Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Entry level job hunting is a lot like the NFL draft

While I'm a NFL junkie and go into my fall Sunday coma with the NFL Sunday Ticket, I don't watch college football at all. So when the draft rolls around, I'll watch even though I have no idea which players might be good. I want to see who the Giants pick and enjoy the high comedy that is the New York Jets, who are the football version of a dysfunctional newsroom.

The analysts discuss all sorts of positives and negatives. Can a quarterback throw deep? Is the receiver shy about going over the middle? Is the person a team player? You'll hear them talk about a player with a good work ethic, or one who has a "motor" which means he never quits or takes a play off.

Then there are those "red flags" that can send players dropping off a cliff. Drug use, arrests, and, in the case of a certain Notre Dame linebacker, nonexistent dead girlfriends. (By the way, I don't buy it that anyone could be that gullible.)

Every summer after May sweeps, News Directors who hire entry level people have their own version of the draft. They're looking mostly for potential, because work done in college rarely simulates that done in a real newsroom. But they also look for the following:

-Experience: Has the applicant done an internship, or worked in a college station? Or simply learned journalism theory out of a book?

-Industry knowledge: Does the person know how to edit, how to put a story together?

-Versatility: Can the applicant do more than one thing, such as news and sports, or news and weather?

-Attitude: How does the applicant interview? Willing to learn, or already knows everything there is to know?

-References: What do people say about the applicant, especially those who worked with the person during an internship?

-Red flags: Does the person's social media sites indicate any alcohol or drug problems? Are there very opinionated or offensive comments on the Internet? (Trust me, every ND will check your electronic footprint, and most will do a background check.)

So how would you rank? First round draft choice? Middle of the pack? Undrafted free agent?

1 comment:

Tallie J said...

Great Post! I just found your blog, and I'm addicted. I'm applying for that first entry level job, so I have found your advice helpful. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.