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Archives: June 2012

Four Things to Bring On Your Next Interview

Have you ever shown up for an interview with just a purse or a man tote? We didn’t think so. Chances are, you at least brought a portfolio but you’d be surprised at how many people forget some of the basics. Hence, it’s time for a refresher course!

As pointed out by Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter on U.S. News & World Report, there are several things to bring so you’re not only prepared, you’re polished as well. Read more

8 Great Side Gigs for Journalists and Writers

alternategigs1 (1).jpgIf you’re looking to start a new career or perhaps make some extra cash on the side, here is a list of eight unconventional job opportunities for the writing-savvy. There are some you may not even realize you’re qualified for, such as a youth writing instructor.

Take freelancer writer Ellen Engelke, for example, who saw that her town was looking for a literary arts teacher for children. With just her resume, a writing sample and an outline of a curriculum, Engelke was able to secure the gig without any previous teaching experience. Now she teaches several eight-week classes, which meet once a week for a few hours per class. But, she also has a lot of free time to do other things, like freelance work. ”It is really fun,” she said. “I have students who are really loyal and they come back over and over.”

For the complete list of job opportunities and how writers landed them, read Great Side Gigs for Journalists and Writers.

Andrea Hackett

ag_logo_medium.gifThis article is one of several features exclusively available to AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, you can register for as little as $55 a year and get access to these articles, discounts on seminars and workshops, and more.

Laid-off GOOD Staffers Launch Kickstarter

After GOOD laid off most of its editorial staff, cofounder Casey Caplowe told Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon that “we are evolving our platform in a way that will allow the whole GOOD community to engage more deeply.”

But for the people affected by the layoffs, the future was a bit murkier.

Turns out the eight folks who have left the magazine (six layoffs and two separations shortly after) want to go out with one last hurrah. They confirmed earlier this month that they’ll produce a one-off magazine called Tomorrow to do their “absolute best,” according to former GOOD managing editor Megan Greenwell.

And today the team launched their Kickstarter to fund the magazine. $15,000 will pay for production, web hosting, postage, and a launch party—no money for the staffers. But they’re already halfway to that goal and if they raise more, they’ll be able to pay freelancers, plus maybe even themselves. An “advertiser or independently wealthy human” would allow the magazine to continue past one issue. Will it work? Who knows?

View the Kickstarter pitch video below:

(Disclaimer: I met Megan Greenwell a few times and pitched her….once. Hardly the stuff to build a conflict-of-interest case on but that’s how we roll at MJD.)

How to Continue With Flexible Work Arrangements After Your Boss Leaves

By good we mean respectful, appreciative, and also flexible when it comes to your work arrangements.

We’ve seen it time and time again: You’ve worked out a fantastic schedule. It’s flexible, the hours and commute are amenable to both you and your employer and most of all, you get your work done.

And then the inevitable happens: The boss who approved the arrangement leaves! Unfortunately, this means your new boss doesn’t necessarily have to give the green light to your current situation. Read more

‘Today’ Co-Host Hoda Kotb Speaks in New Orleans: ‘You Can be Stronger in the Broken Places’

Hoda Kotb, fourth hour co-host of Today, came home to her roots in New Orleans on Friday. (Kotb worked as a reporter and anchor of WWL-TV, a CBS affiliate, before landing a job at Dateline in 1998.)

Kotb was the keynote speaker during the Festigals‘ luncheon, an annual empowering women’s getaway weekend in the Big Easy, amidst a banquet room bursting with energy and buzz.

As she took the podium to the Commodores’ hit, “Brick House,” and raised a wine glass (red, not white) to toast the audience, Kotb doled out several tips about life, careers, mojo and a whole lot of moxie. Read more

Layoffs Expected at ‘Smart Money’ As Magazine Folds & Expands Online

Smart Money announces casualties: It’s saying adios to print editions. As for the good news? It’s focusing on bolstering its online presence.

Back to the bad news: Layoffs are imminent. According to, Erik Maza writes, “The print edition’s 25 staffers, including editor-in-chief Jonathan Dahl, will be let go. All would have been to reapply for open positions at, which will add nine digital positions or within Dow Jones.”

New CareerBuilder Survey Reveals Candidates Miffed With Employment Process

Want to feel empowered?

Despite high unemployment rates, according to a new CareerBuilder survey, more than half (56 percent) of employers who recruited new employees in the last year reported that a candidate rejected their job offer. That’s right — rejected it.

Turns out, a candidate’s experience with the employer from start to finish during the recruitment process impacts their decision about whether or not to accept an offer. Read more

Exclusive Deal For MediaJobsDaily Readers: 25% Off Resume Writing Services

Note that this is presented without endorsement, as we are not customers of the following site; however, CEO Brian McCullough wanted MJD readers to be the first to see the site’s soft re-launch.

If you feel like your resume needs a lift and you don’t want to do it yourself, it’s always an option to pay a professional. So go to and enter the code mediajobs at checkout to get 25 percent off your entire order.

We would, of course, probably be fired (or strung up by our toenails or something—just kidding!) if we failed to mention that Mediabistro also offers resume writing services, which start juuust a little bit cheaper than (but are even cheaper if you’re an AG member). However, will do a LinkedIn profile and a few other things, and they say they have specialists in all sorts of industries so if you’re not in media but reading this blog for some reason anyway, go use the coupon code!

Again, legally bound to say that this isn’t an endorsement. But it’s a sale, and not a bad one either! Have at, folks.

The Ick Factor: New Study Reveals Where Germs Are Hidden in Offices

Got germs? Then again, how would you know if you can’t see ‘em, right?

According to a recent study published by Kimberly-Clark Proffessional, germs are in abundance at the typical office! Think about it: The refrigerator handle is a breeding ground for germs as is the microwave door.

Researchers swabbed almost 5,000 surfaces (yes, you read that right — 5,000!) in office buildings that have approximately 3,000 employees. Thinking about where people go and what they touch (ahem, door knobs and elevator buttons), researchers analyzed swabs using a device that assesses sanitary conditions. The ATP meter measures levels of adenosine triphosphate, a molecule found in animal, vegetable, bacteria, yeast, and mold cells.

Okay, we’re getting a bit too technical here but high numbers on the meter indicate surfaces are officially at high risk for spreading illnesses via germs.  As for the dirtiest locations? They’re related to food. Read more

How to Explain the Gap on Your Resume

Mind the gap. Literally.

If you’ve been downsized or jumped from project to project with some noticeable gaps in the timeline of your resume, you’re not alone.

There are several ways to address this during an interview and as long as you don’t portray yourself as an unambitious coach potato, you’re good to go.

According to a piece in The New York Post, after getting downsized one burned out job seeker took six months to travel the world, spend quality time with family, read books, and simply tap into creativity that was dormant for way too long.

In the piece, Gregory Giangrande, chief human resources officer for Time, Inc., advises the job seeker to talk about sabbaticals in positive terms. Instead of focusing on being burned out and not having a life, focus on the up side of time well spent.

In the piece he states, “Portray it positively, saying you took advantage of an opportunity to take six months to travel, explore, learn, etc. — which is something most working professionals don’t get to do until retirement. Add that you are energized to resume your career full- throttle — and that the time off and experience make you even better-prepared for the next gig.”

And in case you didn’t have such a jetsetting sabbatical in between gigs, no worries there. The reasons could be plentiful — you took a journalism class, cared for an ailing loved one, joined a volunteer organization, etc. The key is demonstrating to the interviewer that you utilized your time wisely instead of doing nothing else but catching up on Mad Men episodes on your DVR.

Plus, keep in mind there are countless other job seekers in the same boat as you; interviewers consistently ask about the gap question on resumes and continue to get a variety of answers. Don’t over think it but be prepared to give an answer positively and enthusiastically about what you did and also what you learned.