The perfect job has been described as one in which you get paid to do what you would love to do anyway. Judging from what students do during breaks in my journalism classes, that might well include social media.
First, we have to embrace the idea that social media is an integral part of the news media. Intellectually we know that, but we haven’t all accepted it.
One journalist I know who was looking for work has a large online presence, but held that back in her resume and interview, saying she didn’t “want to be hired as Social Media Girl.” Why not? Hired is hired. Get in the door and then work your way into a position you prefer. Journalists have been doing that for decades.
Evidence that social media is an essential channel for the news media is all around us. Early this semester, I asked some of my Michigan State University journalism students to engage in a 48-hour news blackout. They went in with mixed expectations, but most came out reporting how much of their news came to them on mobile devices from the networks they had built on Twitter and Facebook.
Newsrooms understand this and are trying to build social media channels. For example, it seems the idea of building brand-specific social networks apart from the big ones like Facebook has been abandoned in favor of integrating into the big channels.
Job-hunting questions? E-mail Joe for an answer.
Coming Monday: Gonzo cover letter didn’t work.