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 revealing Poynter post, “We just read 160 résumés. Here are 10 things you should not do,” as well as the Global Press Journal’s “Open letter to journalism students who want jobs.” Check out this Dallas Morning News graphic about the social résumé. And if this class has intrigued you about job opportunities related to audience engagement, read this Digiday piece about the evolving job duties of social media editors and/or this recent Columbia Journalism Review piece — 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 any of these readings?
  • 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
MediaBistro jobs
DFW Communicators Job Bank
Negotiating tips

16 thoughts on “Personal Branding and the Job Hunt

  1. I actually didn’t feel like the resume article was very intriguing. I applied to law schools in January so I had been to the career center multiple times and nothing in that article was very surprising. However, when I went through the jobs I did notice that there are a ton of places looking for social media managers or interns. This makes a lot of sense considering how important having an online presence has become. This (once again) reinforced everything we’re learning and how important social media truly is. Somebody can literally make a living off of running social media accounts, which sounds like a pretty fun job.

  2. First of all, these articles were encouraging to me (although discouraging for humanity). I can’t believe people really submit poorly written resumes like the examples they gave. If the majority of applicants make typing, spelling, grammar, and fact-check errors, I think I’ll be alright. I appreciated the advice in the Poynter article about knowing where you’re applying. I like their point that applying to jobs is different than applying to colleges, where the majority of applications could be copied and pasted. Businesses compete by distinguishing themselves, so we should know what is different about them when applying. I have separate folders on my computer for all my different resumes for this reason. I want to work in women’s ministry, but I can’t assume all ministries are the same. They all have a different heart and purpose, and I need to know how I fit into that.

  3. After reading these articles, I couldn’t believe that some people actually spell the name of the company they are applying to wrong… I mean, I know we’re only human, but come on! When you’re applying for a job, aka attempting to start the potential next phase of your life, you think you’d be able to spell the company’s name correctly… or at least use spellcheck. Okay, sorry, I just needed to get that off my chest. I liked how the one article said that some companies prefer “personally” stories rather than stories written to make you look smart. I liked this because I tend to write with a sense of my “self”, instead of matter-of-factly. It also made me feel like the company is actually looking to hire a real person, instead of just a list of credentials. That being said, its just as important to know the personality of the company you are applying for. Not only because you want to be able to write a resume that will attract their interests, but you want to make sure that you, as a person, feel as if you could also be apart of that company, that your personalities would “mesh.”

  4. These articles were very eye opening. Spell checking, and looking over grammar mistakes are such simple tasks in making sure that your resume is put together and ready to go out for a job application, but I know that sometimes as students we do get lazy and we just want to get everything done quickly. Sometimes thought quicker isn’t always better. It was also interesting reading the third article about social media resumes. I was always unsure before on what to add social media wise to my resume. This article really helped out! Lastly was resonated with me was how to make the cover letter fit each individual company that you apply for. You don’t want something quirky for a company that is very simple. Hopefully these tips will help me in my journey to applying for job this semester!

  5. As a senior who’s had numerous lectures on captivating a potential employer, this information seemed redundant. I find it very sad that someone would not take the time and effort to spell check, name check, avoid cliches, etc. when applying for a potential position. I think that the competitive nature of the application process is at an all-time high. It is crucial to use common sense when putting yourself out for a job opportunity. On another note, I found the suggestions on social media incorporation in resumes quite interesting. I hadn’t really thought of including this information on my resume. This complemented the class lectures on building our Twitter profiles for journalistic purposes. It makes sense that what we share and how we communicate to the public is a good indicator for potential employers.

  6. The most memorable advice for me was about not trying to sound smart and getting your tone right. I feel like it is important to sound genuine and passionate, but that’s easier said than done. I’ve struggled with writing cover letters for a while, as you know since you’ve been helping me, and it’s hard to allow your personality to shine through in that setting. Both open letters were helpful advice, but it’s intimidating to be reminded of how many graduating journalists are looking for the same opportunity as me.

  7. The most memorable advice I took away from the readings was check, check, and check again (Probably because they said that a million times). Careless mistakes are toxic in journalism and it surprises me that these places see so many in resumes and cover letters – two of the places most people try to be very careful. When it comes to formal submissions, I am usually someone who checks everything a million times until I can be confident that everything is perfect, but I guess these silly errors go to show it can never hurt to have someone else edit or double check because mistakes are clearly made! As far as the job postings, from just the handful I looked at they said they were looking for someone “high-energy” and “self-motivated,” Which is super cool but can be hard to portray through a cover letter.

  8. For my communications major I have to complete a 150 hour internship program. We have readings for this class and our readings last week were also about building a perfect resume. I read a similar article about what not to do on your resume and cover letter. The article “An open Letter to Journalism students who want jobs” focused more on the negativity rather than the positives a company looks for. The one piece of advice I felt she offered though was to focus on accuracy, common sense and attention to detail. The most memorable advice from these articles was that I need to make a perfect social media resume. Social media comes as second nature to our generation and it is time I use that to my advantage.

  9. I was absolutely astounded at the open letter to journalism students. I can’t believe that out of all their applicants they had 0 potential candidates for the position. I also cannot believe the mistakes that aspiring **journalists** had made! Reading this really made me weary of what my own resume looks like. If these other journalists make such simple but “abhorrent” mistakes I am bound to also possess a few. After reading this letter I am instilled with fear, I have to be very sensitive to paying attention to detail. I don’t want to be passed for a job or an interview because of a mistake that I could have easily prevented. We all make the mistakes that were presented in the open letter but making that mistake in your first impression is a deal breaker. I am going to be much more aware going forward. This was a great article to read because I am currently applying for jobs and am revising my resumes and cover letters.

  10. Reading these articles gave me a chance to feel beyond nervous about all the publications I sent my resume out to this past weekend while I was applying for internships. In general applying for internships feels like the worst thing in the world to me but, I tried to look at the reading in a positive light. So I’m focusing on what I can learn from the mistakes in “An Open Letter to Journalism Students who Want Jobs” and “We just read 160 resumes. Here are ten things you should not do.” I am, first off, surprised by the amount of applications they get with blatant spelling and geography mistakes. But one thing I didn’t know was the suggestion that tone mattered. At my high school when we learned about cover letters it was drilled into my head that you have to use a professional, academic tone. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t use a professional tone but I think I would like to try to match the tone of where I’m applying from now on. I also think I want to try a social media resume as well.

  11. One thing I gathered from these articles is that journalism is changing. Evolving rather, and becoming much more fast-paced and social media focused. It is a somewhat comforting evolution since my generation grew up on and is well versed in Facebook in Twitter. I also loved to see the basic “do not’s” of resumes were somewhat common sense. I was expecting to be lectured on how I am lacking many skills I need to land a job, instead I feel confident that my resume meets a majority of the expectations of these employers. I can’t believe that some people have spelled their employer’s name wrong or did not know simple geography. I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw the 10th item of “We just read 160 résumés. Here are 10 things you should not do” is “exaggerate”. As a student, I am constantly updating my Linkedin and trying to make it sound the best it can. It is nice to realize I can spend less time focused on “fluffing” my resume because employers would rather I didn’t anyways.

  12. Most of these resume mistakes are common and relatively self explanatory. If you have applied to jobs and take yourself seriously none of those things should be confusing or questionable to job seekers. I did think the social media resume graphic was interesting. I am sure most agencies or companies seeking to hire someone already check social media profiles and each applicant’s online presence. But using social media as the hiring platform is relatively new to me. It is easy to improve and clean up current social media rather than craft a new web presence in the form of a website or something similar. Of course, an online portfolio is good to have, but with social media and linked in there is another option for applicants to make an impression on employers. I have started to follow twitter feeds that post job listings since I will be graduating soon. And social media job finding can work, because I have my current internship because someone found me on LinkedIn.

  13. First… I am absolutely shocked people mess up the name of the potential employer or even company. I feel like those people weren’t very serious about wanting the actual position. Personally, if it is a job/position or anything that I want really badly, I send it to a couple outside people to triple check. That’s after I triple check it myself. However, the one thing I really did think was interesting was the graphic from Dallas Morning News. When it shows the different types of platforms people use to promote their own resume. I have never heard of QR Codes on business cards or resumes that scan from a smart phone to a website. To me, this sounds very tedious. If I were in HR I would want something clean and simple that proves their skills. This may be a clean way, but as someone who would have to go through numerous applications, it would take up way too much time. I do find the overall fact that Twitter and Linkedin are helping students get hired very cool. It is sort of like an informal recruiting. The employers are seeking for the potentials, rather than the other way around. It is a refreshing aspect of the 21st century.

  14. Wow, that was fun, incredibly humbling and slightly encouraging. Much of the information was common sense and repetitive from previous knowledge, but think the most important thing to grasp from these articles is to remember your tone and what position you’re in. You can be confident in your past experiences and abilities but not to the point where you become careless. A recent college grad needs to keep in mind that though they may feel proud of their brand new piece of expensive paper that says they are somewhat capable, they are still at the mercy of employers and need to earn their respect, not expect it. A lack of proper spelling and careless technical and grammatical errors never belong in a resume or cover letter to a company that you truly want to work for.

  15. The most memorable parts of the Poynter article for me were the tips that you should not try too hard to sound smart and also to get your tone right for resumes. In particular I hadn’t thought about the tone of my resume, but rather focused on the content and experiences. Using your tone and cover letter as well as skills to convey your intelligence to future employers is easier said than done.
    The fact that the article chose ‘having a work objective’ as one of the 10 big don’ts in resumes struck me as an important fact. I can relate to the idea that everyone’s work objectives ends up sounding the same. I found it interesting that so many people were so lax on their resumes when it comes to spelling, and in particular spelling organization and CEO’s names. It was particularly interesting that this was common between both the articles. The open letter to journalism students article intrigued me in that so many applications were of such poor quality. The greatest take-away from this one was the issue of common sense in resumes, which I had always thought of as just intuitive. Lastly it shocked me that anyone looking for a job would immediately ask about vacation time.

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