1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

What hiring managers are looking for

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by youngjournalist12, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. youngjournalist12

    youngjournalist12 New Member

    Hi, young sports writer who is relatively new to the field. I have been the sports editor/reporter/photographer (one-man band) at a small-town daily for about six months. Starting to try and look for other sports reporter/editor jobs at a bigger-sized publication. Wondering what hiring managers are looking for with clips?

    Obviously, put in your best stuff but are they looking to see a wide array of stuff (game story, feature, column, analysis, hard sports news) or are they looking for just features or what? I have been told to not include game stories but I feel like a hiring manager would want to see you can write a decent game story before they move on to actually considering you for the job.

    Thanks in advance for the help.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
  2. cjericho

    cjericho Well-Known Member

    "who is relatively new."
    youngjournalist12 likes this.
  3. cjericho

    cjericho Well-Known Member

    Been out of the business for over a decade so others definitely have a better idea of what they are looking for in a new hire.
    If it's covering preps would think you should include game stories. No idea what papers you're looking to work at, but
    would think if it's covering preps game stories are a big part of the job.
    youngjournalist12 likes this.
  4. crimsonace

    crimsonace Well-Known Member

    When I was a hiring manager a decade and a half ago, I looked for someone who was reliable and dependable.

    I wanted evidence of good reporting - especially if you can write a good feature/column (in addition to doing gamers). Beyond that, I'm looking for evidence of talent. Can you write? Will you conduct yourself professionally when you're out in the field? What do your references say about you? (and I'm not just calling your references - this is a small world. I'm calling the SE of your closest competitor or anyone in your area whom I know). As far as clips, I'd send a variety of things - features, gamers, columns, et al. If you've had to do photography and design, include that, too. Some shops - especially smaller ones - will value that.

    And honestly, don't necessarily send the gamer from the state championship game. All that tells me is "you covered a good team." Send me the best stuff you have from a run-of-the-mill regular season contest.
    youngjournalist12 likes this.
  5. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Also - you're a one man band - don't limit yourself to just writing. You obviously know how to organize your time and do layout. I imagine newspapers are looking to get as much bang for their buck as possible so don't shy away from playing up your other talents.
    youngjournalist12 likes this.
  6. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Depends on what you want to do. I assume it's write or edit, because bigger publications are snobs about photogs - they either hire full-time photogs from J-schools or internships or they just rely on freelance work. But you're not getting a full-time gig as that, in my experience, unless you went to school for it and have a portfolio.

    If it's writing, I'd stuff your file full of features and breaking news, preferably breaking news of desultory doings, if you have it. Also, try to attune your features more to the human interest side - like, find someone with an ailing parent, or someone involved in charity work, or the like. Stuff that plays on emotions. If you have "writerly" work include that.

    I did not write this with sarcasm font. I'm not being sarcastic. I'm not sure it even matters if you know anything about sports.
  7. Bronco77

    Bronco77 Well-Known Member

    A paper the size of my shop probably is a logical next step for you, and you'd need to show our hiring managers you can do that wide array of stories you mentioned in your first post. Versatility also is highly valued here, so any design/editing experience is a plus, along with your photo skills (you might never need to use those skills, but good to have them in the portfolio). Know how to use Facebook and Twitter as reporting tools, as we're big into social media. And it might sound crazy, but if there are people from the schools you cover or in the community who will vouch for you, include them as references (can't speak for other papers, but it's important at my place).
    youngjournalist12 likes this.
  8. youngjournalist12

    youngjournalist12 New Member

    Thanks everyone for the help. Any recommendation on number of clips I should send? Seems like 4-6 is pretty standard.
  9. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    When I was part of a mass buyout after 25 years, I went back and felt lucky to find six clips I thought stood out from just OK. I know others were, but there's a real imposter syndrome at work. Don't be afraid to send just four, or even three, if you feel they're your very best work.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page