It’s hard to get a job in journalism – no surprise really.
I’ve said before how I always find it interesting to hear how other people got their jobs. Did their friend’s sister’s brother help them or did they actually start at the bottom and work their way up? It’s helpful if you want to go into journalism yourself because it lets you know if you are on the right track/what you should be doing differently. So when I get into a conversation with someone who is a journalist, or I am writing out the questions for the interview section, I always want to know what education/qualifications they did, and what their first job in journalism is. I truly believe that once you have landed that first job in the industry, no matter how ‘low down’ in the company it may be, then you will be able to work your way up.
But if you aren’t in contact with journalists, and you still want to be nosy like me, then Linkedin is the best place to go. Whenever I see on twitter, or look in magazines for the editors/features editor/editorial assistant I’m always thinking ‘How did they get that job (I want it!)’. Bit stalkerish but I type it into Linkedin and it pretty much gives you your answer.
Linkedin is like an online CV giving you all their education/qualifications and employment as well as interested and hobbies. By typing a journalist into Linkedin, you will be able to see what degree they got, if any, and their subsequent jobs in journalism. A lot of them, you can see a clear progression, from a writer, to a features editor for example in the same magazine, and then onto another. It also sometimes shows the less important jobs that may have helped them getting a job at Glamour for example, like a website intern or editor of their uni newspaper. It’s a great way to see if you are on the right track, or how long people were at entry level/smaller publications before they rose to the nationals.
Also, if you’re lucky, some put their personal email addresses on there, which is helpful if you want to write to them about journalism advice or opportunities.
For example: Lucie Cave, editor of heat: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=60701497&pid=21872007&authType=name&authToken=I6ZZ&trk=pbmap
You can see, just by looking at her Linkedin what she studied at uni and that she was editor of her uni newspaper. Her first job in media working as a presenter at a youth channel before she came in at a lower position in Heat. You can also see all the jobs she rose up through, from associate editor, to features editor, to executive editor to EDITOR. It can happen, but you must be patient.
Very helpful. Quite Nosy. Have a go!