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Tips for Recent College Grad

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SportsSmart, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. SportsSmart

    SportsSmart New Member

    Greetings SJ,

    I'm a recent college grad with more than two years of experience as a student writer and editor. I have written more than 75 articles for my school's student-run newspaper, and I have a few high quality clips at dailies, but nothing has come to fruition yet as of getting a job.

    I've applied to a few jobs, but there has been no response as of the moment. So I ask, should I keep looking for jobs to enter the field? Or should I find something else that is stable for now in another field and hopefully freelance come fall?

  2. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Go back to school and get a real degree. :D
  3. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    As others have implied, journalism is really rough right now. Brutally rough. As in, I worked for four years before even making more than $25,000, and that came just because I jumped to an Internet start-up.

    But if you're really dedicated, I doubt anything we say here is going to talk you out of it anyway. Therefore, I'd definitely recommend getting another gig in the meantime while you use your free time to apply for journalism jobs. I substitute taught for two years - In a lot of states, all you need is a Bachelor's and a background check, it pays $75 per day and it leaves your nights free for assignments. It'll also help you learn how to relate to and talk to kids, which if you're applying for sports jobs with HS beats, is a good bit of practical knowledge to pick up.
  4. TheHacker

    TheHacker Member

    You're going to get a lot of people telling you to look for something else, and while I hate to sound angry and bitter (even though I often am angry and bitter), I'm inclined to agree with that advice.

    I know an SE who's hiring right now. He got more than 60 resumes the first day his ad went up on journalismjobs. And remember, there have been waves of layoffs across the business and a lot of those applications are from people with more experience than you. So that's the landscape you're entering.

    You may be perfectly capable of doing the job. The last time I hired, I had more than 120 applicants. Lots of them would have worked just fine. I picked three to interview and hired one. Do your best to make your application stand out. Play up your multi-media and social media skills, because that a huge part of the equation in the hiring process for any sports reporting job right now.

    But be aware it's a numbers game and the numbers are stacked against you.
  5. SportsSmart

    SportsSmart New Member

    I've been asked to write for an internet start-up website, but there is no compensation. The substitute idea is an interesting outlet. I have four years of experience working with students, which helped pay my way through school and that was enjoyable.

    On a different note, when applying for jobs should I include college clips since my professional clips are limited to a few?
  6. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    Any spare bodily fluids you have...donate them.

    Welcome to a shitty job market! Sorry, but it's just the truth.
  7. dirtybird

    dirtybird Well-Known Member

    Freelance, apply, freelance, apply...

    Try to pick up some sort of day job and get ready for an unpleasant process that could take a while.
  8. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    I think a mix would work, unless your professional clips are really stale as compared to the college clips. As long as they're in decent shape, I don't think most places look down on college clips. Your main issue is going to be your competition at this point - Plenty of journalists with much more experience than you have been laid off.

    I wouldn't work for no pay unless it's an Internet company with a solid name, like Scouts or Rivals, where you would legitimately pick up some skills and/or contacts. Is there a Patch.com site in your area? I'm biased because I work for them, but they're usually looking for freelancers, and usually willing to pay. (Note: I can't speak for every site. In some areas, they have tons of possible contributors and don't have to pay much / at all, while in others, they don't have a ton of trusted freelancers, and will pay more.)
  9. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    My advice is all over threads like this, but in a nutshell it's this: Find a way to make yourself stand out from the pack. That might mean another degree like a hard science or economics or law degree. It might mean accumulating a news side background (and even then be more than a generalist - although be capable of being a generalist, too).

    Right now, my friend, you might have what it takes, but your resume is short hand to employers, and you have to make it pop somehow. (P.S. I'll let you know how this all works out in a few years!)

    Also: Network, network, network. Though I understand that's not easy before you have an in.
  10. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Well-Known Member

    good luck with your search...it is hard times now to land something full-time, but if you want to give it a go find some part-time position or build a net of freelancers.

    I know at my shop, when a full-time spot opens up we look to our network of freelancers first, so I suppose that's the new "foot in the door"
  11. Illino

    Illino Member

    Just keep applying everywhere you can. Last summer, I was in the same situation. I applied to about 10 jobs across a 6-7 state area and got offered 4 interviews and two jobs. It took three months, but it happened.
  12. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Apply for news jobs. Apply everywhere. Don't just check JournalismJobs.com. Do you have contacts anywhere else? What can you do besides write?

    Just don't post that you wasted 20 minutes of your life preparing a clips package that you sent via email and didn't get hired.
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