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Perfecting Your Resume

Your resume is the first thing an employer sees, so it needs to be perfect. Not only does your resume need to sell you, it also needs to look presentable and, most importantly, be error-free.

Beyond the Resume
Media Careers Spotlight10

Breaking Into Publishing

Friday February 27, 2009
While internships can be a great way to land jobs, another good way of breaking into this industry -- especially book and/or magazine publishing -- is through the summer publishing courses.

A number of universities offer six week courses aimed at recent college grads looking to break into magazine and book publishing. The summer publishing courses are a great way to land jobs in the magazine and publishing industries because they offer students a brief, but intensive tutorial on how these businesses run. More importantly, the programs are geared at connecting students with professionals working in these businesses. Furthermore, at six weeks, these programs don't require the same kind of financial or time commitment that, say, journalism school does.

For more on the top summer publishing courses, what they offer and how to apply, go here.

Getting Your Story Straight

Thursday February 26, 2009
One of the keys to being a good journalist is getting your facts straight. News writing requires you know your sources and have all the details in order. A case getting some journalists in an uproar involves a recent story from the NY Times. The uproar is over a story about the women behind the DABA (Dating a Banker) blog -- women who were complaining after their Wall Street boyfriends lost their cushy salaries as a result of the economic downturn.

According to a Newsweek blog, DABA's cofounder, Laney Crowell, "says that what the Times described as a 'support group' of about 30 women is actually a full-blown parody -- and itís at least partly fictionalized." The Times issued a correction on the story but, clearly, other journalists aren't satisfied. This incident stands as a reminder that, if you want to be a journalist, you need to be certain your sources are who they say they are, and that they're telling you the truth. In other words, you need to check up on everything a source tells you.

Do You Know Where You're Interviewing?

Tuesday February 24, 2009
One of the keys to having a successful interview is knowing about the company you're interviewing with. This means that if you're interviewing at a magazine, you should know that magazine inside and out. You should also know about that magazine's parent company.

So many media companies are conglomerates these days, that you need to pay attention to who owns what. (Viacom, for example, is a congolomerate that owns MTV, Paramount Pictures and BET; there are then other brands, like Nickelodeon, which fall under smaller banners, since Nickelodeon is under MTV.)

All this is to say, you should pay attention to the big media companies in the field. A knowledge of who the players are in this space will help you sound more informed on interviews and help with your general understanding of the media landscape.

The 8-Hour Unemployment Day

Monday February 23, 2009
I was watching the Today this morning and they featured what feels like one of their umpteenth segments on dealing with unemployment. (Turn on any TV news show or open any magazine/newspaper and the theme is often about being laidoff and/or spending less.) Anyway, the Today segment got me thinking about this topic and something the expert, who wrote a book on job hunting, said -- namely that anyone who's unemployed should still be structuring their day as if they had a job to go to.

What does this mean? Basically it means that if you're looking for a job, you should focus on a 9-to-5 schedule...even though you don't technically have anywhere you need to be. To that end, if you're looking for a media job, check the corporate job boards and media job sites, and then work on networking.

As the TV expert noted, you might have the urge to check job sites for an hour in your PJ's and then watch Law & Order all day, but you shouldn't. You should be looking for a job, or trying to network or doing research, for roughly, 8 hours, which is a standard work day. (Breaks for lunch, or to hit the gym, are allowed though.)

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