Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Perfect Candidates For Broadcast News

Experienced journalists have skills for broadcast news says an expert...

With a writing background your skills can be easily transferred, according to Bridgette Langmade Polmar, a ten-year veteran who has made a career out of covering stories for top local television stations in the Washington metropolitan area.She spoke recently at a Washington Independent Writer’s September workshop on “Writing For The Ear.” along with broadcast journalists Jennifer Davis and Jim Davis.Polmar offered some advice about how to write a story for broadcast news.

-Write like you were having a conversation with a friend.
-Break all the rules of grammar. Use nothing but contractions, half sentences, and no pronouns.
-Refer to everyone as “folks”. Folks at the bus stop, soccer field, and at the department store. Everybody is just plain folks.

-Don’t use an ellipse instead use dashes.

-Read your story out loud. The TV newsroom is loud and raucous with everyone talking to himself or herself at the level the story will be presented on camera.

-Producing a story for broadcast journalism it is a group effort, where you are a member of a team.

-Learn to work with a video editor, a cameraman, and photographer.

-Combine sound and pictures and write around them.

-Make your words clear and razor sharpNatural SoundCues for “Natural Sound” are integrated into every script. Music and graphics are added. The writer is a storyteller who uses his or her creativity to craft a story through pictures, sound and words. A horn honking, the sound of steps on a gravel driveway, laughter or birds makes up “natural sound.”

The writer in broadcast journalism enters these cues into the script but relies on a team of experts to shoot the shots and integrate the sound and edit the piece. Unlike print journalists who assume a god like role by evoking emotion through writing descriptions and dialogue, a broadcast journalist has different tricks to offer by artfully using film, video, and words to trigger emotion.“You can be brought to tears in 60 seconds through TV while it could take 15 minutes to create the same effect through a magazine article," said Polmar.

Even the way words of a story are counted is different. In TV everything is measured in seconds compared to counting words and lines in a news article.A broadcast writer’s job is to create a “paint by numbers” document that tells where the pictures will go and gives directions to the team and creates words that will later be read by an anchor.“Thirty percent of my job is watching tapes and writing around their contents. I work with a video editor picking out sound bites.

I brainstorm with the photographer to create a compelling interesting shot to open the story with,” according to Jim Davis, a freelance broadcast journalist who works for Cox News.Broadcast journalism has its own language. There is a kind of shorthand for such words as a vo, achor tag, anchor toss, Ap on track, double bites on vo etc. You learn this while working in media, said Jennifer Davis, a television reporter who has worked for Fox, CBS, Discovery, and National Geographic.Money While salaries for anchors may be higher, writers' salaries are decreasing in broadcast journalism, according to Polmar.

As a freelancer you can expect to make $50,000 a year or between $300 – 400 per day. As a freelancer, being a member of a Union ensures that you will have health benefits.On some jobs you are expected to write something each hour if you work an eight-hour day. Writing to meet deadlines is very important.

Establishing Your SelfBreaking into broadcast journalism can be challenging. Adopting an attitude of being “Fearless and shameless” helps,” according to Polmar.Networking is important. Don’t be afraid to call well-known people in the business asking for an informational interview in exchange for coffee. If they turn you down, keep going. Some well established people have a generous streak when it comes to beginners, she believes.Reading books will help speed up your learning curve. Check out “Successful Television Writing,” by Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin or bone up on the basics of speech writing in “Can You Say a Few Words,” by Joan Detz (St. Martin’s Press, April 2006).

“Rewriting Network News,” (1990) and “Writing Broadcast News,” (1977) by Mervin Block http://www.mervinblock.com/A portfolio of work is required before you get into the game. Finding an internship at a news organization is the way to go according to Polmar who ignited her own career by working as an intern for CNN.Once you’ve got samples to show of your work, it is time to get a job. Contact alumini who are in the field from college and invite them to lunch or dinner to develop contacts. Keep your campaign of cold calling active as a way of making new contacts.

Join Women in Film & Video Listseve at www@wif.com (subscription); Intl. Television and Video Assoc (Free on-line DC Production Guide) http://www.itvadic.org/, and http://www.mandy.com/ (free) Into Film & TV Production Resources.For employment resources check out: WIW Job Bank (subscription) http://www.washwriter.org/ to join.Freelance Marketplace (subscription)

posted by Barbara LaBier @ 12:15 PM 0 comments
Sunday, September 10, 2006

How Long Should My Resume Be?


Cutting your resume down to size may be as painful as cutting off your baby toe for some...but in today's world shorter is better.It's a fact that corporate resumes should be no longer than two pages long for people with a lifetime of experience. Remember an employer only wants to see the last ten years of your work history. If for example, you’ve done many things during your career but the experience most relevant to the job you're seeking occurred in 1992, you might consider writing a functional resume. There are tricks for overcoming your lack of work consistency that can still make you look presentable on paper.Your resume should high light the skills described by the job description which should be treated as a sacred document. Recent graduates or those headed for their first job should write resumes that are no longer than one page. There are exceptions, of course, to the rule. One client at Resume Crafters had a scientific background with most of her relevant experience in two internships. The articles she created were published in a prestigious scientific journal. The resume focused on her hands on studies in nature, awards and papers. In another case, a young anthropologist had most of her relevant experience not in jobs but in internships where she got to use the skills she was trained for conserving exhibitions. Most employers don’t want to read more than one page and are over whelmed with thousands of replies to their job advertisement that appear on line search engines such as Career Builder, Monster, Net-temps, or Hotjobs.

Keep this in mind when you edit your resume.Resumes written for the government have different rules. Each agency has its own criteria for writing your resume these days that is described in information accompaning the job description at http://www.usa.gov/ website where you can search for jobs. Government agencies are trying to reduce paper work across the enterprise and want shorter resumes. If you recall in the past, the 171 form was used to apply for a federal job. While you can still use this form or the shorter 612, agencies prefer a shorter resume. However, there are exceptions. The Holocaust Museum, for example, limits the number of characters and spaces you can use in developing the text for each position. Several months ago an executive position was open in the marketing department. According to a job specialist, the length of the document could be from two pages to 16 pages.

The number of spaces and characters were specified and they numbered in the thousands. Resumes, I was informed are scanned and matched against specific job criteria that have been set up for each job. The resumes that make the final cut are set aside. Several months down the road high-ranking job candidates are interviewed.Barbara LaBier
posted by Barbara LaBier @ 6:42 AM 0 comments
Wednesday, September 06, 2006



Executive Tips for Your Job



Act enthusiastic about the job. Employers are impressed by your energy level and a willingness to jump in and learn.


While your college pedigree may be impeccable what is more impressive to an interviewer is knowing details about an organization where you are applying -- such as the number of employees on staff, how large it is and what they do.


If during the interview, If you’re asked about what you’d do on your first day on the job don’t tell a potential employer that you have a vision for changing the organization. In other words don’t over reach. Become familiar with the corporate culture before making suggestions about changes


Rehearse answers to even the most predictable inquires such as “What’s the most challenging business problem you’ve ever faced and how did you handle it?” Avoid appearing like a the deer-caught in the headlights withs double takes and vague replies. Don’t be caught off guard by questions that seem to make you look unprepared. Make sure you’ve researched details that you can weave into the conversation.


You can memorize your lines but don’t deliver them at the wrong time.


Never sound boring or become intimidated by your interviewer. Always have a few anecdotes you’ve prepared to illustrate a point to make the conversation interesting.


Answer questions calmly and stand your ground. Be honest and show your integrity, don’t allow the interview to make you sound angry or defensive.


Answer questions with an easy smile and disarming rapport and earn an extra two or three minutes to present your case just because you’re likeable.


While it is good to be assertive and confident, don’t over due it. Shiny surfaces don’t impress executives who look beneath them. Employers are thinking about the candidate for the job in these terms," I have to like this person, think their nice. Can I work with this person everyday? Can I be in a meeting with him or her? Can I talk to him or her? Do I want my clients to be with him or her? Does this person fit into our culture?


Be open about your life as a wife or husband and businessperson. Don’t be afraid of adding anecdotes about your family if they are relevant and serve a point.


It’s the oldest interview question in the book: what are your weaknesses? Tell the truth. Trying to hide every imperfection may result in revealing things you never meant too.


Law school, business school, professional football, your own company, you may seem to have it all except a sense of direction about f where you’re headed today. Your interviewer may think that if they hire you, you many change course again. Don’t let your interviewer see your weakness. Give yourself a clear direction in life, at least for the interview.


Make sure you can talk about past jobs in length including the one you are applying for. Explain how your prior experiences have prepared you for the current job you are applying for. What personal growth do you hope to achieve at the new job and what can you contribute?“See yourself as victorious. We have a lot of chances and opportunities and the timetable for achievement is often greater than we think it is. Don’t ever shortchange yourself on what life has to offer. The only losers are people who never try. Failing means you tried something. That means you are capable of trying again, which means you are capable of success. It is very important to remain optimistic and keep moving forward. But above all, you can never give up. Never, ever, give up. Be tenacious. It is the best way to handle setbacks and the best way to achieve success. Believe in yourself in all circumstances.” --- Donald Trump.


Tell me about your leadership style- what’s it like to work for you?·

Would you enjoy working for you?·

When it is appropriate to bend the rules?·

What do you think would be your ideal job in this organization?·

How important is education to you?·

Do you consider yourself a loyal employee?·

Who is on your enemy list?·

Why should this company hire you for this job?

Material for this article comes from Lessons from the Apprentice, by Michael Robin. The reality television show The Apprentice aired on CBS staring Donald Trump and his staff of advisors. During a 13-week period last fall , contestants competed for a job at Trump Enterprises. They were interviewed and tasked with grueling professional challenges.


What does romantic love and a good job have in common? A great deal, according to E.L. Kersten , a former professor of organizational communications. His article, appears in the February's Harvard Business Review.The romantic ideal of finding a perfect mate is doomed to failure Kersten argues because of unrealistic expectations. If you hold on to these false expectations, the author says you'll end up disappointed and make your life partner miserable. In the same way he says employees get excited about the corporate ideal of the “right job.” A job that will meet all your needs rarely exists. People who subscribe to these beliefs have bought into a personalized version of Maslow’s hierarchy of Needs customized to fit their ideals. They too share a fantasy that they soon discover rarely happens. As a result employees feel frustrated, disappointed and demeaned when they discover that business is more interested in what they do than who they are.

Statistic reveal that last year only 50% of U.S. workers were satisfied with their jobs, the lowest point yet in a steady decline that began in 1995, says the author. With an exception of a few years, job satisfaction in the U.K. has been dropping since 1991 according to research done at the University of Kent.Participants in a study complained about the lack of personal fulfillment, “robotic” meaningless work, work/ life imbalance, insufficient acknowledgement of efforts and lack of influence with supervisors. Conventional wisdom blames unhappiness on poor leadership and a bad work environment. But have working conditions in the past decade really degraded so much for so many? Decline in satisfaction persists in periods when employers have the ability to make changes and when workers have been lucky to have jobs at all. Moreover, an average worker spends more than two hours of each eight-hour day surfing the Internet, conducting personal business or just spacing out. This suggests that many employees have autonomy and a manageable workload.Perhaps employees are dissatisfied because they’ve been taught to expect too much from their jobs, Kersten says.

In the 1990’s organizational behaviorists concluded that great work environments would produce happy, productive workers. Humanists suggested that work should be a vehicle for growth and self-expression. These ideas became part of conversation for companies and observers of companies including management companies and the business press. Employees as a result came to expect that their jobs would be satisfying and meaningful and their employers would help them grow professionally and develop their true potential.

Much misery could be avoided if employees do not expect companies to imbue their lives with meaning. You have the right to expect a decent wage, good working conditions but not self-fulfillment from your employer concludes Kersten.This article was abstracted from Breakthrough ideas for 2006, Harvard Business Review “Why they call it work”, by E.L. Kersten a former professor of organizational communications.. Kersten heads a company in Austin Texas that produces satirical products for the office.


Great intimidators create fear and loathing at work but they also create value in the work place, according to Roderick M. Kramer, a organizational psychologist whose has written about intimidating bosses in February's Harvard Business Review.Kramer found from his research that intimidators have great political intelligence and are able to utilize the weakness and insecurities of others to get what they want through manipulation. They use the strategy of keeping everyone guessing because it is easier to change direction without losing credibility if people don’t know where you’re coming from, catching them by surprise. Despite all the chaos they create, intimidators are magnets for the best and brightest workers.People want to learn from them and they inspire great performance. In the best situation, they are able to turn around organizations and in the worst situation may find themselves suddenly fired.

To subordinates, they may be unfeeling, cold, and abusive. Rage is always an option to strike fear in the heart of those who have displeased them. Employees are left with fear, trepidation and anxiety about being fired. In general intimidators are detailed oriented and do their homework. The great ones are organized, clear thinking, tough-minded and surround themselves with smart people who can engage in combat with them.

They have people skills that can be turned on instantly when sucking up to those who count in their world as well as being cold, icy, and dismissive to subordinates.So if it’s your luck to be promoted to a job under one of them, how do you survive? The trick to reaping big benefits, says Kramer, is to find a way to work effectively with them and get them to mentor you. Here are a few suggestions to get on their good side:


Check out the great intimidator’s past. Find out which people have managed to work effectively with them. Learn what worked and what did not.


Work smarter and not harder means being efficient and clever with one’s time. Putting in time may impress the great intimidator even more. Matching their energy and drive is one way to get their attention. Work nights, weekends… give 200 percent. Be open to getting anything, anywhere and any time, Kramer suggests.


Proving yourself unflappable is a great way to impress them.


If you suspect they are mixing truth and fiction say out loud “I don’t believe it.” This puts the ball back in the intimidator’s court by showing you're not a push over. Show you’re tough under pressures and that your inner steel matches their own.


Don’t take things too seriously. One employer purposely interviewed his candidates by having them sit in the hot seat in an office with the hot sun streaming in a through a window while he remained in darkness. He secretly buzzed his secretary to come in very few minutes with new information to disorient the candidate and throw him off. However, he persevered and got the job.


Don’t pack your bag and leave because you want an easier job but remember why you wanted to work for the great intimidator in the first place. By learning through the processes of working for him, you can sharpen your own negotiation skills.Abstracted from the article, The Great Intimidator, by Roderick M. Kramer, Harvard Business Review, February 20006


Executive recruiting, one of the most exclusive businesses around, is finally opening up its membership and that is paving the way for fresh faces according to Roger O. Crockett in February's Business Week. large headhunting firms are promoting new search talent including Heidrick & Struggles International Inc, and James Citrin at Spencer Stuart, who is part of the old boy network. But perhaps the most notable elite are Roger Tribbett and partner Andrea Redmond, co-directors of their CEO and Board practice at Russell Reynolds Associates, Inc. The pair has been shaking up and the corporate world. For years Roche, 74, has ruled this high stake business as senior chairman at Heidrick and by Thomas J. Neff, 67, chairman of Spencer Stuart. It used to be that CEO succession was about attracting stars during the go-go 90’s. But the corporate world and the game of executive search is changing.

Today’s work force is more mobile. Loyality has been usurped by mobility even at the top.CEO turnover of 12 percent now matches the normal attrition rate for all employees. According to BNA Inc, the rate of CEO dismissals among the world’s 2500 largest public companies increased by 300 percent from 1995 to 2004. At a time when China and India are the hot markets and Latinos, the surging population and Gen X workers are replacing aging baby boomers.There is no inner sanctum more controlled by elder white males. says Joseph Daniel McCool, former editor of Executive Recruiter News.Andrea and Charles represent fresh perspective in an industry that in many ways was antiquated.

They are trying to get boards to think differe4ntly about leadership. Redmond is 49, is one of the few women at her level in the industry, Tribbett, 50, is regarded as the highest ranking African American in the industry"We’re going beyond the top 10 companies for CEO’s "says Tribbett. When they are on assignment they try to become insiders at the company, familiar with its troubles, prospects, and culture. They suggest unknown names.If someone shoots you down one day, you have to come back another day and say I listened and understand exactly what you are saying but I would like you to hear me out on this.


Family time suffers, hobbies get shelved, work vacations don’t exist.“If you ‘re running an organization, you can’t wake up Monday and decide to check your email,” says Redmond.


Executives should stay at one company for at least five years. Two or three years is not enough tenure to demonstrate success.


There is no substitute for working abroad. Boards want global executives who can diversify the company.


Managers with big ambitions should find an executive coach... someone who can advise them on career moves and once they arrive, serve as a confidantInformation abstracted from Business Week –Roger O. Crockett The New Kingmakers,- February2006


Coaching may soon become part of the telemedicine and telehealth movement in the near future ...Right now, however, E-therapy is one of the most innovate therapies being used by psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors overcoming major health barriers such as distance, scheduling, stigma and cost.Therapy via the internet uses email, handheld computer devices, computerized telephone systems and websites and streaming video to treat conditions such as anxiety, addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder for clients who in many cases could not receive traditionally therapy because of location and other problems.For example, in San Jose California, office of addiction counselor Leslie Washburn, welcomes a group of alumni of an intensive alcohol treatment.

The therapy sessions are broadcast using streaming video. The faces of 7 patients are broadcast individually on separate screens as they converse using microphones while participating in a group session. The therapist is located at the center on another computer. A list of screen names appears at the bottom of each screen as the members arrive. One logs in from Alaska, another from Cairo, Egypt and others from other cities in the US. The computer screen captures the intense emotions from each client's face and voice as they recount the events and problems of the previous week.Jay Shore, a psychiatrist at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center at the Veterans Administration Health Center, says this hi-tech treatment is already the norm for him.. Only four of his 20 hour a weekly clinical hours are traditionally face-to-face psychiatry, the rest involve patients located hundreds of miles away. For three years he’s conducted weekly group therapy using videoconferencing for Vietnam veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.How well do these therapies work?

According to a study being conducted at Penn State, preliminary findings indicate that the computer works as well as face-to-face therapy and is a lot cheaper. However, according to the American Psychological Association much more research is needed to determine how effective this type of therapy really is. what problems do you get quality health care.

This article was abridged from The Promise of Therapy by Beryl Lieff Benderly from Volume 16, Scientific American Mind. E of success.

posted by Barbara LaBier @ 6:05 AM 0 comments
Saturday, September 02, 2006

McJob News

The Fate of Older Workers Get Better with Time According to Studies...

Many baby boomers who turn 60 this year are retiring and 25 year olds may take their places.This seems like a good deal to some employers. As more people retire the workforce will become filled with flexible, young, cheaper labor who have years of productive service ahead of them.Right now, workplace policies, age-discrimination and early retirement incentives push older workers out of full-time jobs; and, when they leave they take critical knowledge, relationships and expertise with them. according to Catherine Green, of Green Consulting Group, a leading futurist organization located in Chevy Chase, MD. She spoke at a 40 plus Meeting held in Washington last month.As time marches on, changing demographics will highlight the fact that there are fewer younger workers available to work. One of these days, older workers will be sorely missed at the workplace, according to studies that predict a competition for talent among US companies for older workers by 2015. Eventually, some of them will be appreciated and treated as rare jewels.Why? Because older workers have it over young folks.

The older generation has values, customer service and problem solving skills that are lacking in some of the younger generation. On the other hand, older workers are more set in their ways and have expensive health benefits. Because there were certain periods when fewer children were born in the US, there is a growing shortage of younger workers.Every older worker will not be accepted with open arms. It is only the best of the older workers who will be sought after with special employment treatment, says Green. Meanwhile, you can work at Home Depot and other companies who are interested in hiring older workers. See the link below.But what if you can’t retire because of your financial situation or other reasons? What are your options?Green suggests continuing to upgrade your skills.

There are certain industries such as health care that are desperate for workers and other areas that are discussed in studies created by AARP that are located in the links located below. Baby boomers are considered to be the most outspoken and activist generation in history. Today’s employers must be educated to see the value in an aging workforce, and most likely baby boomers will be up to the job of changing their minds.AARP has put together a study examining the recruitment and retention of workers as business case perspectives. See links below to look at jobsites where you can find employers who are seeking older works and where a job search can be performed.Examples of employer practices to attract and retain 50+ workers:http://www.aarp.org/research/work/employment/aresearch-import-892.htmlThe careers section of AARP’s web site:http://www.aarp.org/careers/ This site lists the employers that participate in the AARP National Employer Team, which connects employers who are interested in hiring 50+ workers with job seekers.http://www.aarp.org/featuredemployersThis site explains the AARP employer recognition program and includes information about some of the practices that these employers have in place to attract and retain 50+ workershttp://www.aarp.org/bestemployers

Barbara LaBier posted by Barbara LaBier @ 6:06 PM 0 comments

About Me
Name: Barbara LaBier
Location: Washington, D.C., United States
This blog is dedicated to exploring job related issues and events
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