Looking forward even when you don’t feel like it

November 24, 2009 at 12:44 pm Leave a comment

Today’s lead item will be a short one but several hiring managers and others have mentioned this to me lately: Some job candidates in interviews recently have made the (often disastrous) mistake of focusing on the past rather than on the job in front of them.

Recently laid-off and bought-out journalists often experience anger, frustration and a sense of loss over leaving a job they cared about. Most job hunters, however, abide by the cardinal rule, which I’ll repeat here, of never bad-mouthing your former employer (even if they richly deserve it) to a prospective employer. Yet hiring managers are reporting that some job seekers keep bringing up their previous job rather than focusing on what’s right in front of them. Some tips and cautions in interview sessions (and for others, please see a recent blog post “When the interviewer becomes the interviewee”):

*Given the rapidly changing landscape in journalism today, even if you are applying for a job in the same field, the likelihood is that the duties and focus will be significantly different than what you did before. You’re aiming to convince the hiring manager that you’re a good fit for THIS particular job, rather than the previous one. So you need to show how the skills you developed before would fit this job, not to carry on about how great a job you used to have.

*Let the interviewer lead you. If they specifically ask for some examples from your previous job of how you handled a situation, give it. But don’t spend time on a lot of anecdotes from your previous position — you don’t want to look like you’re stuck in the past. Prepare for the interview by timing your responses — you don’t want to filibuster. About a minute or so per answer is enough.

*Do extensive research on the organization so that you can focus much of your discussion on what this job entails. That will keep you looking forward.

*Ask a lot of good, detailed questions about the organization. That shows you’re interested and that you’re looking to the future, rather than the past.

*As someone who had until recently been doing recruiting, I got a chuckle out of the following “pet peeves” of recruiters. (Yes, stalking was the worst. Though I could add one of my own: job seekers who, when they weren’t getting the answer they wanted, went over my head to my boss, who of course would just refer them back to me! It didn’t help their cause.) I’m including these because they are instructive to journalist job hunters. From Mediabistro:

Hiring Managers’ Pet Peeves: Jargon, Multi-Applying, More

flickr: SOCIALisBETTERHere’s what resume and job application quirks make hiring managers want to throw your application in the trash, courtesy of the Kansas City Star’s careers columnist: Applicants who apply for several positions at the same company at the same time. “It’s an employers’ market. They can be very particular about finding the best fit for each job,” says Ann… read more>>

*Okay, how about we as job seekers start our own list of pet peeves? Not sure what we’ll do with it, but it could make us feel better. (I’ll also start this as a discussion on the Facebook dcworks page. Please join if you haven’t.) My first: Hiring managers who, after you’ve set a specific time to meet or talk on the phone, don’t show or don’t call, and don’t get back to you for days and then when they do, act as though you’re being annoying for having been punctual!

*Some job leads to list…

*The first is with National Geographic Channel in D.C. Hat tip is to Mediabistro:

Publication or Company National Geographics Wild
Industry Entertainment, TV/Cable
Job Duration Full Time
Job Location Washington, DC USA
Job Requirements National Geographics Wild
Associate, Media Strategy & Planning



– Coordinate and schedule promotion on daily broadcasts log using the PACE traffic system as dictated by media optimization software (Grip it). Perform log checks to ensure 100% accuracy of all elements scheduled.
– Maintain and evolve on-Air strategy and communicate to all partners (internal Nat Geo, NGS and Fox). Ensure on-air strategies are in sync with program scheduling strategies as they develop and evolve.
– Interface with Programming and other key partners to determine priorities each quarter and ensure no promotional conflicts between Wild and core channel.
– Develop and maintain quarterly on-air priorities grids.
– Enter all on-air campaigns into GRiP it on a quarterly basis for log execution.
– Enter and maintain all promotional inventories in PACE log system for scheduling availability.
– Purge expired promotional inventory from PACE and 360 Server on an ongoing basis to maximize server space.
– Load post log data into GRiP it and prepare post analyses as necessary.
– Coordinate requests and delivery of all on-air elements with Creative producers.
– Maintain scheduling rotation of image/brand elements.
– Coordinate shipment of promotional materials to Fox NE&O and to cross-channel partners.
– Develop training materials to leverage interns for execution of role-appropriate tasks. Find efficiencies and modify processes as necessary.
– Lead strategy and execution of internal partnerships/barters.
– Leverage internal relationships (FOX, NGS) to garner in-kind promotion for Nat Geo Wild across multiple platforms (on-air, online, VOD, etc.).
– Work with Affiliate Marketing to support distribution-driving initiatives for Wild.
– Coordinate distribution of materials and information for launch support and ongoing distribution efforts, finding efficiencies wherever possible.
– Serve as channel point person for Affiliate Sales/Marketing and Ad Sales Marketing for channel launch.
– Participate in weekly meetings between NGC and Affiliate Marketing team.
– Utilize contractual marketing funds to promote programming priorities in an effort to help drive ratings and support MSO subscriber acquisitions and upgrades. Liaise with Research to provide measurable results and analysis for each tactic.
– Effectively communicate affiliate objectives and challenges with NGC consumer marketing priorities.
– Communicate Nat Geo Wild consumer priorities to the FCN affiliate team.
– Coordinate and execute engagement/C3 tactics. Manage program formats for all Nat Geo Wild programs scheduled, and track and schedule elements to ensure strategies are executed to perfection.
– Interface with Research to gain analysis of results of marketing strategies and tactics.
– Help to develop paid media strategy, planning and execution.


– Bachelors Degree.
– Minimum of 5 years promotion marketing experience including 1 year media planning experience at a media/entertainment organization.
– Computer, telephone, printer, calculator, copier, fax machine, ability to forecast and manage budget (Excel).
– Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

About Our Company National Geographic Channel (NGC) is recruiting a Director, Marketing Partnerships to work with the VP, Ad Sales and Marketing Partnerships. The main function of the Marketing Partnerships Department is to leverage unpaid media assets to build channel and program awareness/viewership and to enhance sponsor value wherever possible. The department also supports Ad Sales revenue generation through creative solutions that maximize Channel assets and partnerships to enhance value, solidify deals and achieve client objectives. This position is located in Washington, DC.

*The next lead is for an energy and environment reporter in D.C….The hat tip on this position (and the next one) is journalismjobs.com:

Company: Exchange Monitor Publications, Inc.
Energy and Environment Reporter
Washington, District of Columbia
Job Status: Full-time
Salary: Not Specified
Ad Expires:
December 28, 2009
Job ID: 1126887
Website: http://www.exchangemonitor.com

ExchangeMonitor Publications is seeking a take-charge reporter to cover one of the most critical issues facing the world today: climate change. Our focus is on the technologies, policies and regulations that will underpin the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. We’re looking for an individual who can go beyond the headlines and get into the details of subjects like carbon credit trading, carbon sequestration and clean coal technologies.

Both mid-career professionals and reporters with 1-3 years experience are encouraged to apply (recent college graduates with college newspaper experience and strong newswriting skills will also be considered). Familiarity with the field and experience covering Congress, federal agencies or state government is a plus, though it is certainly not necessary. Competitive salary and benefits. Send resume, three clips and list of references to reporters@exchangemonitor.com.

*The next lead could be a good fit for a D.C.-based layout editor looking for some project work:

Company: Government Training Inc
Graphic Layout of Book
Open – Can work from home or our offices in D.C., District of Columbia
Job Status: Freelance
Salary: Negotiable
Ad Expires:
December 26, 2009
Job ID: 1126139
Website: http://GovernmentTrainingInc.com

Book Graphic Design and Layout

Our company, Government Training Inc produces training courses and publishes books directed at government contracting, acquisition, program management, physical security and state and local grants.

We currently have several books in varying stages of production. These include:

Contracting Officers Technical Rep Handbook (ready for layout – 275 pages in draft)

Grant Writing Handbook (will go to copy edit 15 Jan 2010)

Handbook for Managing Government TeleWorkers (in first draft)

We are looking for a creative layout person who can get this manuscript (Contracting Officers…) in a format suitable for final print. We will provide pages examples prior to setting final price. Book does not involve complex tables or charts. Need ~2 week turn-around. Will need cover design based on draft design already in place. Frankly, this is a boring book and needs some creative with the layout. (Not a lot)

Price is very important to the decision.

Please do not send attachments. Include all information within the text of the email. Information about the book can be viewed at: http://www.governmenttraininginc.com/The-COTR-Handbook.asp

Reply to:

Don Dickson Government Training Inc.



Happy hunting in this short work week!



Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Turning down a job without closing a door forever Giving of your time while job hunting

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