How To Apply For Jobs
In The Middle Of A Pandemic
How To Apply For Jobs
In The Middle Of
Written by Lois Lane
🕒 May 19, 2020
Submitting an application to a new station, and waiting anxiously for a call or email from the news director, is stressful enough.
Now throw in a contagious virus, and the whole ordeal seems like an impossible task.
Many newsrooms are tightening the belt in response to lost advertisers who are no longer seeing a steady stream of customers. The sad reality is that journalists in markets across the country are calling it quits, or taking a break, due to the increased stress of the job.
So long as you’re prepared to dive right into the chaos of coronavirus coverage, in a new market where other high-stakes news is ongoing, there should be space for you in a different newsroom.
One thing to keep in mind is that news directors are likely juggling a lot right now with minute-to-minute updates on the virus in their market, as well as managing staff who may be working in a limited or different capacity.
That means your reel and resume must be polished and standout amid the other noise, AND you have to follow up on your application.
If you apply for jobs via the station website on a Monday, send the news director a personalized email by the following Monday stating your interest and ability to discuss your skillset further.
Don’t be afraid to pull your resources. If you know a reporter in that market, or have connections with a staff member at your station of choice, casually reach out and inquire about the position and what the hiring situation is at the station right now.
Know what the coronavirus infection rate is in the city and state where your desired station is located, and take that into account as to how likely or quickly a news manager is to reply. If it’s a station in New York City, New Orleans, or San Antonio, chances are the newsroom may be swamped with the high infection rate.
News stations in cities where fewer cases are being reported may have a bit more attention to share with you and your resume.
Once you do score an interview, be prepared for a FaceTime or Zoom call with the news director and/or general manager. Practice with a friend via one of these apps, so you can make sure to get your personality across, and make that human connection, something that can be really hard to do virtually.
Don’t forget to dress nicely, and be sure to style your hair and wear your makeup just as you did in your reel. Also, when the time comes, make sure you have a nice professional background, a quiet roommate, and a pet that’s either well-behaved or put away so there are no distractions.
The biggest piece of advice here is to jump in, and don’t be afraid to apply. Yes, there’s a pandemic but that in itself is news, and news leaders need journalists to tell these important stories. So apply, follow up, and be prepared for that call!