I have a lot of great people looking our for me. I can’t thank them enough. Unfortunately, all their suggestions, prompts, networking, etc., have — so far — not even garnered an interview. It’s not their fault, it’s not my fault, it’s not the fault of the people these degrees of separation are reaching.
Case in point, one of our good friends reached out to one of her friends. Below is the letter she received in response. I have changed as much of the details as possible to preserve everyone’s anonymity and still keep the message.
My own connections at [organization] are tenuous at this point, because the organization has changed so much since I was there (new CEO taking over just as I left), and the communications dept was totally overhauled, with an emphasis on social media and making ads rather than real writing. However, one never knows. The name of the person to contact is the head of Human Resources….. If they are still operating as they did when I was there, resumes passed along through other channels are not so welcome. But, if you would send me the resume, I’ll also forward it to the head of the department I worked in, in case something has opened up in proposal writing. Your friend would then know whether such outreach to … might be productive.I am sorry your friend is in such a tough position, because he sounds really experienced and qualified. New Jersey Jewish News has changed and slimmed down a lot, as has the Star Ledger. Print journalism is really suffering right now — and just at the moment when we need a strong and independent press! Unfortunately, at the very same time, … organizations that once hired strong writers have also gotten weaker, and those that still have budgets seem to be hiring kids who write for the web and make videos with their phones. It’s got to be frustrating for all the good writers out there. Colleges and universities might be good places to look, as well as other cultural institutions, as they still publish nice annual and trustee reports, do proposals to funders, have correspondence to get out, and do promotional writing of all kinds that lands in print media. I really wish your friend luck with his search.
And with all dues modesty, yes, it is exceedingly frustrating.
And so it goes.
Problem is, I spent 22 years at one job prior to the newspaper, and another dozen at the paper, so my skill set is very specialized. I’m a quick study and have already taken it upon myself to learn the new paradigms. The question is, will someone give me a chance?
Again, thanks to all of you who have offered suggestions or contacts. The drinks are on me if one of these leads leads to something.