It is a well-known fact that the media industry, especially broadcast journalism, is one of the hardest places to find a job. The most important factors are work experience and the qualifications to show that you fit the job description. Here are my top tips for getting yourself noticed and putting your foot in the door of your dream job.
Article by Emily J.
Work Experience and Internships
Use your time at University wisely, don’t leave experience until the last minute, or until you have finished your degree. Whilst you are there you are on a ticking time bomb. You have the luxury of living off a loan and should take full advantage of this. Summer should be a time for internships and work placements with local newspapers, TV broadcasters, magazines and copywriters. Make these choices whilst you can afford it. When the real world of bills and council tax sets in for the first time it will all be too late for this to realistically happen.
It’s All About Who You Know
Yes, this is an overused phrase, but bear with me. Get to know the University lecturers who run the journalism courses, written and practical. Find out about their past and contacts they may still have with various broadcasting companies. This may well improve your chances of instigating a work experience placement and provide you with references to enhance your CV. Equally, maintaining a network of media relationships could be the difference between you landing a job in the industry, and falling flat at the last hurdle.
Once you have finished University, do not give up on your dream job, but do give up on the idea of immediacy. Signing up with agencies for freelance work is a good option so that you keep your hand in with your journalism skillset, and keep the passion for what you love. However, you should never sell yourself short. If you start charging significantly less than others, you risk showing that you are not as good as a professional; you have to have the self-belief to recognise that you are. Even if you have to go back to working full time in a supermarket, remember this is only temporary whilst you find your feet in the media industry.
Always Be Available
When you do get that call about a placement or your first serious job interview, make every effort to be available. Countless times I have missed interviews because I could not be available on short notice, and you will always wonder about what could have been. Your future is more important than anything, this is the golden rule.
Think about what you have to offer and sell it. The most effective ways to do this are to make your own flashy business cards and LinkedIn account. Alternatively if you have a keen eye for web design, make your own website, in turn demonstrating another set of skills you possess.
If you and a friend are both seeking work in the field, then working together on a temporary freelance basis can improve team working skills, whilst having double the amount of creative flair to input into a project. Be proactive. Approach organisations with well-researched proposals on how creating a short series of films for their company can be beneficial.
For all of this to pay off, you need an excellent portfolio of films. Even if you did a short film as part of your course, it is an excellent example of your skills. Just one film shows your ability to work to deadlines, organise members of the public, interview skills, camera operation and much more.
Emily is a University graduate, seeking entry into the journalism field in order to eventually obtain her dream job as a technology journalist.
Featured Image: Jeff Maurone