig attaches a major red flag to me in some circles, and possibly gets my application tossed in the pre-screening stage. Do I address the situation in the cover letter and get it out there? Or do I leave it be and explain it when it comes up in an interview?

    Any thoughts you guys have would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  2. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    I wouldn't worry about it. I worked at a place for five months and the 3 places that hired me after didn't say a word. I just took it off my resume because now it matters not. Three months is definitely not as bad as 5 weeks. Have an answer ready in case they ask. Tell the truth and don't hide it, but don't bold it on your cover letter and bring that shit out on front street. You don't have a lot of room in the cover letter to explain your positives, don't spend time on the negatives.
  3. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    Are you planning on leaving your current job anytime soon?

    If not, I wouldn't worry about it. By the time you do leave, the previous job won't matter anymore.
  4. HandsomeHarley

    HandsomeHarley Well-Known Member

    Not to change the subject or play Devil's advocate, but I'm just curious: Were the clips you sent in edited stories from the actual newspaper, and not your raw writing ability?

    Only reason I ask is because I have been in some situations where I couldn't get clips together, but had some raw stories left over on my hard drive. When I sent a cover e-mail, I attached these clips and pointed out that this was my raw writing ability before editing. They seemed to really like that.
  5. sportsguydave

    sportsguydave Active Member


    That's a good point. I've always thought that "non-official" clips wouldn't be seen as legitimate work samples, so I just have "official" stuff in my portfolio.

    In my case, it doesn't matter much, because I haven't been edited much over my career. Not because I'm all that, but mainly because I've worked for a lot of small papers where "editing" consisted of a run through spell check before slapping a story on the page, and proofreading before pages were sent.
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