Watch A Journalist-For-Hire, Master Networker

Networking…get it? Har har har.

Furhana Afrid may be the journalist with the strongest networking skills ever.

She’s a video/multimedia journalist (LinkedIn) currently “looking for the right fit,” she told us, and is working the heck out of her network.

Read this excerpt from a recent live chat the Reynolds Center for Business Journalism hosted with Hilary Schneider, who is (for now; until April 2011) executive vice president of the Americas region at Yahoo!. AKA, a big deal. Schneider was there to talk about the general journalism outlook and some new initiatives Yahoo’s working on, like its relaunch of Associated Content as the Yahoo Contributor Network.

Furhana Afrid:
I am a video journalist in the U.S. with field producing, shooting, editing, on-air experience, and looking for my next career opportunity. Could you talk about opportunities at Yahoo. Thanks

hilary schneider:
Yahoo is growing in its creation of original video content and as such is looking to expand its base of video journalist who can work in the digital environment. You should take a look at our web site to check out the open positions we are currently recruiting for.

Then, 20 minutes later…

Furhana Afrid:
Hilary, I’ve looked at the Yahoo site for suitable jobs on the video journalism side. None so far. But I’d like to send my inquiry to the video folks there. Who should I be networking with?

hilary schneider:
Feel free to send the inquiries to me at and I can forward the interest to the right teams.

Kind of incredible if you think about it. But that’s not all…

Afrid later told us that finding an insider is core to her entire jobsearch strategy. “The only thing that is effective is finding an insider. Otherwise, nothing works. Pretty much anything I did [using] just online [job boards] did not work.”

She says her training as a journalist has made her more able to get her points across: “I have a notepad & put 3 bullet points. If you only have 2 minutes what will you ask? I need a name or e-mail address and that’s it.”

For a job posting at CNN International, Afrid followed random CNNers on Twitter and asked for their advice. “There was someone who doesn’t know me but was willing to pass on my interest to a colleague internally. And I had an interview in a week.”

She’s even called the receptionists at the places she’s applied. “Whoever picks up the phone, have a conversation with them.” They’ve supplied her with advice, contacts, and tips.

It’s not easy for journalists, despite being used to asking questions of people in a professional setting, to ask questions in a more personal one. “I can tell you its never easy for me,” Afrid said. But you have to do it.

To hire the persistent-but-polite Afrid, check out her LinkedIn.

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