Blog post 2: Learning about the job market

It would be very smart to browse journalism job ads from time to time. Even a year or two before you’re on the market for a job, you should be learning what skills and experience employers are asking for.

Use the site JournalismJobs.com for this assignment. Do not use any other site.

You must find ads for two different jobs that appeal to you. One job should be either an internship or a job you would likely be qualified for immediately after finishing your master’s program. The other job should be one you could reasonably expect to qualify for within five years or so. Do NOT pay attention to LOCATION for either job. Focus on the skills and experience listed in the ad.

Please read about grading criteria for blog posts in this course. Those criteria apply to all blog post assignments.

Requirements for your blog post

For each job ad, do this:

  1. Type the name of the position, and then make that text a link to the original ad. For example: Reporter/writer
  2. Copy and paste ONLY the text about requirements for the job. Don’t include location, benefits, stuff about how great their news organization is, etc. Just the skills, experience and qualities they are seeking in the job applicant. Blockquote that text — see example below.
  3. Write about precisely how you would demonstrate those skills, experience and qualities to that employer. Make it clear what you already have or know, and what you think you will have or know in two years or five-plus years. The more specific you can be, the better.

Example of blockquote text in a blog post (use the “blockquote” button in WordPress; it’s beneath “Add Poll”):

The right candidate is curious, has the ability to explain complicated subjects in writing and is anxious to learn new skills. Coverage topics may range from city government to the police beat to human interest stories. The preferred applicant will have previous reporting experience, but recent graduates and those who demonstrate good writing skills and a strong drive are encouraged to apply.

NOTE: Your blog post must show some real thought and reflection about how you really could PROVE to someone that you have the skills, etc. What would you show? What would you send them? What work experiences will you tell them about? Employers do not want to hear about your classwork or homework assignments — those do not impress newsroom bosses.

Submitting your assignment

After you publish your blog post ON YOUR OWN BLOG, copy the URL of the post page and paste it in a REPLY to this post, here, on this blog. If you paste a complete URL on a line by itself, it will automatically become a working link. That is what I want.

This is an example of a correct LINK to an individual blog post:

http://mindymcadams.com/tojou/2011/skills-for-journalists-the-basics/

Note: The contents of that post are NOT similar to your assignment.

Deadline

Tuesday, Sept. 3, at 9 a.m.

Your reply posted here must be submitted before 09:00:00 in order to receive credit.

I will have to approve your comment before it appears, so don’t panic if it says “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

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About Mindy McAdams
I teach courses about digital journalism at the University of Florida. I love to travel. I ride a Vespa. You can find me on Twitter (@macloo).

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