Job Search Tips for Journalism Jobs

Searching for journalism jobs  is unlike other types of job search. There are many jobs, and many different types of specialist jobs for experienced journalists. This is a highly diversified profession, and finding what you want is important, particularly for experts in particular fields.

Journalist Job Search Issues

  • Hybrid jobs: Many job ads involve multiple roles, like editing, proofreading, interviewing, and publication-related functions. The problem is that these ads are quite useless if you're inexperienced or not looking for those types of work.
  • Job ads aren't necessarily well written: The information may lack detail, or contain a lot of detail and no indication of the actual work. You need to inquire to get the information you need, using up more time.
  • Some "journalism" ads don't actually refer to journalism: Job boards tend to put all related jobs into search results. The roles may involve experience as a journalist, but aren't actual journalist jobs. This may be OK for senior journalists looking for a career move, but it's a real nuisance when looking for actual journalism positions.

How to Narrow your Search

The quality of these ads leaves far too much to be desired in many cases. It's recommended you stick to a targeted search format. Base your search on:

  • Sectors of interest/specialization
  • Areas of expertise
  • Degree if relevant
  • Media type if required

Professional journalism websites are reliable sources of information and have better quality ads. Their search categories can be very helpful, particularly for specialists. The only drawback is that these sites aren't as well known to advertisers, and the numbers of jobs are lower.

Some journalism jobs are referred to as "writer" jobs. The word "writer" has to have a qualifier like a sector or other definition to be useful as a search. "Finance writer" is one of the more common journalism jobs, particularly in the major magazines and online.

Other Journalism Job Search Options

There are several options available to journalists for job searches which can also add value and current experience to a resume:

  • Freelance jobs: These jobs can provide income, new portfolio materials, and can also allow you to work in your preferred areas of journalism. They're a very useful interim option, and can lead to further work quite easily. Some of these jobs pay very well, and you may find you've found several jobs rather than just one, and new contacts.
  • Targeted cold canvassing: This is a real chance for a dream job. You can approach publishers, about working on your favorite magazines or sites. Your approach must be professional, and you need to know how the publishers hire. A phone call to HR or an editor can give you a lot of useful information very quickly. Your expression of interest won't be wasted, when a job comes up.
  • Networking: Your professional network and contacts can be invaluable. Your former sources and research can be adapted to job hunting very easily. They're a map of possible jobs, and people who can advise about work in that field.