Chloe Durkin, CC 2015, interned at CBS during the summer of 2012. As the winner of the “Bring Your Internship to Life” Video Contest, Chloe showcases her internship experience in a “day in the life” format in a lively and professional manner.
Depending on your skills, passions and preferences, working in the communications industry can translate to a wide assortment of career-paths, all dealing with the dissemination of information. Working in communications could mean one-on-one information sharing, or it could mean sharing information with the public. It could mean sharing factual information, or it could mean sharing information as a form of entertainment. It could mean sharing information in the written medium, or it could mean sharing information through multimedia. Depending on who you are and what you love, working in communications could land you in any stage of this info-sharing; you could be the one finding the information, editing it, processing it, formatting it, or broadcasting it.
The Job Search
The communications industry includes a variety of fields such as advertising and marketing, journalism, public relations, entertainment, new media, and publishing. Within each field, a variety of career paths exist. For example, entertainment could mean film or television or radio or a multiplicity of other careers. Journalism could mean working for a newspaper, a website or for a news station on television. These sub-industries and sub-fields are all divided by gray areas inhabited by more sub-industries and sub-fields. The opportunities are quite literally endless.
Although it can seem overwhelming for someone trying to get started in the industry, this multiplicity of options is, believe it or not, a good thing! This is where the job search comes in.
Learn about training, employment, job outlook, earnings and other key information. Here are some reputable sites to explore:
- United States Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook - Under the "professional" section, search media & communication to explore career options
- Vault - Get insider information, advice, read profiles of leading companies and search jobs.
- Wetfeet - Check out insider guides on "Careers in Advertising and PR" and "Careers in Marketing", among others.
Tips for a Successful Communications Job Search
- Create Job Search Agents on LionSHARE: This feature of LionSHARE allows you to fill in your job-preferences once, and then sends you updates about compatible job-openings as and when they appear.
- Network: An astonishing number of jobs and internships are found through referrals, so don't underestimate the power of networking. Check out CCE's calendar for upcoming networking events.
- While search-engines are useful and convenient, lots of companies don't post job-openings anywhere except on their own websites! Through industry research, identify companies of interest and explore their job openings.
Useful Communications Job-Search Engines
- Media Bistro: This immensely comprehensive website allows you to browse thousands of jobs according to industry, keyword, location, and date. Additionally, it provides quick shortcuts to media/communications blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter users, related training programs and courses, upcoming events, and anything else you could need during your communications job-search.
- Talent Zoo: This website allows you to browse within the broader categories of "Advertising jobs, new media jobs, creative jobs, marketing jobs, and geek job," all of which you can directly apply for by uploading your resume. It also links to several informative and engaging blogs.
- Media Job Market: As its title suggests, this website is a comprehensive database of available jobs and internships in the media industry.
- Entertainment Careers: Click on an industry of your choice (example: advertising, music, journalism, etc.) and be directed to an easy-to-understand list of currently available jobs in that industry.
- Publishing Jobs: Aside from several thousand communications and media-related job listings, this website also frequently posts articles that provide insight into the industry as a whole.
- Public Relations Society of America: This PR-specific website allows you to dive right into the search for your ideal Public Relations job, letting you filter jobs by location, type, position, and industry..
- Internships: Begin a simple, step-by-step search for your perfect college internship.
Making Yourself the Perfect Candidate
Whether or not you're currently in the process of looking for a job right now, you know you will be someday. It's never too early to begin preparing yourself for that inevitability. Begin shaping yourself into the ideal communications candidate right now, so that your job-search process will be stress-free.
What You Should Be Doing Right Now
- Read! Employers want to see that you're knowledgeable about market trends, and that you're aware of global news that impacts your industry on a daily basis. To that end, subscribe to a free newsletter in your industry, run a quick Google search for blogs within your industry, subscribe to free industry Podcasts, and familiarize yourself with the most relevant of these resources. To get you started, here are some of our favorite industry-specific blogs:
- Poynter is home to several journalism-related articles, as well as breaking news in the journalism world, and useful How-To articles.
- PRSquared is a fun blog about getting ahead in the Public Relations world, while PR Week reports recent happenings in the industry.
- This New York Times blog claims to be "a guide to the media industry," as it publishes both news and opinions on the media industry, daily.
- These Film Industry Bloggers provide daily insider insight on several different facets and jobs within the film industry.
- 10,000 Words, a blog hosted on Media Bistro, publishes engaging articles on the current happenings in the multimedia and online-advertising world.
- This aptly titled periodical explores and explains Publishing Trends on a monthly basis.
- The "Power 150" List ranks advertising blogs from all over the world, based on their popularity and reliability, and provides links to the top 150.
- Keep yourself informed about professional associations in your industry; learn about their events, their stipulations, and their impact. There are several hundred associations for every demographic, every industry, and every purpose, all of which can be easily found via a quick Google search. For example:
- On-Campus Opportunities: Build your resume and your skill-set by taking advantage of extra-curricular opportunities on campus. Here are some student clubs that are communications-relevant, but there's always more out there, so keep your eyes open for opportunities that interest you. Here are some that we found were communications-related:
- Utilize the CCE: The Center for Career Education has frequent workshops, daily walk-ins, and readily available counselors to help you perfect your resume, master the art of networking, and understand the essentials of the cover letter - use them!
- Read the newspaper to avoid being tongue-tied at networking events, interviews, recruiting functions, etc.
- Stay on the look-out for CCE events and plug them into your calendar.
The Center for Career Education has several communications and media-related networking events, industry showcases, and information sessions every month. Explore such events on the CCE calendar of events.