Navigating the job application field can be tough, especially if you’re applying for multiple roles and trying to stand out in a crowded pool of candidates.
I’ve developed a few tools over the years for myself and others that can help make this process a little easier.
Track what you’re applying for
When I first started out, I applied to A LOT of jobs. Too many.
I wasn’t qualified for many of them, but over the years I learned a tremendous amount about the industry and became more self-aware, applying to fewer roles that would better help me reach the next step in my career.
My strategy for applying has evolved, but one key tool I’ve kept is this spreadsheet. I’ve used it for every big application push (and even adapted it for things like apartment hunts).
Make your own copy so you can track the positions you’re applying for, the people you’ve communicated with and the status of your applications.
Down the line, you may even revisit your sheets to find a contact that can help you (or a friend) land a job.
Know where to look
Because there’s no single repository for journalism jobs, locating the one that’s right for you can be tough, but there are excellent resources out there if you know where to look.
That’s why I built this slide deck, where I collected public-facing job boards, popular hashtags, social accounts and newsletters, and rounded up dozens of employers’ pages where they list open positions so you can easily access them all in one place.
Over time you’ll come to know the boards or platforms with the roles that best fit your expertise and career interests.
Get help when you need it
If you get stuck networking or need help proofreading resumes and cover letters, there are multiple mentor networks out there ready to help.
I offer free 30-minute coaching calls on Thursdays to women and other folks underrepresented in media. And there are more than 130 other mentors on digitalwomenleaders.com who can help women with all sorts of career questions, from considering graduate school to boosting confidence to developing leadership skills.
Students and early-career journalists can find help through Axios’ Adriana Lacy and The Wall Street Journal’s Caitlin Ostroff’s Media Mentors program.
Sonia Weiser, a journalist and publisher of the Opportunities of the Week newsletter, also started this excellent Google spreadsheet with nearly 200 folks in communications and media who have said they are “willing to do pro bono work to help out other industry folk.”