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For Journalists (& others), Persistence is Key

September 16, 2009

We’ve got word from outside experts, and from one our own very recent alums, that persistence, keeping an open mind on outcome, and working your network, are the ways to get a job in this tough market.

Former Detroit Press recruiting editor Joe Grimm had much to say on the subject at Poynter.org recently: Persistence Pays

Recent AU/SOC alum Steve Dorsey–who landed his job as an on-air reporter at WBOC-TV in Salisbury, MD BEFORE he graduated last December, has these reflections to add:

  • Steve sent out 60 demo tapes and got one weak response. He doesn’t regret sending out that many–and could have easily sent out more–but recognizes that what really helped him open doors was the network of people he’d worked with in the past.
  • The person at WBOC who helped was someone he had interned with at another station some years before–someone whom he had kept in contact with–who agreed to pass his demo tape to the hiring manager.
  • Of keeping up-to-date with your contacts, Steve offers this advice, learned the hard way, he says:  Keep it short.  Very occasionally, email someone you have worked with, maybe offer a quick update on your status, and see if they’re free for coffee.  Always keep it short. (Steve admits to having made the mistake of writing longer emails earlier in his networking life, and finding that people just didn’t have time to READ them, much less respond!)

Additional advice from the CC: The best time to solidify your network is while you are NOT desperately looking for a job. So start reaching out and building those relationships now!

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