10 things you can do NOW to get
a media job in the future
1. Start building your brand
• In the past, all employers knew about you is what
you provided: cover letter, resume, references.
• Today, employers can google you. What will they
• Your entire career will involve developing your
personal brand. Start now by building an online
presence that projects the right image.
• Buy the url with your name: (BonnieGross.com. is
taken by a Tulsa Realtor.)
2. Get your writing published
• Write for the University Press. Or, write for a
blog or website.
• Keep a good-quality physical “clip” or make a
digital copy of the webpage. (A screenshot is
• It’s important to have work you can show. You
may get better clips down the road, but start
collecting your work now.
3. Join LinkedIn and build professional
• LinkedIn is a career-oriented social networking
• Make contact with professors, people who
have worked in media you may meet, people
from internships, other students.
• As people change jobs and e-mail addresses,
they will update LinkedIn and you will stay
• Follow local journalists on Twitter.
4. Read and use a wide range of media
• Make a habit of looking at news website and
keeping up on current events. You can’t fake
that and the cumulative knowledge will make
you a better job candidate down the road.
5. Create a “job alert” and follow
• CareerBuilder makes it easy to create a weekly
job alert that fits your criteria. (Example:
editor, writer, producer.) It allows you to
passively observe what types of jobs are open
and what skills are desired. Over time, with
little work, you will learn about positions and
6. Plan your life around an internship
• Most internships today do not pay. The few
that do are very competitive.
• Most unpaid internships require that you get
• Plan a semester or summer during which you
will work at an internship. This might require
sacrificing income (reducing work hours) that
semester. It’s worth it.
7. Start learning all you can about
• Make yourself an expert on internships.
• Talk to students who have had them. Find out
how they got them and what they would do
differently next time.
• Do online research. Look at media outlets
websites to see if there is internship
8. Create a resume
• Create a one-page resume and update it
throughout your school career.
• Focus on your media-related experiences and
skills. Use other jobs (summer camps; retail) in
secondary, supporting roles to establish you
can hold down a job.
• Seeing how much/how little you have to list
on a resume can spur you on.
9. Get a volunteer “job” that beefs up
• Internships aren’t the only experiences that
can build up your resume.
• Volunteer opportunities that involve media
work for non-profits look good too.
• Example: Volunteer in the PR department of a
large charity, such as Food for the Poor.
• These opportunities may not already exist.
You may need to pro-actively propose them.
• Use LinkedIn to find contacts.
10. Conduct yourself as a journalist, at
• “Anytime you post online, you publish.
Anything you say or do that might be posted
by someone else reflects upon that brand that
you'll be working so hard to build. Don't
undercut your hard work with moments of
Facebook foolishness” – Robert Niles.
• Assume everything on Facebook is public, but
still take care with your privacy settings.