Why shorthand gives you an advantage at job interviews

Shorthand will prove an advantage in job interviews in the media

Shorthand will prove an advantage in job interviews in the media Photo credit: Ed Yourdon via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Shorthand is one the biggest assets that a new graduate can have when they are applying for jobs and having interviews in the media.

In journalism,  people who know shorthand will be put to the top of the pile. They will be the preferred candidates.  This isn’t just my word.

Martin Winter, managing director of SWNS, the UK’s largest independent press agency, said he doesn’t employ new trainees unless they can write in shorthand.

‘It’s an essential skill, even in this day and age with smartphones. Reporters still need to go to court, to interview people, and keep clear notes.’

The company sends many of its staff onto the nationals in London.

Those who can’t write in shorthand will have their applications thrown out in the majority of cases. Even if they don’t currently know shorthand they will be expected to learn it.

This is especially true for people who want to work in newspapers, magazines, websites, or in broadcast. Basically any job that requires interviewing people, or taking down notes from somebody that is speaking.

These are the reasons why editors prefer to employ somebody who has learned shorthand.

  • Professional. People who know shorthand have shown a dedication to their chosen profession. They come across as committed individuals who have gone to great lengths to acquire the necessary skills.
  • Tradition. Many editors are old-school and they love tradition. Nothing embodies tradition more than shorthand.
  • Trust and safety. People who can record speech accurately are less likely to make mistakes which could embarrass the organisation
  • Keeping a record. Writing things in shorthand means that there are often records of conversations that have taken place. This can prove very handy in the future if there are legal queries.
  • Speed. Doing things quickly is important in the media. There are deadlines to meet and a 24-7 demand for news. Shorthand allows journalists to work faster.

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