“How I nabbed my first job” panel highlights from 2013 SPJ region 2 conference

I participated in an SPJ region 2 conference panel in Norfolk, Va. this past Saturday. The topic: how a few recent graduates got their first jobs in journalism. Tweets from the session appear below, enjoy!

Storified by Greg Linch· Sun, Apr 21 2013 20:32:54

NOW! Follow #GenJ #SPJ2 to find out how young journalists at @washingtonpost @progressindex @pilotnews @Wavy_News landed their first jobs.SPJ Generation J
We’ll be live-tweeting from a #SPJ2 session about how to get your first journo job, which features @greglinch, one of our awesome faculty!GeorgetownJournalism
.@greglinch got his first job through a contest, of all things! #SPJ2GeorgetownJournalism
.@sarhutch got her full-time job at the @PilotNews by starting there as an intern. #SPJ2GeorgetownJournalism
.@vwremmerspi got her first job by starting working part-time when she could during school. #SPJ2GeorgetownJournalism
Places to look for jobs include JournalismJobs.com, conferences (@ONA) or associations (@va_newspapers). #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
You need to approach your job search like a mini-reporting project. Know who you will be working for. – @greglinch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Watch the listings over time to see which places seem to have high turnover – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Faculty member @greglinch on a panel about #journojobs at #SPJ2 conference pic.twitter.com/7AUhY1KXfkAmy L. Kovac-Ashley
Big message about job searching is to be flexible #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Even if there are no job openings, feel it out and try to extend your internships! Be honest and realistic. #SPJ2 #jobs with @robynsiderskyLani Furbank
Be realistic about your housing and financial situation – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
And by being awesome. RT @HoyaJournalism .@vwremmerspi got her first job by starting working part-time when she could during school. #SPJ2Pat Kane
Don’t bank on your internship turning into a job. You need to look for jobs while you are there. – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Work hard and show your enthusiasm. Don’t nag for a job – they’ll notice your dedication and it might pay off. @greglinch #SPJ2 #genjLani Furbank
There’s a fine line between showing initiative about wanting to stay at a place and being annoying/acting entitled – @sarhutch #SPJ2GeorgetownJournalism
Bigger places including @PilotNews won’t really consider you unless you’ve had good internships before – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
"Journalism experience begets more journalism experience." – @greglinch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Student newspaper experience was critical for @vwremmerspi #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Look at all the opportunities out there. You can make a case as to how different experiences are relevant. – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Relationship building is key. Start talking to people early. – @greglinch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Skills and relationships go hand-in-hand. – @greglinch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
@greglinch says keep in contact w/your recruiters. Relationships (not just "networking!") are key in landing a job. #SPJ2 #genjLani Furbank
Want to stand out in the application process? The cover letter. Tell a specific story/anecdote that showcases your talents. #SPJ2 #genjLani Furbank
People make a mistake when talking about a story in a cover letter but not including it with the application – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Other mistake is not being specific enough in your letter about what you can do. – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Sometimes work ethic can show through with your resume/cover letter and make the difference – @vwremmerspi #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
@vwremmerspi landed her job because of her dedication. Experience can be taught, but work ethic is part of who you are. #SPJ2 #genjLani Furbank
You do not want to embellish in your resume/cover letter. – @greglinch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Your cover letter might be the only way that a potential employer will get to know you. Tell a story. – @greglinch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
A hand-written thank you note is a rare thing these days. It can make you stand out. — @greglinch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Having a portfolio website is a way that someone else can see your work easily – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Treat your Facebook as though anyone can see it. If you use it to reach out to sources, you’ll want it to be appropriate. #SPJ2 #genjJMU SPJ
You need to be aware of what is out there in social media and how you see your accounts – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Assume everything is public when it comes to your online portfolio/social media – @greglinch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Your social media can be an asset! Tweet and post professionally, and assume everything is public. @greglinch #genj #SPJ2Lani Furbank
If you don’t want everyone to see something, then don’t post it online, don’t take that picture, etc. – @greglinch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Most important thing is to start learning how to learn. – @greglinch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Your degree is not a ticket to a job, it’s a ticket to keep learning on your own. @greglinch #genj #SPJ2Lani Furbank
#spj2 "no one is impressed with a wide range of skills if you can’t write a story."Jeremy Bauer-Wolf
You need to diversify your portfolio but also know how to do one thing really well that you want to focus on – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Critical thinking, knowing how to ask sharp questions that challenge assumptions – those are important skills – @greglinch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
A wide array of skills doesn’t mean anything if you can’t do the job you’re being hired to do. Strike a balance. #SPJ2 #genj #jobsLani Furbank
Things you learn on the job: How to manage the newsroom and work culture you’re in – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
In a full time job, learn how to assert yourself professionally. You’re not an eager-beaver intern anymore. #SPJ2 #genjLani Furbank
Things you learn on the job: How to stand up for yourself – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobs (Earlier tweet was wrong – apologies!)GeorgetownJournalism
There’s no such thing as an eight- or nine-hour day – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
You have to learn how to manage your time and your own schedule without someone telling you how. – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
@vwremmerspi says her first job can be like a roller coaster. Expect long days and odd hours. She’s found a balance. #SPJ2 #genjLani Furbank
Beyond internships, you can do your own projects to try to stand out – and then pitch them somewhere. – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Look for places to create opportunities for yourself – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Look for news events close to you to cover. If you were in Boston right now, you should be covering #bostonbombings – @sarhutch #SPJ2GeorgetownJournalism
Fellowships can offer a really good experience and offer good relationship-building opportunities #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Knowledge about other disciplines – especially if it’s a beat you want to cover – is helpful – @greglinch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism

Slides from Link Journalism presentation at New York Press Association 2010

Quick update: I attended the New York Press Association (hashtag #NYPA on Twitter) spring convention this past weekend, where I led a session on link journalism. As I had hoped, the participants asked questions throughout and we had a good discussion.

The slides are embedded below (RSS subscribers will probably have to click through to Slideshare or this post to see it). They are based on a presentation Scott Karp gave at the SPJ national convention in August 2009 and a workshop Josh Korr led at Berkeley last month.

Of course, I added my own examples and personal touch — enjoy!

What’s next? I’ll be returning April 7 to Virginia Commonwealth University, where I visited a graduate journalism class last October. This time I’ll be speaking about new media (can we drop the “new” already?). VCU journalism professor Marcus Messner, who got his doctorate from UM (go Canes!), will be posing some questions before a Q&A with students.

The event, Are We There Yet? A Road Map for Tomorrow’s Journalist, is a day-long conference organized by the student SPJ chapter. Short answer: No, I don’t think we’ll ever be “there.” Things will continue to constantly change, so we need a compass — not a roadmap.

Anyhow, I had a great time during my last VCU visit and look forward to going back. Let me know in the comments if you have any points I should be sure to hit on during the session.

Conference craziness: Looking back at SPJ and forward to ONA

It’s conference season, folks! Get out your complimentary tote bags and notepads.

Greg meets Carl Bernstein, Ben Bradlee and Bob Woodward at SPJ 2007.
Greg meets Carl Bernstein, Ben Bradlee and Bob Woodward at SPJ 2007.

Last Thursday through Sunday, I attended the Society of Professional Journalists convention in Atlanta, Ga. This is the second SPJ national convention I’ve attended — the first being last year’s in D.C.

The sessions at this year’s conference offered much more in terms of online, multimedia, blogging, etc. and I say kudos to that. But my gripe was that there was no Wi-Fi available in the conference center, so liveblogging was not possible.

Instead, I tweeted most of the sessions I attended using my phone. Check them out @greglinch or search for all SPJ-related tweets (greglinch + SPJ08 can be found here).

Other people who did some good tweeting:

For more about the convention, check out the stories written by the Working Press.

Looking forward, I’ll be flying to Washington, D.C. tomorrow evening for my first Online News Association conference. There will be Wi-Fi in the conference areas, so stay tuned for some liveblogging and tweeting.

I had thought about doing some livestreaming video, but — as some of you know — my MacBook Pro is being disagreeable and I’m back on my old HP laptop.

If you’re going be at ONA and want to meet up, direct message me on Twitter or contact me. Hope to see you there!

ONA-related links

Greetings from Indianapolis!

It’s been far too long since I’ve posted. My internship at The Miami Herald has been keeping me busy. Here some recent articles I wrote that ran on 1B:

‘ICE’ procedure helps rescuers save lives – Miami Herald

See a familiar face? Give the police a call – Miami Herald

New signs give bus riders some timely tips – Miami Herald with a photo by me!

I’m in Indianapolis today through Sunday for the SPJ Scripps Leadership Institute. A dozen of us who arrived before noon met up and went out to lunch at a local Buca di Beppo Italian restaurant. Yums.

Because of the nature of the “conference” (it’s not really a conference) I don’t plan to liveblog, but I may post thoughts in the evenings.

About 50 student and professional members are gathered here to learn about SPJ, how to improve our chapters and play duckpin bowling, so it should be a good weekend.

I’ve already met some cool people and I look forward to getting acquainted with everyone else as the conference begins.

Stay tuned.

And check out this photo I snapped of Monument Circle in Indianapolis with my smartphone camera.