How to take advantage of 2010 hiring plans

December 21, 2009 at 2:38 am Leave a comment

It’s starting to look a lot like 2010 will be a better hiring year — okay, okay, I know, how could anything be worse than 2009? But there are some definite signals that hiring may be picking up substantially: outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas anticipates a significant increase in hiring in many fields in 2010. And a recent survey conducted by a business economics firm showed that while only 6 percent of companies said they were adding jobs in July, 12 percent answered affirmatively in October and even more expected to be hiring next year.

Obviously, this is a national, general picture and journalism organizations will likely remain slow to hire — and some (especially if the grim past few weeks are any indication) will still be shedding jobs. Yet even journalism organizations that axed jobs recently may be looking to hire next year. Some cut too much, others are figuring that the worst is over and they can slowly add jobs they had waited to fill until the economy got better and still others are expanding in certain areas and need staff for new projects. And there are online start-ups that need to staff up.

The big question for job hunters is how to find these organizations and positions, especially as competition for each opening remains fierce with the huge number of job seekers on the market. Recruiters and experts offer a few tips on how to position yourself to take advantage of this uptick in hiring:

*Study listings and job boards — but don’t necessarily apply for those openings. The downside of positions you see on list serves is that so many other job seekers see them, too. Yet you should view this as just the start of the research process. If an organization is listing openings — even though these openings may not be right for you — that means they are in a hiring mode. Study the listings to gain information on the types of jobs they’re filling or adding, names of the recruiter or hiring managers, the way in which they want applications to come in and a Web site where you can get much more information on the employer. Remember, if at all possible you want to find someone in the company — even a friend of a friend of a friend — who can deliver your resume to someone in a position of authority. Even if this opening isn’t right for you, that contact can help you determine if there may be an opening for someone with your skills sometime soon.

*Aim to reconnect with hiring managers in organizations you may have spoken with in the past few months that showed an interest in you but didn’t have anything open at the time. That same organization may now be in a position to hire. Don’t figure that they’ll get in touch with you if they are interested — hiring managers are very busy and they may not necessarily think of you for a particular job. But if you’re proactive and get back in touch with them (always politely!) they may consider you as their new budget year takes effect. Go back to contacts at those organizations and ask them to resend your resume (or better yet, a few recent clips from some free-lance work you’ve completed since you last were in touch with the organization) so you will be fresh in their mind for new hiring plans.

*While networking, specifically ask contacts for their thoughts about where organizations may be adding positions this coming year. Get them to brainstorm with you. If asked, they may have a few good ideas about where jobs are being added. And be open to organizations you may not have considered earlier.

*Consider what job categories are hot — executive recruiters say health care, energy and “green” technology remain fields that are adding jobs — and look at what journalism, communications or public affairs opportunities may accompany these hiring trends. Also, think specifically about where hiring needs will be in D.C. in 2010. It’s a congressional election year, so what political Web sites and other news organizations will need to ramp up hiring to cover the races? What associations and think tanks in the D.C. area are likely to add jobs? What topics on the Hill will be getting attention — health care, financial regulatory reform and climate change are all a good bet — and as a result, what organizations may need specific expertise? Then go to Web sites to research these employers, and start looking for someone who can deliver your resume there!

*For those trying to organize their job-hunting efforts for the new year, Margaret Dikel’s the Riley Guide ( offers a wealth of information and resources. These links are to a Washington Post story over the weekend about Dikel’s site along with a terrific list of online resources she has compiled for job hunters and recruiters; I’ve bookmarked them and suggest you do as well.

Article | 12/20/2009

Organized and orderly, a job seeker’s online library : For 16 years, Web site has been a map to the employment maze

Article | 12/20/2009

Online must-bookmarks

*As always, some job and free-lance leads:

*The non-profit group American Rights at Work is looking for a media relations director in D.C. If you’re interested, better send that resume soon as the deadline for applications is Tuesday, Dec. 22:

Media Relations Director Print

Reports to: Director of Communications
Starting Salary Range: $65-75,000, commensurate with experience
Status: Full-time, Exempt, Unit Position
Location: Washington, D.C.

Position Overview:

American Rights at Work, a nonprofit advocacy organization focused on protecting and advancing workers’ rights to organize and bargain collectively, seeks a Media Relations Director. We are looking for a candidate with a proven track record of crafting and executing successful media strategies and placements, who is a great writer, willing to aggressively pitch a broad terrain of press, and has experience selling challenging or controversial issues, and responding on-the-record with media.

Key Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Develops organization’s overall and project-specific media strategies.
  • Manages the execution of media plans, including oversight of all components and staff with tasks related to the plan.
  • Serves as one of the organizational spokespersons.
  • Identifies proactive media opportunities to generate ongoing news about the organization and its campaigns, in addition to managing reactive press.
  • Oversees and contributes to writing of press releases, editorial memos, advisories, pitches, op-eds, letters to the editor, and speeches.
  • Develops message materials, talking points, and backgrounders in coordination with staff.
  • Lead organizer of press events and editorial board meetings.
  • Initiates, cultivates, and maintains relationships with media, communications colleagues, and spokespeople.
  • Provides communications training and preparation and support for media spokespeople.
  • Develops and maintains organization-wide media protocols.
  • Manages databases and archives of information of use to journalists.
  • Works with staff, consultants, and coalition partners who assist with projects where applicable and necessary.


  • Minimum 5-7 years experience in media relations, public relations, and/or public affairs.
  • Proven track record of story placement in major media outlets, and individually crafting and executing media strategies.
  • Prior communications experience with advocacy groups, legislative offices and organizations, and/or electoral campaigns.
  • Outstanding writing skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and creatively about the role of communications in achieving the organization’s goals while also remaining focused on the detail-oriented work and follow-through required by the position.
  • Capacity to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Can juggle multiple priorities and projects effectively, and capable of shifting gears accordingly.
  • Comprehensive working knowledge of, and personal contacts with media.
  • Ability to translate complex issues into clear, simple ideas.
  • Familiar with the special requirements of print, broadcast, and online media.
  • Experience executing editorial news strategies.
  • Demonstrated relationship-building skills.
  • Commitment to and experience in social justice advocacy; experience with workers’ rights policy preferable.
  • Knowledge of, and experience with new media a plus.
  • Proficiency with MS Office suite, Nexis Lexis, media/PR databases.

Application Instructions:

To apply, send cover letter, resume, work samples, and references by December 22 to

Incomplete applications, or applications delivered by fax, mail, or in person will not be considered. Please no phone calls or direct solicitations. EOE

*The hat tip on the next several listings is The following is a free-lance opportunity (for health writers, though this company is seeking free-lancers generally) with Demand Studios for its LIVESTRONG site:

Company: Demand Studios
Health Writers
any city, Telecommute
Job Status: Freelance
Salary: Not Specified
Ad Expires:
January 19, 2010
Job ID: 1134271

LIVESTRONG™.com is a leading online destination for health-related tips and advice, attracting more than 4.2 million visitors every month. To ensure LIVESTRONG™.com visitors are consistently presented with the best answers to their diverse health-related questions, we are looking for freelance writers in the Orange County area to create informative articles on thousands of unique topics. As a writer for LIVESTRONG™.com, you’ll be able to share your health knowledge with a large and vibrant community while earning a reliable paycheck and extending your personal brand on one of today’s leading health websites.

See a Sample Article

Learn More and Apply


• Claim assignments from our database that you’re most interested and qualified to write about

• Assignments vary in length and format with most averaging 300–500 words and addressing thousands of unique topics such as diabetes, cancer, nutrition, mental health and exercise

• Payments are issued twice a week for each completed article. Current writers earn an average of $20 – $25 range depending on their familiarity with the topics and their writing speed

• Your byline follows each article helping build exposure and authority around your name and writing

• Tenured writers gain access to affordable group health care

QUALIFICATIONS: Candidates must have one or more of the following qualifications:

• Masters of Science in a medical field

• Accreditation in health

• Experience writing about health-related topics in a medical or health magazine, newspaper, journal, blog or other health website


If you meet the requirements outlined above and would like to join the LIVESTRONG™.com team of writers, we’d love to hear from you. To apply, please upload your resume and writing sample through the link below – make sure to highlight your experience in the health & fitness field and provide a high quality writing sample for the editorial team to review. Please note you will be directed to Demand Studios (the content production studio for LIVESTRONG™.com) to apply.

Learn More and Apply

*The Daily Record in Baltimore is seeking an editor for special publications:

Company: The Daily Record
Seeking special editor for special
Baltimore, Maryland
Job Status: Full-time
Salary: $35,000 to $40,000
Ad Expires:
January 18, 2010
Job ID: 1133960

Are you a highly motivated, well-organized multitasker with a knack for good ideas and an interest in a variety of business topics? If so, there’s a job for you at The Daily Record, Baltimore’s award-winning business and legal news organization, as editor of our array of targeted magazines and special reports. Applicants should have at least five years of professional experience, including assigning and editing stories and graphics, assigning photos and meeting deadlines. Founded in 1888, The Daily Record is part of Dolan Media Company, which owns business and legal publications in more than 20 markets throughout the U.S.

Apply by e-mail with cover letter, resume and writing/editing samples to Tom Linthicum. Executive Editor, at Be sure your subject line says “Special Pubs Editor, JJC.” No telephone calls, please.

*And last but not least,  the National Journal Group is looking for a director of operations in D.C.:

Company: National Journal Group
Director of Operations
Washington, District of Columbia
Job Status: Not Specified
Salary: Not Specified
Ad Expires:
January 13, 2010
Job ID: 1132427

Since 1969, National Journal Group has served as Washington’s leading online and print publisher of non-partisan news covering the people, issues and trends that drive the federal policy-making process. Providing daily, weekly and monthly reporting, we have established an exceptional reputation at the center of Washington politics as the most respected and dependable one-stop source of information for the nation’s capital. Our mix of business functions, spanning journalism, marketing, research and strategy, present a broad range of unique business opportunities.


The Director of Operations will manage the day-to-day financials, strategic planning and production activities for the National Journal Group and its divisions. Oversight responsibilities will include:


  • Direct and coordinate National Journal Group’s financial and budget activities to fund operations, maximize investments and increase efficiency
  • Provide regular financial forecasts on the business unit’s performance, conduct audits, including the review of financial statements, sales and activity reports to measure productivity and goal achievement, determine areas needing cost reduction and program improvement
  • Partner with Finance team to oversee long-term financial planning and goal setting
  • Serve as financial thought partner for department managers within the business as well as for the President of National Journal and the Chairman of Atlantic Media Company


  • Develop close integration of strategy and finance to shape National Journal Group’s growth plan
  • Focus on strategies to reduce overall costs while maintaining the National Journal Group’s reputation for producing high quality publications
  • Work in teams across the business with colleagues and staff to develop innovative solutions


  • General management responsibilities for the production cycles of all publications in the National Journal Group portfolio
  • Oversee pricing, sales and/or distribution of print and online products
  • Establish and implement departmental policies, goals, objectives, and procedures across National Journal Group


  • 5+ years of progressive management experience, preferably in media
  • Understanding of financial, budget and business planning processes
  • Previous P&L responsibility , best-in-class analytical, critical thinking, and forecasting skills
  • Ability to take abstract thoughts or ideas, hone them into an analytic framework and work with executives to translate that framework into operational plans
  • Strong written and oral communication
  • Excellent time and organization skills, with the ability to handle multiple projects and meet deadlines while maintaining an unfailing attention to quality and detail
  • Demonstrated initiative and creativity, working well both as a manager and within a larger team
  • Excellent leadership skills and proven ability to develop and manage a successful team

To apply, please visit us at Atlantic Media Company is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Happy hunting on this wintery day!



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