The Front Page News Technique

This technique works well for those in publishing and other creative fields. Create a one-page newspaper with yourself as the headline and sideline stories. It requires a great deal of creativity and technical expertise; otherwise it can come off as a sappy stunt. Your objective is to create a page of professional copy, just as you might on the job. Your headline story could be your pending graduation, with sideline stories including reporter interviews with your key references, and possibly even a reference to the targeted employer in the business section of the paper.

Creativity can often be the differentiator for getting you the interview.

A journalism major used this technique and re-created the exact format and headlines of the paper to which she was applying. They were naturally quite impressed and granted her the interview over very heavy competition.

A spin on this technique: a graduate who was seeking a job in desktop publishing was asked by a prospective employer if she had experience with PageMaker (which was the in-house product of choice). She replied that she had extensive experience with Quark (on a Mac) and that she was confident she could pick up PageMaker in a very short time. She trained herself on the product and developed the "Front Page News" sheet with PageMaker as proof of her new expertise, including practical illustrations of some of the more complex formatting techniques. She presented the page as a "show-and-tell" item at her interview—and had a job offer in hand before the day was over!