Making inroads to a career in journalism can be tough.
The Guardian career section gathered together journalists and trainers from Reuters, The BBC, Bloomberg, City College and more to discuss how to get ahead. Here are IJNet's main takeaways from the webchat.
Find a way to demonstrate your interest. "Showing a passion for journalism will mark you out from the crowd. In my experience it's surprising how many people apply for positions with no previous experience - even if that experience is just shadowing a day or two," said James Porter, a veteran BBC journalist who is now at the BBC College of Journalism.
For current students, Porter also recommended getting involved in student media, local papers or radio stations for work experience. "All of these help prove this is not a whim but a real passion," he said.
Self-publish. "Create your content and get it talked about - create a website or blog and get a chance to make people notice it. I know a computer game journalist who took this route to land his dream job," said Ross Hawkes, a senior lecturer in journalism at Staffordshire University and a founder of nonprofit hyperlocal project Lichfield Live.
Get techy. "Technology as we all know is becoming increasingly important to broadcasters, in terms of the way we use it in our programs (video walls/touchscreens etc), and the material we generate to feed the web, as we see the growth of special apps, online videos etc, and the ability to shoot your footage, gaining the technical skills will give you a huge advantage over the competition..." said Maryam Nemazee, host of Bloomberg's "The Pulse with Maryam Nemazee,"
Consider specializing. "Most of the jobs in editorial at Reuters are now financial journalism...," notes Belinda Goldsmith the global head of editorial learning at Reuters. "We also have general news reporters, however all general news reporters need to also write about finance and explain how political and other news events impact the financial markets and a country's economy and its people."
Look for jobs that didn't exist 10 years ago. "These days many graduates end up in the multimedia world - doing jobs which did not exist 10 years ago," said Professor Suzanne Franks, the head of undergraduate journalism at City University London. "There are social media openings at all kinds of institutions, which is certainly a good way to get a foot in the door." Recent City grads have landed jobs at Net Media Planet, AOL's Autoblog and gadget review site Pocketlint.
You can read the complete chat transcript here.