Rachel Thomson, reporter at The Daily World

(Dec. 19, 2008) I've been working at my current job for about 10 months. I graduated high school in 2002 and spent five years in college working on a double-major in print and broadcast journalism. I knew the job market would be tough by the time I graduated, so I decided to gain as many multi-media skills as I could so I would be eligible to apply for more jobs.

When within the first 7 months after graduation, I applied to perhaps 200 jobs, mainly in the Pacific Northwest and California, and got interviews for about 10. I kept getting the same repsonse from editrors. They loved my work samples, but they always ended up giving the position to someone with a year or two more full-time professional experience. I had two internships under my belt during college--one at a radio station and the other at a newspaper, plus had experience working at my university's televison station, writing for the PR department's quarterly publication, and freelance experience at several smaller newspapers in the area.

When employers still weren't biting, I took a 30 hour per week job as the assistant promottions director for Clear Channel Radio in my home town. (The job was more like a gopher's position.) I worked closely with the sales department and spent a lot of time doing inventory for things related to promotions/events. But I also tried to gain more skills at the job. I noticed several of the sales staff had no writing experience, let alone broadcast writing experience, so I convinced my supervisor to let me write commercials, and I even worked with one of the deejays, who was also the Web site designer, to teach me Macromedia Flash and how to post photos I had taken at events on the station's Web site. I stayed at the job for 7 months. About halfway through that period, I started sending out CDs with news packages I had shot at my college TV station, and samples of photos I had taken and edited for Web content along with my clip samples.

Withing three months I was getting calls for job intervews, much more frequently than I had before, and soon I was offered a position at a daily newspaper. I learned the importance of showcasing my skills across multi-media platforms in my job search.


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