Jodi Schneider, Team Leader at Bloomberg News, knows how to have a successful career in the journalism industry. “You have to be clever about it,” she told students in a press conference Thursday. This iswhat she did in her own career, and she tells aspiring journalists to do the same in theirs.
Being clever was always a part of her character. While in college, Schneider wanted to get a job at The Capital Times, a local paper in Madison, Wis. Requirements for the job included previous experience and a car. Although she had neither, she told staff at the publication that she had both and got the job. From there, she went on to hold future positions at The Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, and currently Bloomberg News.
It was not just in her positions at the big-time news publications where Schneider learned what it took to be successful in the journalism industry; she also was a training and recruiting director for Congressional Quarterly, a congressional news and analysis publication, in which she handled career development issues.
As a recruiting director, she learned and shared vital information and advice on pursuing a career in journalism, stressing to students the importance of branding, or finding a topic that aspiring journalists can specialize in. “It’s all about the brand, or how people see you,” she said. Schneider also spoke of the importance of ‘networking,’ creating databases and contact lists of colleagues and acquaintances and being sure to stay in touch with them.
Students should pay attention to what Schneider called “The Big Three,” or the three most important areas to focus on when trying to land a job in journalism. First, she spoke of the importance of a concise, one page resumé, giving links to any websites or blogs that feature the candidate’s work.
Next, Schneider gave important advice on interview skills, telling students to always dress professionally and to “leave them with a something they will remember about you…in a good way!” Practicing for an interview with friends or family is also good to do, Schneider said, calling this form of training “muscle memory” that will help candidates be better prepared to answer difficult questions in an interview.
The final piece of “The Big Three” is to follow up with the interviewer, even after a rejection. In doing so, the candidate may receive a job offer from the company in the future.
Schneider told students, “The biggest thing is to pitch your potential.”