Why D.C. is a relatively good market for job hunters

December 7, 2009 at 1:07 pm Leave a comment

I’ve heard many a Washington area journalist on a job hunt lament the fact that “all the good jobs” are elsewhere — business and financial jobs are in New York, entertainment-oriented positions are in LA, and if only they could move to London they could have their pick of international  positions. But actually, those of us searching for jobs in and around the D.C. area are relatively fortunate — my laid-off friends and former colleagues in Orlando and Denver, for instance, would love to have the wealth of potential employers that we have here.

The D.C. area (and in this I include the Maryland suburbs and Northern Virginia, of course) is a good spot for job hunting because of the variety of positions available with a variety of employers, proximity to the federal government and our noted reputation for being a networking town, through and through. Here are some tips from experts on how D.C. job hunters can take advantage of these benefits:

*If  you want to stay in journalism in D.C., look beyond “traditional” journalism jobs in newsrooms to openings with journalism-oriented or public policy organizations that would allow you to use your reporting, editing and communication skills. There are plenty of such organizations in D.C. — many of them think tanks and organizations that work with journalism groups to provide information and in some cases partner in news initiatives. One friend calls this the land of the “centers for this and for that.” In recent weeks and months, former newsroom colleagues (including some who lost their jobs earlier this fall) have landed good jobs at the Center for Public Integrity, the Center for a Responsible Federal Budget, the Center for Independent Media, several of the Pew funds, the New America Foundation and the Brookings Institution. Most of them are doing journalism-like work, are pretty well paid and often have better hours and less stress than they did in newsrooms.

*The D.C. area is the headquarters of the trade association world. Many of these associations have interesting public affairs jobs as well as writing and editing jobs as they often produce trade publications. Though advocacy may be part of these positions, sometimes the jobs are much more oriented to journalism-like skills on the publication side. Again, these can be well-paying and interesting positions and would allow journalists to leverage their skills in a new area.

*Look to the federal government. The application process for federal jobs is often confusing and somewhat Byzantine, but as federal experts continually note these days, the retirements of fed worker baby boomers is leading to a host of openings. Though these jobs may pay less than similar jobs in the private sector (though that’s less of an issue with pay cuts in the private sector these days) benefits (including health care) are good, retirement packages are very good (retiree health care is a big bonus) the work is often meaningful and the hours are often quite manageable. I hope soon to unravel federal hiring practices for a blog post. But don’t forget about the federal government (and local and even state jobs — Annapolis and Richmond are not that far) when considering employment possibilities in this area.

*The D.C. area is home to a good number of big universities — Johns Hopkins on several campuses, American, Catholic, Howard, George Washington, Georgetown, George Mason, UDC, the University of Maryland on several campuses — that have communications offices, publications offices and public affairs positions. These are often a good spot for transitioning journalists. Also, think health care — one field that’s still adding jobs — and the D.C. area is home to a number of big hospital and health care companies that also produce publications and hire journalists.

*Use this town’s networking reputation to your advantage. While networking may be seen as a necessary evil in other business communities, here it is a local sport. Nearly every night of the week there are networking opportunities through groups set up for that purpose, affinity and alumni groups, conferences and lectures at think tanks and through universities. There is nearly always organized networking time set up before and after these events and D.C. professionals are used to contacts following up with them afterward to network further individually. Take advantage of that in your search — it’s one of the big benefits of hunting for a job in this area!

*Some more good news (which also proves the point of the post above!) to share. David Baumann, a long-time economics and budget writer and a member of the CQ “Gang of 45,” starts a new job today at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. It’s a a bipartisan organization that does budget analysis and is housed at the New America Foundation in D.C. For the next year, David will be working on a report by the Pew-Peterson Commission on Budget Reform on ways to reform the budget process. Congrats to David! Please pass along more good news to share.

*A variety of leads to pursue:

*The American College of Radiology in D.C. is seeking a senior writer:

The American College of Radiology, a professional association for radiologists, seeks a Senior Writer to serve as the lead writer for 2 member magazines, various other publications, and Web content.

The Senior Writer will write, edit, and proofread content for magazines, scholarly journal, and other publications as assigned; coordinate with managing editors and Director of Member Publications to determine scope, tone, and goals of new writing assignments; research and suggest news and articles for publication websites. Writing assignments include feature articles, articles on new radiology technology and developments in the field, ACR updates, products and services, and more. Tech savvy a must.

Job Requirements

Seek candidate with strong writing skills and association writing experience; writing for “mainstream” medical association magazines a plus. Must be able to craft copy into creative, informative, accurate articles, be deadline-driven, able to prioritize multiple writing assignments, and be flexible in a fast-paced publishing environment. Excellent project management skills, self-starter. Must work effectively in a team environment, as well as independently.

Qualified candidates will typically have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 6 years writing experience; strong writing, editing, proofing, and researching skills; must be able to write appropriately for an array of formats and audiences; must be able to meet multiple deadlines; and have excellent verbal, written, and presentation skills. Knowledge of AP Stylebook required; AMA style desired. Minimum of 6 years professional writing/editing/proofing experience in a publishing environment. Proficient in Microsoft Office.

If you would like to put your experience and creativity to great use in a professional and team-oriented environment, please apply online by clicking on the link below:


ACR offers competitive compensation and an exceptional benefits package including a defined contribution pension plan, 403B, paid vacation, paid personal days, paid holidays and sick days, all major insurances – life, health, dental, prescription, AD&D, short and long term disability, LTC, flexible spending, tuition reimbursement, physical fitness benefit, a business casual/people friendly work environment and more!

*PR Newswire needs an assistant editor in D.C.:

Title: Assistant Editor
Shift:  Monday-Friday, 12 pm – 9 pm
Employer: PR Newswire
Location: Washington, DC
Participate in Global News Distribution
Get a bird’s eye view of the business communications field by learning firsthand how companies and organizations communicate news to the general public. Serving both PR Newswire’s client companies and the media, you will proofread, edit, and format news releases for our clients and have the opportunity to gain a firm grasp of the ways in which corporate communications, the stock market, and politics intersect. How do companies make a decision about publicizing negative news? What constitutes a big story? How do market trends have an effect on the global economy? Learn the answers to these questions and more. You will be working in an intellectually stimulating atmosphere offering an entry point into a variety of career paths. Our worldwide presence also provides countless long-term career opportunities to strong performers!

PR Newswire is the global leader in innovative communications and marketing services, enabling organizations to connect and engage with their target audiences worldwide. Through its multi-channel distribution network, audience intelligence, targeting, and measurement services, PR Newswire helps corporations and organizations engage in rich, timely and dynamic dialogue with the media, consumers, policymakers, investors and the general public. Utilizing PR Newswire’s industry-leading communications and marketing services, its customers build brands, generate awareness, impact public policy, drive sales, and raise capital.

Pioneering the commercial news distribution industry 55 years ago, PR Newswire connects customers with audiences in more than 170 countries and in over 40 languages through an unparalleled network of offices in 16 countries across North and South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, and via unique affiliations with the leading news agencies across the globe. PR Newswire is a subsidiary of United Business Media Limited, a leading global business media company that serves professional commercial communities around the world. For more information, go to www.unitedbusinessmedia.com.

As an Assistant Editor based out of our Washington, DC bureau, you will proofread press releases written by our clients for delivery to the media. You will not be writing pieces from scratch, but you will need a strong grasp of syntax, punctuation, and the English language in general. Your razor-sharp attention to detail, will be a prerequisite, as you edit, format, and occasionally help clients re-write their releases when required. Your ability to think on your feet and prioritize tasks will serve you well in this fast-paced, deadline-driven environment. Your strong computer skills will enable you to quickly learn our internal system. Our dynamic environment will keep you on your toes, so a flexible attitude and a strong customer-service approach will be needed. Although a background in a related field is a plus, highly motivated entry-level candidates with a strong interest in the industry will also be considered. Learn the ins and outs of the industry in a setting where discussions about politics, government, business, and the economy are just part of the job!

Go to this link to apply.

*And for those looking for a spring internship, the UN Foundation has several available:


UN Foundation is looking to hire several interns for spring 2010, including one for the online communications/web team within the Public Affairs department. Check out the link below to see what’s available:

Internships: http://www.unfoundation.org/about-unf/internships/

*And for someone looking to make the transition to corporate communications, Hilton Hotels — which just relocated its headquarters to McLean — is looking for a director of global corporate communications:

  • Date Posted:


  • Career Level:

    Executive (Director, VP, Department Head, etc)

  • Education:


  • Job Function:

    Executive, Corporate Communications / PR

  • Job Status:


  • Industry:

    Hospitality / Tourism / Travel

  • Job Code:


  • Contact Information:

Director, Global Corporation Communications


Washington, DC

Hilton Worldwide offers a variety of global opportunities within our portfolio of world renowned brands.  With more than 3,200 hotels in 77 countries, our Team Members are committed to delivering our brand promises to our customers.  At Hilton, you’ll discover hospitality jobs whether you are a first time applicant or a career professional.

Our portfolio consists of well known brands representing market leadership in their respective segments of the industry, whether it’s luxury or lifestyle brands to mid prices, extended stay or vacation ownership, Hilton has something for everyone.  The company owns, manages and franchises hotel brands including The Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts, Conrad Hotels and Resorts, Hilton, Doubletree, Embassy, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton, Homewood Suites, Home2Suites by Hilton, and Hilton Grand Vacations.
Come and explore a world of opportunities and join our dynamic team to help us achieve our mission to be the preeminent global hospitality company – the first choice of guests, team members and owners alike.

Hilton Worldwide’s Headquarters is located in McLean, Virginia.  The company owns, manages and franchises some of the best known and highly regarded hotel brands around the world.  We offer competitive benefits to our Team Members.  We invite you to become part of a dynamic team whose vision is to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality.
Responsible for managing the day-to-day external and internal communications for the President and CEO of Hilton Worldwide.  Operates as an integral member of the Global Corporate Communications department.

Required Qualifications:
– Four (4) year college degree in Communications, Business, English, or Political Science.
– Seven (7) or more years work experience in a communications position.
– Ability to travel as required (30 percent of time)
– Ability to be available/accessible during non-traditional hours when/if needed
Preferred Qualifications:
– Advanced degree (highly desired would be in Communications or an MBA).
– Experience conducting communications for executives, political campaigns and/or government leaders
– Experience working within a large business/organization
– Proficient skills in graphic design

To apply for this position, please copy and paste the following link into your browser address bar:

Happy  hunting on this December day!



Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Rethinking the holiday hiring slowdown More networking tips even for those who don’t like to network

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