Thursday, February 17, 2011

I want to help you

As many of you know by now, I resigned from my job in Missouri last week and moved back to Louisiana. I'm hoping to find full-time and/or freelance writing work, preferably in Baton Rouge or New Orleans, or online. But I'm not ruling out other areas or fields if the gig is right.

To that end, I've decided to write up a list of my positive aspects, and why potential employers should take notice. This took a while to write, because in terms of describing myself, I can be pretty humble and self-deprecating. Also, there was a lot to list!

They say a cover letter should be only one page long. Fortunately, this is the Internet, so this is less than a page long, technically speaking.

Those of you who are regular readers of this blog already know how awesome I am. But for those of you who don't, or who want to know more, here's what you should know about me:

I’m educated. When I say college was seven of the best years of my life, it’s not because I partied like Bluto Blutarsky. I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism (2002) and a master’s degree in English (2005) from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, and plan one day to obtain a doctorate. I have an insatiable hunger for learning that hasn’t abated since I finished school.

I’m trained. If I had a Wikipedia entry, it could reasonably say my active years are 1993-present. My first experience as a journalist was as a writer and reporter for my middle school newspaper in 8th grade. I took the class because, at the end of 7th grade, I had turned in my schedule request too late and all I could get was my third-choice elective, journalism. I barely knew what the class did, but it turned out to be a perfect fit.

I researched stories (my first was a history of recorded music from wax cylinders to CDs), conducted interviews (I had special permission to carry around a tape recorder), drew cartoons and even did a schoolwide survey on music tastes. I later served as the co-editor in chief (and writer/cartoonist/designer) of my high school newspaper, during which time we made it an all-digital production and gave it its first-ever color covers.

As a first-semester freshman in college, I joined the UL Vermilion weekly as their youngest staff writer. I broke my first front-cover story soon afterward. I stayed a year and wrote for a month in 2001, then rejoined in 2002 as the liberal columnist. I served in that position until 2005, a span of 99 issues. That position — and the discussion it always sparked — led to the creation of this blog in 2004. Whether or not I’m working in the field at a given moment, I always crave an outlet for written expression.

Since college, I’ve worked for some of the largest dailies in Louisiana and Missouri. I have worked as a news reporter, a government stringer, a political columnist, a sports writer, a copy editor and a website editor.

I’m loyal. I do not work for a company, firm or team unless I believe in their mission or cause and my role in it. I’m as interested in your reputation as I am my own. And I adhere to all ethical and writing standards the job calls for.

I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty, either. I worked for seven years as the equipment manager for the UL track team, along with other physically demanding jobs, while pursuing freelance writing and video work on the side.

I’m indispensable. I’ve never been fired from any job. Nor have I been laid off. When I’ve left a job, I’ve almost always had someone say a variation of, “this place won’t be the same without you around.” I’m not quick to leave a good gig, but I try to leave it in better shape when I do.

I’m healthy. I am very physically active and I watch what I eat. I didn’t call in sick a single day in four years at my most recent position. That, combined with my ruthless work ethic, means you can count on me.

I’m passionate. I have tremendously diverse interests and I’ll light up talking about any of them. Politics. Sports. Facebook. Exercise. Nutrition. Cars. Television. Books. Travel. Games. Computers. I’m not your garden-variety couch potato.

I get around. I’m hardly a homebody. I love to travel, and it’s something I feel like I don’t do nearly enough. I’m the kind of person who will go visit someone rather than call them on the phone. I have friends and connections all over the country.

I live in the now. The Internet might be endangering journalism’s enduring business models, but the demand for journalism itself is stronger than ever. In an age where literally anyone can say what they want online, it’s up to an educated, connected and savvy media to serve as guardians for the truth and for informed opinion. It’s a huge yet important responsibility, one that will require fearless, forward-thinking people.

I’m game.

1 comment:

Mustang Bobby said...

Good luck in whatever you do, Ian. I'm sure you'll find something. I sense greatness.