I’ve been looking at a lot of cover letters, résumes and portfolios the last couple of weeks as I work to fill an opening on the Herald-Republic’s photo staff. After all that reading and looking I’d like to offer a few job-hunting tips to those looking for a job. And while I am looking for a staff photographer, some of these observations apply equally to all job hunters.
1. Get the name of the person to whom you are applying correct. And spell that name correctly (my name is not Bob nor has it ever been).
2. Get the name of the newspaper to which you are applying correct. (There is no Yakima World Herald).
3. Avoid drama in the cover letter (“I soon realized I would die for photography,”
4. Make your portfolio easy to view whether it’s online or in some other form (the harder it is to look at your work the less likely I am to look at it) .
5. Know your prospective employer will check your Facebook page, Twitter feed and other social media (remember that rant about your boss? Well, your prospective employer won’t forget either).
6. If you include a photo of a color run, make it a dang good photo (apparently color runs are the new mutton busting).
7. When it comes to video, longer is not better.
8. If you’re interviewed on the phone by a prospective employer, at least sound enthusiastic (even if you’re not).
9. A photo of the President of the United States is not necessarily a portfolio-worthy photo. Ditto for the Vice-President (even if there’s a monster-sized American flag as the backdrop).