Be prepared to make speculative applications, network intensively as well as using jobsites. When approaching organisations, responding to adverts or following up contacts, research carefully and use the appropriate house style. Stress your flexibility, versatility, be confident and give evidence of relevant experience. Take advantage of opportunities to work for student organisations including radio and newspapers, charities, local media and demonstrate how that helps you to meet the requirements of the job.
When applying for jobs, think creatively about the skills you need for your long term career plan. You may need to be flexible and apply for work which is not your first choice. Focus on getting a foot in the door and gathering appropriate experience to help you progress towards your dream job. Be creative about where you look for opportunities. Journalism skills are valued by a wide range of employers including different types of media and marketing companies, PR consultancies, communications agencies, charities and even educational organisations, such as schools, colleges and universities.
For broadcast journalism, it is important to have an understanding of appropriate technical equipment and relevant editing software along with strong visual and audio presentation skills.
The Diploma in Journalism, accredited by the National Council for Training in Journalism (NCTJ) is usually required for jobs in journalism. For further details check on the courses section of NCTJ website. Employers generally require a broader range of digital and social media skills and it is important to demonstrate this through your online profile. Use key sites to showcase your abilities. You can do this by blogging, developing your own website, tweeting, using Tumblr and Pinterest.
Journalism Diversity Fund
Internship opportunities and bursaries are available to encourage participation of all groups within the profession. To find out more see the Journalism Diversity Fund website.
Freelance / Self-employment
There are increasing numbers of freelancers working within the industry so it is very important to network, develop contacts, use social media professionally and develop business acumen. Excellent support is available from Enterprise Team at Sheffield Hallam University.
Maggie Bamford (September 2014)