In addition to Gonzalez’ and Wagner’s support on campus, SFSU has a student chapter led by President Erasmo Martinez and Vice President Alicia Mayo. Together and with the help of the professional chapter board members, including Vanessa Nevarez and Joe Fitzgerald, they were able to turn out student participation.
But the event couldn’t have come together without enough professional journalists to help review and critique resumes and interviewing skills. In total, 15 working journalists – from places as diverse as the Center for Investigative Reporting, KRON, CNET and the SF Chronicle – stopped by to assist students.
“We had a wonderful turnout and the students gained valuable insight from the professionals who reviewed their resumes,” said Gonzalez. “I’m hoping we can make this a regular event and continue to build the relationship between NAHJ, BECA and Journalism.”
The Nat’l Assoc. of Hispanic Journalists (Bay Area chapter) will cohost a resume and interviewing skills round-robin workshop along with the broadcast and journalism departments at San Francisco State University next week, Wed., Feb. 24.
We need journalism professionals to help give constructive criticism to the students from 6pm until about 8pm. If you are a student, make sure you bring your resume and/portfolio and get ready to participate in these mock interviews.
Keep the resume to one page. Tailor it to the job you’re applying for. If necessary, pare some entries to make room for the fleshing out of other entries.
Write your resume for a journalist who would supervise the job you want, not for a human resources director
Don’t oversell yourself or otherwise create a false picture.
No “summary” statement at the top.
Don’t leave any unexplained gaps (explain the gap in the accompanying cover letter).
Edit and proofread (have another set of eyes check your work).
Content (From Top to Bottom)
CONTACT INFORMATION: Put your name, current phone numbers, home address and e-mail address at the top of the page; include Twitter handle and/or your website where you showcase your work.
“OBJECTIVE”: Should you include one? That depends. But for the most part, no (too vague). Use your cover letter instead
EDUCATION: Put this section next only if you have no prior journalism experience.
EXPERIENCE: Include what you’ve published while in J-School. List your jobs in reverse chronological order within each section. Title first; then the name of the employer (publication, website, broadcast outlet or company); city and state; and the dates you worked (month and year). List your beats and mention any prize-winning or cover stories. Avoid the dreaded “Responsibilities included…” Give the frequency and description of the publication.
SKILLS: Include knowledge of multimedia hardware and software, as well as of content management systems and web design. Foreign-language skills go in this section.
HONORS AND AWARDS: List journalism-related honors and other awards related to the job you seek. Nothing from high school.
PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS: If you belong to any journalism-related organizations, put them here.
INTERESTS: Include this category only if your activities are noteworthy and relate to the job or internship you’re seeking.
REFERENCES: Don’t put “References available upon request” at the end of your resume.
Keep your resume to one page.
Use white or off-white 8½-by-11-inch paper.
Choose a font that’s easy to read, even at a small size. (Not too small. Keep it between 10 and 12 pt.)
Don’t justify the margins. Use a ragged right margin, which is easier on the eye.
Don’t clutter the page with borders or little icons.
Set off key information — job titles, organization names and section headings — with boldface, italics or all capital letters.
For consistency, follow AP Style rules.
Do Your Homework: Learn everything you can about the company.
Arrive at least 10 minutes early. If the interview is an unfamiliar location, scope it out ahead of time and don’t get lost and arrive late.
Dress professionally — it shows respect for the organization.
Greet the interviewer with a firm, palm-to-palm handshake that is neither limp nor crushing.
Come Prepared! Pack extra copies of your resume, reference list and clips or demo reel, as well as a pad and pen to take notes.
Come with a ready-made “elevator pitch” that tells the interviewer in 30-60 seconds who you are and why you are the perfect person for the job.
Be Yourself: The best interview is a conversation — not an interrogation.
Know the answers before the questions are asked.
Be ready to talk about yourself.
Be ready to answer why you want to work for this media outlet.
Be ready to answer why they should hire you.
Be ready to answer where you’d like to be in your career in five, 10 or 20 years.
Be ready to answer to talk about a story you covered that went well (or badly).
Be ready to answer to talk about how you would cover a story in the news if worked for that media outlet.
Have an answer to: what did you learn from any mistakes you’ve made?
Have an answer to: how well do you handle deadline pressure?
Have a list ready of the publications do you read and the news you watch or listen too.
Have a sense of whether you’d be willing to move.
The one question you should not ask in an initial interview: How much does this job pay? Always let the employer bring up salary first.
As the interview winds down, repeat your strong interest in the position and ask what the next step is. Shake hands and thank the recruiter.
The minute you get home, e-mail the interviewer a brief thank-you note.
Most people don’t have any success when they speed-date, but YOU will when you participate in our resume and interviewing “speed-dating” drill.
The NAHJ Bay Area Chapter will co-host an interviewing-skills and resume-building round-robin workshop with the Journalism Department at the City College of San Francisco. We want to help new journalists have a leg up in the job market and help current journalists stay in the game.
National Association of Hispanic Journalists is the largest organization of Latino journalists in the United States. Our mission is to increase the number of Latinos in the newsrooms. We also work toward fair and accurate representation of Latinos in news media.