I’ve been job-hunting a lot since graduating a year ago, and it seems I might actually get a decent position, so why not bestow some advice?
1. Be open – I want to be a producer at the BBC, but that’s not going to happen overnight. Or over a decade. Instead of limiting myself to specific jobs I’m open to anything that could help enhance my journalistic skills. So, always try to apply for the jobs that can help you land that dream career, even if that means utilizing one skill at a time.
2. Be shameless – This applies to networking events and calling in favors. Sure, I always feel awkward as an avocado having to ask someone if they’d be down to be a reference, or nudge their buddies to look at my resume, but I think all people are aware that job-hunting is synonymous with desperation.
3. There are no small jobs – If you land a job you need to run with it, especially if it isn’t your dream job. What can you do in your current position that can help you move in the direction you want? Recently, I was filling in for someone and I just went wild with the social media expansion. I created pitches and strategies and pretty internet things with cats. No, that wasn’t in my job description, but there was nothing that said I couldn’t do it (plus everyone else on staff was completely behind me).
4. There is no such thing as free time – I’m a workaholic. I’m aware this is a problem, but it’s no sleep ’till BBC for me, so I try to pack my non-work time with projects that keep me creative. I help admin at Drunk Austen, attempt to finish my film and read as much good reporting as possible. If you’re in school you should dip those fingers and toes into every bit of experience you can get. For me that included volunteering at the radio station, tv shows and zines.
5. Own it – Don’t let the job descriptions scare you. It says you need a minimum of five years experience, but you have three and you KNOW you can do the job? Apply anyway. Write a strong cover letter and highlight your expertise. What’s the harm? You get called in for an interview and they don’t hire you? In that “worst case scenario” they know your face and see that you want to work. Next time you apply at that company you’ll already stick out.
– Have multiple resumes to suite different jobs you’re looking for.
– Dress for the job you want. (Sure, this is shallow, but I was the best dressed intern at one place and was told that really helped solidify how seriously employees took me.)
– I don’t know if LinkedIn really helps or not.
– Cookies help with image. Just sayin’. (No, you can’t have my super secret Wookiee Cookie recipe because I changed it for maximum delicious.)