What employers (should) look for in fresh recruits

This is the time of the year when journalism students start packing up, start interning, start applying for jobs, and start praying. In the days and weeks to come, they will meet an unknown, unfathomable monster called “HR”. What do employers look for from fresh recruits?

A neat CV, nice references, good clippings will help, of course. Paul Conley says he looks for these three traits. (Indian media HR is not so nuanced or advanced, but any student journalist who has these should be surprised if she doesn’t get a leg up the media ladder quickly.)

1) Youth itself: Young people who send messages via PDA, have a Facebook account, MySpace page, and have blogs about local bands, and know how to use deli.cio.us bookmarks.

2) Self-taught expertise: “I’m thrilled by someone who taught himself Dreamweaver, whereas I’m not so impressed by someone who took a course in PhotoShop.”

3) Entrepreneurial spirit: Someone who hired me was surprised… “I had helped publish a fanzine about music in New York, and had been paid $15 a week while a student to type up sport scores from my school and walk them over to a local paper.”

Also see: More employers want to find you on the web


  1. Shobha

    It’s really weird that someone with a facebook account (akin to Orkut) would be preferred for a job than someone who doesn’t.

  2. Stylus

    Networking, social and greater interpersonal skills are probably going to be very important for the future journalist. Maybe, that’s why Facebook and Orkut.

  3. Someone with a facebook account _might_ be preferred over someone who has NO presences on the web.

    Either you’re passionate about this stuff or you’re not.

  4. Shobha

    I am wondering why an Orkut/Facebook account should even be a criterion. I can understand the importance of a blog. A blog is more representative of one’s ideas and skills. I don’t understand how having an Orkut/Facebook account will help.

  5. Shobha

    Also I feel a blog is a better representative of interpersonal skills than an Orkut account. In my opinion, most of the orkut accounts in their current form are quite frivolous and will not be representative of one’s personality, talent etc.

  6. Stylus

    The broad point is not about Orkut, Myspace, Twitter or anything that’s the flavour of the day today. It’s about having an online presence.


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