Personal Branding and the Job Hunt

On Tuesday, 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. And — this one is optional — if you’re further intrigued about job opportunities related to audience engagement, read this Columbia Journalism Review piece from earlier this month. You may recognize one of the sources. 🙂

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. Monday:

  • 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?

JOB/INTERNSHIP LISTINGS:’s searchable job database
Mashable jobs
Lost Remote (TV-related digital journalism jobs)
DFW Communicators Job Bank
Negotiating tips


  1. The most advice I took away from the DMN graphic about The Social Media Resume was the need to build an online presence and community on several different social media platforms. If I am going to build a social media resume, I will have to consistently update all platforms and stay active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress and other social media sites. I was surprised to see that 92 percent of companies use social media to recruit and find employers. I also thought it was good advice to include my Klout Score and Twitalyzer rank of Twitter influence score in my social media resume.


  2. The most advice I took away from “The Social Media Résumé” is that by having an online presence, I could have multiple job offers come the time when applying for jobs. It made me happy to see that “1 in 6 credit social media with landing their current jobs.” A Social Media Resume brings life to information. WordPress, Linked In, Twitter, Facebook, etc., all bring something more to the table. I realize how important it is to stay on top of my social media, and for it to be professional. By being active on social media, employers can witness commitment and talent– something we all want to be recognized for.


  3. I was surprised to see John Hiner in the Poynter chat say his editors are disappointed in the lack of experience j school students have upon graduation in the field of digital journalism. They have not been immersed in the tactics and techniques they would like. He mentions how important digital capability is when trying to expand and grow as a journalist and to help your company grow as well. Makes me really grateful for this class and in a sparked interest for online print news and media!


  4. The Poynter chat was full of a lot of questions I might not have known to ask, but the answers are very relevant to me as a journalist entering the industry. Joe Grimm actually said a quote in the chat that really resonated with me: “Smart companies take responsibility for training people; smart people take responsibility for their training.” This is an industry that won’t stop moving and while employers may try to equip their employees as best they can, it’s important for journalists to be self-motivated to keep up with our changing environment.

    I also really liked hearing more about the motivation behind the redesign of MLive Media Group. A central tenant of the “reimagined jobs and reimagined news reporting spaces is to be in tune with our audience,” Mr. Hiner said. What’s great was that he pointed out that catering to your audience – what they are interested in, how they want it delivered, etc. – doesn’t mean catering to readers’ whims but rather, “listening to what they think, and incorporating it into the whole picture of what a community cares about. It’s not anti-journalistic in any way; it’s enriching journalism.” Hiner reinforces the importance of community-driven journalism, which is exciting for me as I am really growing to appreciate and enjoy that audience engagement.


  5. I thought the “Going Social” diagram was very interesting. What stuck with me the most was the social resume tips. I found these really helpful because I’m now working on improving my resume and starting to look for jobs. Some of the tips were rather obvious, such as leaving out inappropriate pictures and mentions of partying. But, some of the other suggestions I would not have thought of, like including your klout score of social media influence or your rank of Twitter influence. I am interested in learning more about this and motivated to increase my social media presence. In 2012, 92 percent of employers used social media to recruit for jobs. Obviously this is a very large number of employers, so I’m more driven to improve my social media presence in any way I can.


  6. I am currently working on updating my personal e-portfolio and have found myself wondering how influential it will be, or how much potential employers will take my work into account. After studying the social media resume graphic, I can confidently say that it matters. I was shocked by the figured presented in the graphic. It’s crazy to me that over 92% of employers use social media to recruit. Because of this, it’s crucial to have a social media presence that tells companies you’re ready for the workforce, while telling a bit about yourself and your personality. It’s also interesting to think that 1 in 6 job seekers credit social media for landing their current jobs. While I knew that the social media job seeking platform was growing, I had no idea how truly important it is and how successful one can become with it. While I’m not sure I feel tech savvy or creative enough to create a resume infographic or Pinterest resume, I am now more inspired than ever to make an impressive e-portfolio and clean up the rest of my social media presence as well.


  7. I took the most from the Social Media Resume infographic and the “Beyond Tweeting” article. I am graduating in December and starting to interview for jobs so creating a personal brand is heavily on my mind. I personally use Twitter, LinkedIn and WordPress (my e-portfolio). I am starting to see how I can use Twitter to my advantage with the job hunt. Recently, I’ve received tweets and messages from others in the media industry. This reminds me to remember to use Twitter for professional purposes only. I am trying to engage more on LinkedIn by liking posts, following influencers, making posts, etc. I think it is important for young journalists to build on their social media skills. I am learning that there are a lot of job opportunities for journalists with social media skills. One thing that stood out to me in “Beyond Tweeting” was the part that mention that even if you send a memo to journalist about tweeting, they might not tweet. It reminded me of a personal experience that I had this past week. I helped led social media efforts for my sorority for homecoming. Even though members had social media accounts to a variety of platforms did not necessarily mean they were going to post when you told them to. I think this gives you insight to your targeted audience. Not all of your audience is going to go on social media every day or at least visit your organization’s account every day. This is why it is important for media organizations to always be engaging and looking for ways to attract new visitors and keep their audience.


  8. The most memorable advice I took away was from the Poynter chat. Although I’ve heard it before, it needs to be constantly stated that it is crucial to learn both old school and new school journalism skills while in college. So many recent grads are focused on the digital aspect that they often forget about traditional reporting. It is rare for somebody to possess both skillsets, so it is a huge advantage if you can graduate with both of them. I feel like SMU does a good job of paying attention to both sides of journalism by making the intro classes about the traditional reporting and the more advanced classes about implementing those skills in the digital landscape.


  9. The most memorable advice I took away was from the DMN graphic. I have a Linked In resume already, but I never thought about Twitter and other sites. It was really helpful to see the statistics and other resume options. Some of the sites I haven’t heard of before now. It makes total sense. Social media has become a necessity. Linked In is a great tool, but it won’t carry me the whole way. I need to explore other venues too, even though I may not want to. The article/graphic also reminded me that I really need to update my Linked In resume and start focusing more on a journalism brand instead of just real estate.


  10. The point I found to be the most relevant from Digiday’s piece on social media editors was that there are still many gaps when it comes to twitter and journalism. Like one interviewee said in the article, just because you tell members of a staff to tweet more doesn’t mean they do, even though it’s often assumed that journalists are for the most part constantly active. I have personally experienced how much effort goes in to tweeting for a news outlet and it most definitely is not a thoughtless product. It takes hours of planning, composing, and editing. But once you’ve mastered it, it’s an incredible skill to have.


  11. I love infographics! I’m a very visual learner and thought that the Dallas Morning News graphic was very informative and eye-opening. I think all these materials helped me realize that while getting a job after graduation is not impossible, I will need to be diligent and proactive about updating all of my social media sites. I found it surprising to know that 89% of recruiters have hired through LinkedIn, 25% through Facebook…and the numbers are only growing. A lot of journalism jobs are changing to be more web and social media oriented, so it is important as a journalist to stay motivated and keep up with new technology and an online presence. This is why Digital Journalism is an important class! I need to make myself competitive in the industry and a strong online presence is the first step to get my foot in the door. Who knows, maybe my future employer will find me through social media.


  12. I found the Dallas Morning News infographic to be really helpful because I am in the process of updating my resume. I see many different resumes that have a lot of things going on or might be too boring for the field I am going into. It helps me understand the important things a social resume should have. I also liked the list of popular sites that I should be on. I also realized that I need to be more focused on the way I use social media. I need to be aware of the field I am going into and what potential recruiters will be looking for.


  13. I found the statistics on compensation very interesting in the 2013 Annual Survey of Journalism and Mass Communication Graduates. Chart 31 shows that people with journalism and mass communications bachelor’s degrees salaries have not changed drastically over the past. I think it is really shocking that people in 2013 who have bachelor’s degrees are only earning $100 more then people in 1987. This statistic shows that the despite inflation, people’s salaries are not increasing. I find this worrisome because if I pursue a career in journalism I don’t want to be eating ramen everyday in a one room apartment. The idea of a job market that doesn’t offer a growing compensation doesn’t sound appealing.


  14. Last spring, when I was applying to summer internships, social media positions were just as prevalent as editorial intern positions. I think my parents conjured up a picture similar to the one introduced in “Beyond tweeting: Demystifying the social media editor” – a student sitting at a computer on Twitter all day. This is not the truth, but I don’t think I fully grasped the concept of a social media editor, myself, until reading this article.

    My favorite piece of advice from this article was by Slate’s social media editor, Jeremy Stahl: “Twitter and Facebook have become far more powerful tools for getting traffic, so the shift has become more focused on how to take advantage of social media to improve the site’s traffic and readership.”

    Although Facebook and other social media platforms are a major part of a social media editor’s responsibilities, they aren’t the only ones. Social media editors take many other efforts to build their company’s personal brand. Plus, they always have to be on their toes in terms of social media trends – what’s coming in and what’s on its way out? I am a slow writer who enjoys rereading then rewriting and am almost always on the too lengthy side. But social media sites, especially Twitter, require shorter, more concise words that get right to the point. Proper tweets demand speed and efficiency in addition to already limited characters.


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