UPDATED: Personal Branding and the Job Hunt

UPDATED: SMU has announced that campus will be closed until noon Tuesday, Feb. 24. We will pick things where we left off during our scheduled class period beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26. The homework deadline has been extended until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25. See you Thursday! — Batsell

On ThursdayTuesday, we’ll start talking about jobs, personal branding and how to land that first gig. Read this Poynter CoverItLive chat, “What skills are digital-first newsrooms looking for?“, as well as this Dallas Morning News graphic about the social résumé and this Digiday piece about the evolving job duties of social media editors. Also, read the executive summary of the 2013 Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Graduates, and browse through some of the findings about salaries, desired qualities, etc. Your homework (5 points) is to comment (not tweet — this time, at least) on this post, answering/reacting to one of the following questions by 11:59 p.m. WednesdayMonday:

  • What was the most memorable advice you took away from either: 1) John Hiner’s comments in the Poynter chat; 2) the DMN graphic about “The Social Media Résumé; or 3) the Digiday piece about social media editors?
  • What surprised you most about the 2013 survey findings — and how did the survey change/confirm your personal outlook toward the journalism job market?
  • Browse through some of Batsell’s favorite journalism job listings below. What trends/patterns do you see in what employers are looking for?

Poynter.org’s searchable job database
Mashable jobs
Lost Remote (TV-related digital journalism jobs)
DFW Communicators Job Bank

15 thoughts on “UPDATED: Personal Branding and the Job Hunt

  1. Probably the most memorable advice that I obtained from the Dallas Morning News graphic about social media resumes would be the section stating that Pinterest can be used for a “creative social resume option”. I have a Pinterest account and I never thought about it being a way to land a job that I want. However, creativity is one quality that many employers scope out when looking for people to hire. Today, employers seem to not only visit potential employee’s Facebook and Twitter pages, but also their Pinterest accounts. What better way to observe a person’s creative side than peering at their Pinterest boards?

  2. As a senior, I have been spending a lot of time researching jobs in the journalism field that will be available when I graduate. The trend I noticed on many of the job listings is the need for links to social media profiles – many of the employers wanted the links to LinkedIn, Twitter, and/or WordPress profiles. Many of the employers are also seeking 2-3 writing samples and a cover letter. Employers are looking for candidates that have knowledge of AP style, and have the ability to write, edit, and proofread. Employers want journalists who take initiative, produce creative and excellent work, and will contribute to the greater picture of journalism. Seeing what these employers are looking for really helped me understand why all of my journalism professors at SMU want students to focus more on the work they are producing rather than the grade they are receiving. Producing great clips to show employers will land us careers – an A in business journalism may not (although it will certainly help).

  3. I really enjoyed taking a look at the DMN graphic about “The Social Media Résumé”. I thought it demonstrated the point they were trying to make about making your resume more engaging and interactive to potential employers. I was immediately more interested to look at this page. It is a constantly evolving record of your achievements and qualifications presented in a dynamic and creative way. The most memorable advice I took away from this graphic is that creativity attracts attention, but the tricky part is tailoring all of the cool layouts and colors to show your most marketable skills to potential employers. Even though they are creative résumés, they need to be accessible and not too cluttered so your important qualifications are easy to find. Employers like hiring employees who they think will be continuous innovators and this is where I think social media résumes let you showcase this ability.

  4. The most memorable advice from the DMN graphic would probably the statistics showing social resumes growing in popularity. It is growing and I didn’t realize how many recruiters look at online resumes. I always try to update my LinkedIn and look professional on Facebook and Twitter. I was not aware though that they recruit that often online. I do agree that it is a great way to keep an updated profile. This year when applying to internships there is now a spot to put a portfolio link on many applications. These portfolios are also great to see how many people are looking at my work. I love that I can publish everything to one site to send to anyone. It was also interesting to see that 1 in 6 job seekers credit social media with getting their current jobs. I didn’t know you could get a job through social media which is good to know. I have always known to be professional and network on social media, but it is great to know you can get jobs through it.

  5. The biggest thing I took away from the Poynter live chat is that it takes more than just skills to get ahead in a booming journalistic environment. The biggest thing is really getting information out to the audience. Not only the typical everyday readers, but the new viewers. Trying to reach a audience is both a big challenge, and a huge necessity. It’s necessary to find out what the audience is interested in and catering to those interests and thoughts, not just the “whims” in order to grow a larger audience. I think this needs to start in schools if students are interested in going into journalism. John Hiner made the point that some students don’t have the “readiness”, not the technical skills, but the ability to grow an audience and actually get out there and cover the story. This starts with motivation and the desire to make a change and deliver the story.

  6. The most memorable advice I took from the Dallas Morning News social media graphic is the influence that social media now has on the recruiting process. Over 88 percent of job seekers joined at least one social media network. One in six job seekers credit social media with landing their jobs. The most impressive number is that 89 percent of job seekers have hired through LinkedIn. As part of this generation, we are already at an advantage by being brought up in the social media era.

  7. I really enjoyed the DigiDay article. I think this article made it very clear the significance of Twitter for journalism careers. The article diminishes the stereotype of social media editors of just “tweeting headlines out. Daniel Victor, the New York Times social media staff editor, states “monitoring Twitter is just part of the job, not its not the biggest part”. THe article continues to share the important jobs of a social media editor like, coordinating breaking-news and helping reporters find sources. At the end of the article Veronica de Souza, social media editor at Digg, states, ” When it comes to breaking news, the whole point is to get the correct information our to the most number of people.” I think this is very important advice,that even though social media editors may get as much wrong as right, but speed is part of the job and the mail goal is to get information correctly to as large of an audience as possible.

  8. The 2013 survey findings indicated that bachelor’s degree recipients reported the same level of job offers in 2013 as a year earlier, as well as the same level of success in finding work in the professional communication field. This confirmed my suspicion that the job market crisis in the media realm has been inflated to a certain extent. Additionally, two-thirds of the degree recipients reported satisfaction in their career choices, and seven in 10 said that their college coursework provided the skills needs in today’s workplace. In the ever-changing landscape of journalism, this is a reassuring statistic. One thing that did surprise me was that these degree recipients were less likely to report reading a daily newspaper or magazine, instead turning to mobile devices as news sources. I initially thought this shift was largely concentrated in a population that did not include media professionals.

  9. I found the graphic extremely interesting–and reassuring! My parents always tell me I spend too much time on Pinterest, but I’ve always thought I was gaining a skill by using it. I have 5.4K followers, and I’m only following 461 people–what am I doing right? This infographic told me that I could use those Pinterest skills to build a Pinterest resume. That actually sounds like something I’d do for fun–I’d update it for fun, I’d rearrange my boards for fun, and my follower base would help me promote my name. Adults too often tell my generation that we spend too much time on social media, perfecting our pages, etc–but now, I can explain to them how I’m using Twitter or Facebook to promote myself and find a job. Definitely a reassuring graphic.

  10. I was surprised a lot of journalism degree recipients actually find jobs. I always assumed it was rather difficult to find a job but the survey showed more than 60% of students find work and land interviews. Great. I don’t want to be a journalist, but this is still great news. It changed my pessimism about the journalism job market. As I said earlier, I thought it was really hard to get your first journalism gig. I’m hopeful I’ll have the same luck finding a job outside of the journalism market.

  11. I thought that the graphic was incredibly interesting and made me feel a little better about my future. As one of the three people in the class with a twitter follower/following ratio of over one, I love that the graphic essentially said that this could be something that could get me hired. When I started twitter it was just the musings of an overworked high schooler, and the fact that my future could come out of that is amazing to me. I added my e-portfolio link to my twitter earlier in the year and I after reading that 92% of employers use social media to recruit I think that may have been an excellent career move.

  12. I really enjoyed looking at the Dallas Morning News graphic “The Social Media Resume” because I personally remember the first time I was asked to send in more than just my cover letter and resume. Before I took Basic at SMU I didn’t really use LinkedIn or WordPress to market myself for jobs. However, after that class I really started to up my game in those areas and now I am constantly updating my professional experiences so that the public and hopefully future employers are impressed. I’ve recently noticed since I am a Senior and searching for jobs constantly that I have more and more views on both platforms the more I updated them. It has been shocking and great to see businesses and professionals going past my LinkedIn as well. The percentage of how many employers use LinkedIn was somewhat shocking because I imagined it to be 50% but 89% is incredible. It just proves to me that big corporations really do take the social media resumes into account when searching for a new person. It was really eye opening for me to see the percentage of employers that still look at Facebook because I view that as somewhat of an outdated social outlet since more people use Twitter and Instagram now. One thing I can also relate to that the graphic touched on was really showing through your volunteer work, memberships and more what makes you use outside of work. When I was offered an internship as PaperCity Magazine they told me one thing that drew them in was how involved I was in yoga and that said a lot about me as a person. It really does help employers see the person behind the paper.

  13. This idea that social media editors need to be on the lookout for upcoming platforms really stood out to me. It was mentioned both my John Hiner in the chat and in the Digiday article. It comes as no surprise that any journalist needs to be familiar with the current social media platforms that the majority of people are using. But it hadn’t struck me until now that they need to be searching for new platforms. As a student, I will join a platform if I really like the idea behind it or if I have enough friends already using it. Until now I didn’t consider that some people (aka social media editors) need to the first ones using the next popular platform. Considering this, I think it would be wise for all journalism students to get used to searching for the next twitter, Facebook or whatever it may be.

  14. The Poynter chat really hit home for me. Though sometimes the journalism job market seems bleak, when Hiner said, “I’ve been in the business for 30 years, and this is the first time that I’ve worked in a growth environment,” that statement made me so hopeful. I’m about to enter the job market, and I hope to be more digitally savvy than my graduating counterparts. That being said, there’s also a reason stories aren’t written by computers now. Journalists need to be armed with digital skills, yes, but they also need a strong writing foundation so they can adapt to any environment. Hines really emphasized being able to adapt, no matter the circumstances, and I definitely want to remember that going forward. This also relates to the study. It makes me more and more excited to enter the work force and prove to be a competitor in the field. With the right education and competitive mindset, I fully intend to be a threat in the digital journalism world.

  15. What trends/patterns do you see in what employers are looking for?
    It struck me when browsing journalism job boards that every employer required 5+ years of experience. While it makes sense that a professional organization wants someone with strong skills and an ability to excel in the professional world, it’s terrifying as an undergraduate to imagine hunting for a job that will accept me right out of college. The journalism field has a cutthroat, competitive job market, and I find myself jealous of friends studying finance who get recruited and find jobs as early as junior year. I suppose perseverance and personal branding are the most essential tools in finding a job as a young person. Building our websites, cultivating our best clips, and developing a voice as a reporter will all help when finding a job. I know when looking at journalists’ Twitters, I notice a trend in what they report and what they retweet. Creating this professional image of yourself is no longer an option, it’s a must.
    -I came back to try to edit, and I can’t get my name to pop up, but this is Emily!

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