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Brief update: Spain and an award!

26 Feb

I haven’t updated this blog for a while because I’m currently studying abroad in Granada, Spain. So I have a bit of a break from working in journalism, but I’ve been documenting my experiences on another wordpress blog,, and I’m really enjoying writing it.

Even though I’m not working at the newspaper this semester, I just found out an editorial I wrote last semester won a first place prize from the Delaware Press Association in the collegiate division, so I’m very excited!

I plan to pick this blog back up again to document my summer internship. Not sure what is yet, but hopefully I’ll get one soon.


Social media and the job hunt – LinkedIn and more

1 Feb

Information from the panel at Social Media Weekend at Columbia Journalism School: David Gaspin head of talent acquisition at; Emily Meithner, president of NY creative interns (moderator); Maggie Mistal, career coach; Ronald Thomas, principal consultant at strategy focused HR


  • Have a focus. When you meet someone and they ask you like or do, don’t tell them every interest and hobby you have.
  • Follow tweets, Facebook, website of those you want to work for
  • When connecting with someone from a company you want to work for, acknowledge you know they don’t do the hiring. Try to find that person and connect with them too.
  • When connecting, think what can I offer this person? Maybe someone else’s contact information, a link to an article they’d be interested in, information about an upcoming event
  • Ask for coffee, as Thomas says, people won’t agree to lunch because they don’t know what you have to say, but everyone likes coffee!
  • Ask for a recommendation while you are at the job

On LinkedIn

  • Be relevant not redundant (the profile format on LinkedIn can make it easy to repeat credentials when filling it out, so remember to revise)
  • Belong to 5-10 groups, any more looks unfocused
  • Change the standard message when connecting to someone. It’s in personal and thoughtless. Gaspin said if he sees that, he will automatically say no.
  • Read LinkedIn Today, it shows the top shared news, and organizes it by topic so you read what’s relevant to you
  • Be active on the site (update profile, connect) even if you like your job, you never know


  • Stalk people you want to work for (frequent emails, Twitters mentions and replies, etc.)
  • Start asking for recommendations right before you’re going to quit or see a layoff coming
  • Call yourself a “social media guru, ninja, or maven”

On LinkedIn

  • First start adding credentials when you want to quit/you know you’re getting fired
  • Belong to more than 10 groups
  • Have a very long or short profile, say what’s most important and make it clear what you have accomplished and what you’re skills are

Professional twitter tips from social media experts

31 Jan

Twitter is not, like many tweeters think, a place to post what you’re doing all day long. At this weekend’s conference, Sree Sreenivasan, technology expert and dean of student affairs at Columbia School of Journalism, said Twitter is a place of business and a great place to have a 2-way connection with anyone. He said one of his students tweeted at Katie Couric and she replied. That would have never happened with an email or phone call. Twitter is powerful, so using it in the best possible way is important!

Below are great Twitter tips I learned at the Social Media Conference at Columbia from a variety of speakers. To see an example of a great Twitter user, check out Brian Stelter, @brianstelter, NY Times media reporter.

Sree’s Top 12 Tips

  1. Spend time writing tweets, Sree takes 3-5 minutes to craft his tweets
  2. Keep your followers in mind when you tweet (find out top followers on
  3. Do not bore your followers, keep them happy so they continue to follow you
  4. Make only 1 in 5 Tweets about yourself
  5. Save the “humble brag” for Facebook
  6. Make tweets blue, follow format “@someone, link, photo, #something” when you can
  7. You can never follow enough people! But as soon as someone gets boring, unfollow them
  8. Thought 140 characters was short? Make tweets 120 or less
  9. Make username short so it’s easy to mention in tweets, and don’t use an underscore
  10. Be generous, following someone is one of the nicest things to do on Twitter
  11. Make your bio specific: include name so people will find you, say what you tweet (look at Stelter’s bio, very specific and informative)
  12. Don’t just hit “retweet”, instead take the time to copy it then tweet: RT @originaltweeter (paste what they wrote). This way they will know you RTed them
  13. More of Sree’s tips

Other great Twitter tips from the weekend:

  • Update your bio frequently as what your tweeting about changes, especially if you get a new job, from Melissa Mistal, @MaggieMistal, host of “Making a Living with Maggie” on Martha Stewart Living Radio
  • When looking for a job, there’s a difference between stalking and seeking! Don’t reply or mention potential employers excessively, from David Gaspin, @davidgaspin, Head of Talent Acquisition at
  • Be open and friendly. Respond to people, thank them, mention them. Stelter always replies and his bio has all his contact information. (not necessary but definitely friendly), from David Gaspin
  • When tweeting, don’t forget all the rules journalists already follow. Check grammar and be ethical, from Serbino Sandifer-Walker, @sswalker, journalism professor at Texas Southern University
  • Have an interesting background on your Twitter page, put professional information in Twitter bio and something a bit personal, to add character from Mauricio, @rightmau, strategist at ROKKANmedia
  • Find a # that relates to your field and mention in in tweets to connect

Helpful lingo and sites, some taken from Shorty Awards “Short Tweet Guide” from Gregory Galant, @gregory, CEO/co-founder of Sawhorse Media

  • MT – modified tweet
  • RT – retweet
  • OMG – oh my god
  • BTW – by the way
  • IMHO – in my humble opinion – find people and lists to follow – find journalists on Twitter – find out who your top 100 followers are, find common friends, people to follow – manage social media accounts by scheduling tweets, keeping track of followers and interactions. also automatically shortens links – similar to hootsuite, but developed by Twitter – gives detailed Twitter report, how many RTs, impressions, etc. still in beta, example: – animates tweets beautfilly, great backdrop during a conference like #smwknd – creates a story out of social media, example by @opride:

Be Better at Twitter: The Definitive, Data-Driven Guide – Megan Garber – Technology – The Atlantic.