Friday, April 06, 2007

Conley speaks truth about hiring

If you are a student looking for a job ...

Or if you are in this business wondering about the future and just knowing you probably are going to be looking for a job again someday ...

You have to read two posts by Paul Conley at his trade journals blog. Trade journals, you say? What do they have to do with me here at my radio or TV station or newspaper? Plenty, because as this industry nebulizes, a lot of us are going to be doing the equivalent of trade journals -- writing specialized, depth copy for smaller but more committed (and knowledgeable) audiences.

In Three Job Tips for Students, Conley starts out thusly:
Few things tell me less about a prospective hire than clips from a college newspaper. ...

He follows up with Folks with Resumes Need Not Apply:
Last week I wrote about how clips provide little value in helping me make a hiring decision.
Now it appears that Wired has gone a step further -- telling prospective hires for at least one job not to bother sending a resume, but to instead forward a blog post. I'm not surprised by Wired's move. And I suspect we'll see more situations like this in which employers screen applicants based on their access to Web tools and sensibilities. (For example, why would any radio station hire anyone who doesn't have a podcast?)

There is good stuff here, especially the first one. Did I mention j-school faculty ought to read these, too, and maybe think about the career advice we're providing?

After you've absorbed what Conley says, then pick up the larger thread from Mark Glaser who runs the Media Shift blog for PBS. Glaser, in a reprint of a Ball State University speech, gives great detail about how he has built a career as a (sort-of) freelance journalist (I say sort of because, as he notes, he's always tried to at least get a regular column gig and then build on that). If you are a journalism student, especially, print this out and tack it up on the bathroom mirror so that you can read it every morning. Then go out and do it.

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