Forget the Want Ads: How to Use the Newspaper to Enhance Your Job Search

by Anne Guldin Lucas and Peggy Curchack


How do you read the newspaper?  No, I don’t mean on your Kindle, computer screen, or on old-fashioned newsprint.  Rather, what are you learning from the papers you read?  Do you seek sports scores and recaps or do you anxiously study regional news for the latest Philadelphia crime reports?  The articles you choose may offer insights into your career interests, and may give you information that can get you closer to your career goal.

Business-focused Penn students have always read the papers to prepare for their interviews, noting merger and acquisition news and carefully noting the Dow and S & P numbers.

However, there are lots of other specific career-related sections or columns of newspapers that are worth reading too.  Using the New York Times as an example, the “Science Times” section in the Tuesday edition will inform you of who is doing what in a great many research areas, citing specific scientists, projects, and ongoing research both domestic and international.  The “Arts” section is a source of rich information on arts management, including names of leading galleries, managers, and fund raisers.  For those interested in the Beltway, The Washington Post is must reading, and can help identify people and organizations from whom to seek jobs and internships.

Start reading the newspaper like you’re a detective, and you’ll be amazed with what you find.  Even something like this (a postscript to an article) may offer an unexpected opportunity: “Travel expenses were paid in part by readers of Spot.Us, a nonprofit Web project that supports freelance journalists.”

Author: Anne Lucas

Anne Lucas is a career counselor at Penn Career Services. Currently, she works with students in the College of Arts & Sciences.