Off The Press

February 19, 2013

By Kathleen R. Merrill

Getting hired doesn’t have to be this hard

I’ve just finished hiring a new reporter for The Issaquah Press.

It never ceases to amaze me, when we advertise for help, the strange and sometimes ugly replies we get from people. Last week, I thought maybe a kind of list of do’s and don’ts might help people in their job search. Of course, these aren’t concrete rules, but as a hiring manager, these are some things I look for. Or not.

Kathleen R. Merrill Press managing editor

Kathleen R. Merrill
Press managing editor

1. “Dear sir or madam.” Don’t write that. If you can’t take the few minutes it would take to learn my name and put it on your cover letter, how can I be sure you’ll check out the things you should if you worked here?

2. Make sure you send me the correct cover letter. I know people need to apply multiple places, but don’t send me a letter addressed to Butch Jones at the Waukegan Sun. (Those names are both made up, by the way.)

3. No phone calls. More than 70 people applied for the most recent position we had open. I had my hands full adding all of these to my daily tasks. (I did read and consider all of them.) If the ad says no calls, please don’t call.

4. Have the skills for the job. Being a journalist does require various skills and experience. If I say in the ad I want two years of experience, and you’re one month out of college, sorry, you are not qualified. And, please don’t say, “I always thought writing for a newspaper would be cool,” when you’ve never written for one. I think brain surgery is cool, but I wouldn’t apply to be one.

5. Please don’t email me every day asking if I got your résumé/clips. I do try to answer everyone, but if I am interested in you for the job, I will contact you.

6. And finally, don’t be nasty if you don’t get the job. I need the best person for the community, my staff and the position. If you don’t get the job, don’t burn a bridge by being hateful. Be a class act.


Bob Taylor honored

Speaking of class acts, our own Bob Taylor, our former sports editor who passed away in December, was recently named Media Person of The Year by the Washington State Track and Field Coaches Association.

He knew he was getting the award and he was thrilled. We here at The Press were thrilled these folks remembered Bob nearly a year after he retired.

Thanks, coaches.


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