How to Become More Employable as a Journalist

These days breaking into the cut throat world of journalism can be tough but I have a few tips if you are or have ever considered pursuing a career in journalism.

1. Learn photography. Carrying a camera around with you can help you out immensely in the field.  You never know what situation you may end up in and that photo could mean money.  It might help to take a simple photography class to learn the basic fundamentals if you have never done photography before. These days it pays to be a one man show.

2. Learn a language.  Especially in the diverse state we live in even knowing basic phrases and words can become the difference in being turned away from a covering a story or being let in.  People feel much more comfortable when they know you speak their language, even if it is a simple “Hello, how you doing today?”

3. Network.  This is probably the most important aspect in breaking into the business.  Unfortunately that degree you have will only get you so far.  In this industry it is not always what you know, but WHO you know.  Make friends and meet people, get yourself out there!

4. Intern.  Taking lower positions are a great way to learn and meet people.  Rarely will you get a job by simply walking into a place.  If you can prove yourself and show that you are a hard worker they are more likely to hire and promote you later down the line. Voila! Job!

5.  Make a business card.  Put your contact information on a stylist business card that reflects your personality.  When you meet people it is that easier to exchange contact information.  This is a cheap and professional way to get out there.

6. Research and read.  It is important to look into possible publications you would like to write for.  This will give you an idea of what type of stories they have run int he past and may even give you ideas on stories you would like to write in the future.

7. Be a news junkie.  Keeping up with what’s going on in the world is your job.  Instead of listening to those songs on the rock station, turn on news radio.  You do not even have to open a paper to know what is going on.  The internet is a great tool, so use it!

8. Apply, apply, apply! Don’t just apply for one job and sit around waiting for them to call.  Apply for many jobs! Odds are the more resumes you send out, the more interviews you will get!  Also, you may want to consider relocating for a career in journalism.  There are many opportunities all over the world.  If you limit yourself, you may find it harder to get a position.

9. Join or write for your local papers.  Even joining your school newspaper can be rewarding and can look good on resumes.

10.  Get a mentor.  People with real life experience are usually willing to help.  Learning from someone who has been there done that will get you valuable advice and information.

11. Last, don’t take rejection personally.  If you get down on yourself every time you hear a “no” or a see a door slam consider that the motivation to show the next person you CAN do the job!

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About emilyrreno

New at blogging: bare with me!
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9 Responses to How to Become More Employable as a Journalist

  1. Kay Gilbert says:

    I thought your article was inspiring. It makes me want to try to write for the school newspaper, but how does that work? Can anyone write articles for the Titan?

  2. piamarani says:

    This is a really helpful post! I really liked the part about carrying a camera with you. I have never really thought of that, but it makes perfect sense! Thanks for sharing these tips.

  3. susanacobo says:

    I really like this simplified list. I really need to work on being a news junkie. Thanks for the article!

  4. khriztah says:

    Great post. These kinds of tips apply to any major really. I know I’ve been applying like no-tomorrow for PR jobs considering I’ll graduate at the end of this semester. It’s really important to be a life-long learner and I think you touched on that with your point about being a “news junkie”. Don’t be discouraged too, it’s tough out there for everyone and you just have to get creative. I know I have had to adjust my plans and apply to jobs that you wouldn’t peg for a PR major but there’s no harm in trying. Another thing I’ve learned during my job search is that there are A LOT of scams out there! No one tells you this and you just have to be smart about it. I cannot tell you how many bogus phone calls I’ve had from weird companies who found my information on Monster.com or Careerbuilder.com. Most of them call and don’t seem to have even read my resume and they want to set up an interview the next day and they don’t really explain what they do. When these people call I’m nice and pretend I have an emergency call and need to call them back, usually they are VERY reluctant to let me get off the phone and get rude QUICK. As soon as I’m off the phone I look them up online, website and/or I check out the Better Business Bureau. I can’t emphasize the importance of the Titan Connection website. It’s safe!

  5. randybcho says:

    Great post! I agree with you 100%! It’s all about being versatile. Taking photos add another dimension in reporting. Even though the field of journalism is very competitive, it is very important to never give and to constantly apply!!!

  6. sheyy says:

    Great post! I love how you broke it down and I agree with you completely. You did a great job outlining everything that is essential within the industry. I feel that your outline is a tool that can help many students.

  7. rachel1892 says:

    This is a great post! I totally agree with everything that you stated. It is true that being a writer is difficult, but if you work hard the pay and rewards are endless. I have many friends that worked their butts off to work at a magazine and they are throughly satisfied with their careers. It is true that one must network more than anything. Everyone I know that currently has a position at a magazine is through networking. With networking you can find out from the staff if there is an opening at that magazine before it is even posted on the internet. Thanks for this post! I won’t give up looking for a job in journalism.

  8. caitlinarmstrong says:

    I really enjoyed this post because as I began taking journalism classes in college I really learned that it takes more than just being able to write to become a good journalist. Other tips of advice I would give as when discussing how to become employable as a journalist is to become familiar with multi-media. Learning how to operate a camera, edit stories, write your own scripts, conduct your own interviews, find your own stories, photography as stated in this blog, these are all really important tools in learning how to become an employable journalist.

  9. Great advice, getting into this cut throat industry is a very daunting task. Although giving yourself every advantage is your best option. Sure no one wants to go in the job without any help, but if a news station is shorthanded and wants reporters at multiple events, it will definitely come in handy to be able to take some effective pictures and interview the right people.

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