Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Please help the job hunters.

Many education reporters who are hunting for jobs come to me for counsel. Would this be a good fit for me? Do you know what kind of person they want to hire? Would you take a look at my resume? Of course, given the numbers, most of them do not get the job they apply for. What they also do not get, from at least six different employers in the last month:

—An e-mail saying their materials were received.
—A phone call (or even a form e-mail!), once they have gone through interviews, telling them they did not get the job.
—Any feedback that might help them as they move on with their search.

I cannot imagine a good excuse for the first two. And it might be unrealistic to hope for that last part. But why not? Are you so busy that you can’t tell the few people you interviewed, “We hired someone with more daily reporting experience.” “We were concerned you did not have any multimedia background.” Whatever. Those of you out there who hire people: Could you explain why you don’t do that, and why sometimes you don’t contact job applicants at all?

This is obviously not specific to the education journalism field. My little brother, who is awesome and whom you should hire if you have any work in music management, deals with the same stuff all the time in Los Angeles. People are hurting! Show job seekers some love!


  1. It was like this when I was job-hunting in newspapers in 1980! But of course then they could afford to treat everyone like ****. Today they should be groveling and thanking people, even job-seekers, for deigning to acknowledge their existence.

    The San Francisco Chronicle, where I have occasionally had op-ed pieces published and more frequently had them rejected (by default), also takes this attitude toward those submissions. You get a snotty "don't call us, we'll call you" autoresponse saying that if you don't hear within 7 days you can take your business elsewhere. Honestly, they really do need to rethink this attitude while they still exist at all.

  2. Could we also add editors who accept copy and queries from freelancers to this list?

    It's ridiculous how hard it is to get a "I've got your story, and I'll take a look at it soon" email from them.