“How I nabbed my first job” panel highlights from 2013 SPJ region 2 conference

I participated in an SPJ region 2 conference panel in Norfolk, Va. this past Saturday. The topic: how a few recent graduates got their first jobs in journalism. Tweets from the session appear below, enjoy!

Storified by Greg Linch· Sun, Apr 21 2013 20:32:54

NOW! Follow #GenJ #SPJ2 to find out how young journalists at @washingtonpost @progressindex @pilotnews @Wavy_News landed their first jobs.SPJ Generation J
We’ll be live-tweeting from a #SPJ2 session about how to get your first journo job, which features @greglinch, one of our awesome faculty!GeorgetownJournalism
.@greglinch got his first job through a contest, of all things! #SPJ2GeorgetownJournalism
.@sarhutch got her full-time job at the @PilotNews by starting there as an intern. #SPJ2GeorgetownJournalism
.@vwremmerspi got her first job by starting working part-time when she could during school. #SPJ2GeorgetownJournalism
Places to look for jobs include JournalismJobs.com, conferences (@ONA) or associations (@va_newspapers). #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
You need to approach your job search like a mini-reporting project. Know who you will be working for. – @greglinch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Watch the listings over time to see which places seem to have high turnover – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Faculty member @greglinch on a panel about #journojobs at #SPJ2 conference pic.twitter.com/7AUhY1KXfkAmy L. Kovac-Ashley
Big message about job searching is to be flexible #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Even if there are no job openings, feel it out and try to extend your internships! Be honest and realistic. #SPJ2 #jobs with @robynsiderskyLani Furbank
Be realistic about your housing and financial situation – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
And by being awesome. RT @HoyaJournalism .@vwremmerspi got her first job by starting working part-time when she could during school. #SPJ2Pat Kane
Don’t bank on your internship turning into a job. You need to look for jobs while you are there. – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Work hard and show your enthusiasm. Don’t nag for a job – they’ll notice your dedication and it might pay off. @greglinch #SPJ2 #genjLani Furbank
There’s a fine line between showing initiative about wanting to stay at a place and being annoying/acting entitled – @sarhutch #SPJ2GeorgetownJournalism
Bigger places including @PilotNews won’t really consider you unless you’ve had good internships before – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
"Journalism experience begets more journalism experience." – @greglinch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Student newspaper experience was critical for @vwremmerspi #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Look at all the opportunities out there. You can make a case as to how different experiences are relevant. – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Relationship building is key. Start talking to people early. – @greglinch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Skills and relationships go hand-in-hand. – @greglinch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
@greglinch says keep in contact w/your recruiters. Relationships (not just "networking!") are key in landing a job. #SPJ2 #genjLani Furbank
Want to stand out in the application process? The cover letter. Tell a specific story/anecdote that showcases your talents. #SPJ2 #genjLani Furbank
People make a mistake when talking about a story in a cover letter but not including it with the application – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Other mistake is not being specific enough in your letter about what you can do. – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Sometimes work ethic can show through with your resume/cover letter and make the difference – @vwremmerspi #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
@vwremmerspi landed her job because of her dedication. Experience can be taught, but work ethic is part of who you are. #SPJ2 #genjLani Furbank
You do not want to embellish in your resume/cover letter. – @greglinch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Your cover letter might be the only way that a potential employer will get to know you. Tell a story. – @greglinch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
A hand-written thank you note is a rare thing these days. It can make you stand out. — @greglinch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Having a portfolio website is a way that someone else can see your work easily – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Treat your Facebook as though anyone can see it. If you use it to reach out to sources, you’ll want it to be appropriate. #SPJ2 #genjJMU SPJ
You need to be aware of what is out there in social media and how you see your accounts – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Assume everything is public when it comes to your online portfolio/social media – @greglinch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Your social media can be an asset! Tweet and post professionally, and assume everything is public. @greglinch #genj #SPJ2Lani Furbank
If you don’t want everyone to see something, then don’t post it online, don’t take that picture, etc. – @greglinch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Most important thing is to start learning how to learn. – @greglinch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Your degree is not a ticket to a job, it’s a ticket to keep learning on your own. @greglinch #genj #SPJ2Lani Furbank
#spj2 "no one is impressed with a wide range of skills if you can’t write a story."Jeremy Bauer-Wolf
You need to diversify your portfolio but also know how to do one thing really well that you want to focus on – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Critical thinking, knowing how to ask sharp questions that challenge assumptions – those are important skills – @greglinch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
A wide array of skills doesn’t mean anything if you can’t do the job you’re being hired to do. Strike a balance. #SPJ2 #genj #jobsLani Furbank
Things you learn on the job: How to manage the newsroom and work culture you’re in – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
In a full time job, learn how to assert yourself professionally. You’re not an eager-beaver intern anymore. #SPJ2 #genjLani Furbank
Things you learn on the job: How to stand up for yourself – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobs (Earlier tweet was wrong – apologies!)GeorgetownJournalism
There’s no such thing as an eight- or nine-hour day – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
You have to learn how to manage your time and your own schedule without someone telling you how. – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
@vwremmerspi says her first job can be like a roller coaster. Expect long days and odd hours. She’s found a balance. #SPJ2 #genjLani Furbank
Beyond internships, you can do your own projects to try to stand out – and then pitch them somewhere. – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Look for places to create opportunities for yourself – @sarhutch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Look for news events close to you to cover. If you were in Boston right now, you should be covering #bostonbombings – @sarhutch #SPJ2GeorgetownJournalism
Fellowships can offer a really good experience and offer good relationship-building opportunities #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism
Knowledge about other disciplines – especially if it’s a beat you want to cover – is helpful – @greglinch #SPJ2 #journojobsGeorgetownJournalism

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