Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mitchel Stevens' Guide To Employment and Searching

Editor's Note: The following column is a new weekly humor column, written anonymously, chronicling the struggle of a new, young journalist out in the working world. You may find the author's previous posts in the archives. --The Ed.

Hey Internet, Mitch Stevens here. I’m writing this “on the go” as they say in the “media industry” that I happen to be a part of. In. Apart. Wait, what did my old copy editing teacher say about ending sentences with ‘of?’ Wait, no, that’s two different types of quote marks in one sentence! Wait, that’s an exclamation point!

Oh, fiddlesticks.

Anyway, that Murray Hill blog I found on Craigslist never got back to me. Weird stuff. But it got me thinking: a lot of the people I’ve applied to never get back to me. Maybe it has to do with my résumé.

My résumé has my name, my phone number, my address, my college, my internships, my experience and is designed to make employers go, “By jove, hire this man! His name, his phone number, his address, his college, his internships, his experience…THEY ARE MAGNIFICENT. QUICKLY, THROW MONEY AT HIM! THROW MORE MONEY AT HIM!”

Sadly, that hasn’t happened yet.

Every day I wake up, stretch and then like any healthy big J journalist I spend two hours reading my RSS feeds and drinking coffee while refreshing my Gmail. No one seemed to send anything in last week. I was sort of lonely, thinking I’d be some big blog-star at the News Bar by now. But no, they still don’t even remember me or my quirky drink order (“Medium black coffee, a shot of cream and four sugars please. Or, just give me a Diet Coke.”)

I check the Big Three for jobs: Craigslist, Mediabistro and JournalismJobs. And they’re great, They’re super great. They’re totally, super great.

They can be sort of summed up as follows:

On Craigslist, this intership at TheFanzine says it best: “If you are looking for a staff writing job, I can honestly say I'd approach somewhere else. But who knows what the future could hold in store.”

And so is the beauty of most CL jobs. As long as you can work for free, not need things like money, food or clothing and can work 200-hour weeks, you are totally at the right place. Especially if you love:

  • telecommuting.
  • loosely defined “new media” jobs.
  • OMG THE BEST JOB EVER SO LONG AS YOU…UH…don’t…ask about money. And work for free. Because Nick Sylvester may or may not work there. omg.

I wonder if I’m really a hard worker, would Nick Sylvester show me how to play The Game. And by “The Game,” I mean teach me how to be fabulist. I mean, fabulous. I mean.

Mediabistro offers the better tiered jobs: Rolling Stone, Salon, New York Times, book publishers, BBC, Niche Media, unlisted people. They seem like the best jobs in all the land. As long as you have 10+ years of experience. And if you live under a rock, since chances are these jobs are already being filled internally. Or if—in the rare case of Wenner media—your last name is Wenner. Or Springsteen. Then you’re the latest hire at RS’ rock blog.


But MB offers a basic service with their job listings. Of course, their courses are overrated and so is their AvantGuild Member paid service. But hey, I don’t have a multi-million dollar payout, now do I?

Finally, there’s JournalismJobs. It’s a free service you can upload your résumé to. Bunch of entry-level positions across the country. In fact, probably one of the better services. It’s just that it’s editor-crazy with only some focus on the writer.

And how does one get noticed as a writer? Well, I think it involves an elaborate straw and more of this fine caffeine drink I’m indulging in. or of. Man, my copy editing professor would be so angered with me now.


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