Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Want a job when you graduate? Then don't shun the multimedia skills

Recently, a discussion took place on the College Media Association listserv regarding the value of multimedia journalism skills, spawned by some advisers complaining that their students refused to learn them and preferred to stay in their "silos" or print or broadcast. This post, I thought, encapsulated the beliefs of many of the hiring managers with whom I communicate for my Twitter feed. It is reprinted here with permission.

As someone who hires interns and later helps them get jobs, I think students who work in converged newsrooms and have multimedia skills are much more likely to get and keep those jobs. At larger publications, people are still more likely to specialize, especially those who are farther along in their careers. No editor I know expects everyone to be great at every skill. But if you are the first person at the site of a breaking news story and you don’t get the photos and video, can’t write the first online brief and can’t provide updates across platforms, you aren’t going to make it.
Here is the first of a list of key activities listed for a multimedia journalist at one of the Scripps papers: “Write articles, take photographs, and shoot video (or a combination thereof) as necessary to tell a story.” Here’s another one: “Proficiency in use of web publishing tools and ability to learn new technology quickly.”
Here’s part of the description of the work environment: “Moderate physical demands to include carrying a laptop computer and digital camera with equipment bag on assignments.”
This is a job at a newspaper for someone just coming out of school.
A job posting at a TV station in a small market for someone with one to two years of experience calls for broadcasting skills but also the ability to “report, write, capture quality visual content, edit and produce stories for multiple platforms on deadline, such as Internet and digital channels.”
We stress multimedia skills here. I recruit students who have them, but we also teach them to students who need them. Sometimes when my interns return to school, they are stymied in taking courses that would allow them to get better at these skills because they are majoring in print or broadcast and can’t get into courses in the other specialty.
I’m sure it’s hard to change the culture. But if students want to work in journalism, they need to be thinking of how to tell stories across platforms.
Jody Beck
Scripps Howard Foundation Wire
Director, Semester in Washington Program
Scripps Howard Foundation
1100 13th St. NW, #450
Washington, DC 20005

Friday, January 16, 2015

Entry Level Job Seekers: Thank you Notes on Verge of Extinction

Mike McGuiness
Follow us on Twitter: @jobipedia

In a digital age, the ability to connect with people and gather information is incredible. There are countless channels, platforms, services and hardware designed to make everyday life easier and better connected. However, even with all these tools to improve our ability to do everything faster, a once common and personal communication is becoming lost – sending Thank You notes.

Always Send Thank You Notes
While a Thank You note will certainly be appreciated for almost any daily interaction, it’s an imperative step when you’re on the job hunt. Unfortunately, it seems jobseekers are forgetting this practice altogether. Nicole, a hiring manager from Manpower Group who contributes to said, “As a Recruiter it still surprises me how many people do not send a thank you note after an interview.”

There is almost no excuse to not send a Thank You note to each person you met during the interview process. A hiring manager from Merck named Francis who contributes to said, “It’s a matter of politeness and professionalism.” It’s also a great way to show your written communication skills, while simultaneously making a good impression with the hiring manager.

The reality of handwritten Thank You notes
A common misconception about Thank You notes is they must be handwritten. Ultimately, send any form of “thank you” to show how much you appreciated the opportunity to interview for the available position and for the time you spent with the hiring manager. Jonathan, a hiring manager from Avery Dennison who contributes to said, “It shows good character and can be done via a hand written letter, email, LinkedIn note, etc.”

However, while handwritten Thank You notes aren’t the rule, they are a great way to stand-out and impress the hiring manager. A hiring manager from Cardinal Health named Megan who contributes to said, “Interviewers are typically impressed with handwritten notes because they are usually well thought out, take slightly more effort than e-mailed notes and the card selected can show a glimpse of a candidate’s personality which is sometimes rather difficult to do when following proper interview etiquette.”

Thank You Notes Best Practice
If you want to go the extra mile, and that should always be the case when looking for a job, send an email Thank You immediately following your interview. That way the hiring manager receives a note from you quickly. Then, send a handwritten Thank You note the following day. That handwritten Thank You won’t arrive for a few days and will be a great, non-intrusive nor pestering reminder to the hiring manager that you’re excited about the available position.

Whatever method or approach you decide is best for you regarding Thank You notes, always remember to send them.