Since I graduated and began my job search in earnest, I’ve come to realize that I follow a specific pattern when it comes to checking job websites. This isn’t a bad thing because it allows me to move quickly through several sites, only stopping to look at the most recently posted jobs. The problem is that there are not a whole lot of sites dedicated to journalism jobs. This means that I often end up trying new sites to see if they measure up.

Recently, a friend gave me a lead on a new site that supposedly had journalism and media-related jobs. Excited at the prospect of adding a new job site to my repertoire I eagerly put it through the paces. It passed, even giving me information about a job that I had never seen before.

I was elated. I imagined checking this new website every morning and being treated to new jobs. The prospect excited me so much that I started a second search to see what else I could generate. Then the poop hit the woodchipper.

I used one of the site’s “quick search” features. It matches your experience based on an uploaded resume to jobs in its database. After a few minutes of “calculating my matches” the site showed me several opportunities in sales. I was a little confused. I haven’t had a sales job since 2006. My most recent experience has been in journalism. What gives?

I tried the search again. More sales jobs popped up. What is this site trying to tell me? Is my work experience in journalism so limited that it can’t find any matches or did it show me its only journalism job posting initially?

For a website that claims to only show journalism and media-related jobs there is a plethora of advertisement and sales jobs cropping up.

This put me in a foul mood for the rest of the morning. It’s hard enough trying to find a job in journalism, I don’t need some website suggesting that I abandon all hope. As it is, there are only a handful of sites that are committed to journalism jobs. After a few months of searching it’s easy to exhaust those sites.

A hiring manager once told me the story about how he got his first job. He went to the office of the company he wanted to work for and sat in the waiting room all day hoping for an interview with his would-be supervisor. During the time he spent sitting, he spoke with the receptionist and began to bring her coffee in the morning so that she would put in a good word with the supervisor. It worked and he was hired.

I think the lesson there was be persistent and be aware of who can aid you in finding a job…  I just wish it was still that easy. If all it took to get a job was to chat up a receptionist, I’d have been employed six months ago.

In the end, I had to get over my disappointment, and I did. I’ll keep exhausting websites until I find a job, or a friendly secretary who drinks coffee.

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