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Archives: September 2009

Are Career Coaches Worth It? | Job Openings & Some Layoffs | More Links for 9-30-09

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“The Longer You’ve Been Out of the Market, the More Your Advice is Going to Suck”

Who’s giving you jobseeking advice? (Besides us?)

Lance Haun of says you may be getting it from the wrong people: married men.

Not really, but he says that asking most employed people for job-seeking advice is like asking a married man for dating advice.

“Everyone feels qualified to give dating advice because almost everyone has been on dates. The same thing happens with job seeking. Everyone has looked for a job so they all think they can give you advice. That’s great but the longer you’ve been out of the market, the more your advice is going to suck.”

On the other hand, you probably wouldn’t take jobseeking advice from the unemployed, either (and we want our hairstylists to have awesome locks and all our chefs at our favorite restaurants to be tubby). So there must be a happy medium. It’s gotta change by field, too—five years off the market in one industry might be ancient history if you’re asking someone how to get a job in, say, journalism.

HR folk don’t always have the answers, either, Haun says.

Their advice is often risk adverse and safe. And that’s really the advice that sells. It is boring but it also won’t disqualify you from many positions. So it is like me telling a person dating to not pick their nose during their date. If the person didn’t already know that, it will probably help them a bit. Of course, if it were as simple as not picking your nose and making sure to have good hygiene, many more people would be married than there are right now.

Targeting Your Search: A Step By Step Guide

Ok, you know you need to target your job search rather than mass-mail resumes to every e-mail address you can find. But what’s the best way to do that? JIST Publishing—which puts out career advancement titles—has put together a set of five tips, from author Richard Deems, who’s just co-authored a book on job-searching, that spells out in step-by-step detail the best ways to paint a bullseye on your desired job.

When you hear of an opening that interests you, contact the hiring manager right away, Deems suggests. Not necessarily to say “here’s my resume, call me” and be done with it, but rather to just get your name in the decision-maker’s mind. You may even just say that “you understand he or she may have a position open,” says Deems, “and if so, you’d like to talk about their needs in detail.”

Then, spend some time researching the company. Look at its annual report, read up on the ‘Net, and find someone else within the company who might be able to give you an honest picture of what it’s like. Deems suggests asking the hiring manager to send you this information. We think you may want to try finding it yourself first.

The next step is to decide whether you really want the job. “Does the job call for what you do best and most enjoy doing? Will the workplace environment enable you to be your best?”

Step four may intimidate some jobseekers—it would certainly intimidate us. “Job seekers should contact the key decision maker in the hiring process and let that individual know they want to be considered their top candidate. Then, job seekers should ask what they need to do to make that happen.” You can also call on friends to make calls on your behalf (though this could backfire easily) or find other ways to keep your name top-of-mind. Also, during this step, get detailed instructions from the hiring manager about what should be included in the application. If the “Reporter Wanted” ad asked for three clips, what kind of clips? If the “blogger wanted” asked for HTML knowledge, would the hiring manager like to see an example of a page you designed?

The fifth and final step is the one we know best: send out the dang thing. Deliver it in person if possible, says Deems, and not to HR or the ATS, if you can. Then make sure to follow-up to demonstrate your interest.

Best of luck, job searchers!

Dream Job?: Westword Seeks Pot Reviewer


“Do you have a medical condition that necessitates marijuana? Do you have a way with words? If so, Westword wants you to join the ranks as our freelance marijuana-dispensary reviewer.”

It’s true. The Denver-based altweekly is looking for a freelancer to visit various dispensaries and write impartial reviews. Of the establishment, not of the medicine. Duh. “After all, we can’t have our reviewer be stoned all the time.”

You’ll need a state medical marijuana ID, and Westword is not going to expense your purchases. (Oh.)

“Think you’ve got what it takes? Send a resume (informal is okay; handwritten on rolling papers isn’t) and a one-paragraph essay on “What Marijuana Means to Me” to joe[dot]”

The paper’s said they may publish the funniest submissions (with full names removed), so feel free to be hilarious. The comments are already pretty good: one commenter points out that a patient can only be registered at one dispensary at a time; and commenter “tam” posts a rebuttal:

I have sort of made it a activity to go to different dispeneries around denver and one north. Some have a rule that you can only use them once with out becoming a member but,I have not found anyone decline my request for meds. I guess you could call me a kind of collector of some of the finer strains and mixing some of the various strains looking for a good balance of mind and body. with some of the LARGE selections of new and old genetics some of the dispensaries have I have found many ways of releaving both pains in body and mind. Some people go antiquing I go dispensering!

Better Know A Media Org: RWA

rwa-logo.pngToday’s organization: Romance Writers of America (RWA)

About the organization:

Romance Writers of America is dedicated to advancing the professional interests of career-focused romance writers through networking and advocacy.

Number of members: 10,000

To join, you must:
“All individuals who have attained the age of 18 and who agree to accept the purposes of RWA and to faithfully observe and be bound by the Bylaws of RWA shall be eligible to apply for membership.” “General Members” must be “seriously pursuing a romance fiction writing career” while associate members can be editors, agents, other publishing industry employees or other interested parties.

You’ll get:
Romance Writers Report
Contests and Conferences
Subscriptions and Discounts

And for that, you’ll pay:
Membership including periodical-rate postage of RWA’s newsletters: $110
Membership including first-class postage of RWA’s newsletters: $125

There is a one-time $25 processing fee.

We’ve compiled as many professional organizations as we can find in all the disciplines that mediabistro visitors work in, and will be featuring one a day til we run out. We’re going in alphabetical order so nobody feels slighted, but if we skipped your favorite group by mistake, please let us know.

Reporters Wanted @ ProPublica

propublica_navbar-logo.pngNonprofit newsroom ProPublica announced today that it’s accepting applications for two more investigative reporters and a blogger.

Managing editor Stephen Engelberg says applicants for the reporting positions can come from any investigative background but that ProPublica is especially interested in energy and environment, education or immigration reporters.

The full-time blogger will “write about investigative journalism by others and suggest follow-ups. We’re looking for an experienced journalist, who has a critical eye, a strong voice, and a knack for daily writing and reporting. The job will also involve overseeing our aggregation effort.”

“We feel very fortunate to be able to hire given the current economic environment,” said Paul Steiger, editor-in-chief of ProPublica, in a statement. However, it should be noted that the org is hiring not because it’s expanding but because one reporter was promoted and two quit (or “relocated from New York for personal reasons”).

Still, as far as investigative journalism goes, you can’t go wrong with ProPublica. Here’s how to apply.

Magazine Industry: We’re Not Dying! Help Us Prove It With Some Soundbites

The Magazine Publishers Of America released a list of twenty facts about magazines and their circulation numbers that should convince anyone that print, at least print on glossy paper, is not dead.

Apparently 92% of U.S. adults read magazines, though of course the MPA doesn’t want us to know how often or how many or if they counted the people who just breeze through an issue of Us Weekly in the dentist’s waiting room.

Anyway, The Twenty Tweetable Truths About Magazines are packaged in convenient 140-character-or-less form and readers are encouraged to “Tweet and reTweet” any of the soundbites they like to help prove that magazines are alive and well.

Unfortunately, we don’t see “Circulation generates more than 40% of magazine revenue” as becoming a trending topic any time soon..

Learning, Learning, Everywhere

Media pros at mediabistro have classes to choose from. We bring you, the HR or recruiting pro, webcasts.

No Raises | Job Openings Down | More Bad News For 9-29-09

Tampa Bay Illustrated Will Close, What Becomes Of 20+ Employees?

Florida luxury magazine publisher Palm Beach Media Group has announced it will be suspending publication of Tampa Bay Illustrated, citing the “current economy.” The November issue will be the magazine’s last, Folio: reports.

The magazine has 21 staffers on its masthead, a handful of interns, and about 20 contributing writers and photographers.

What happens to them?

LUCKILY, all but four already do work for PBM’s other magazines, so their jobs are safe, group publisher and COO William R. Wehrman has clarified. And the other four, three ad folks and one editorial employee? “The simple answer to your question is,” Wehrman tells us, “any of those people who might want to move to Palm Beach or Naples [where the company still publishes other luxury magazines] would be eligible for hire. We don’t have openings in each discipline, although we might soon. I’m hoping that at some point there’s a place for all of them.”

A spokesperson pegged TBI’s monthly readership at 100,750.