This summer, like the last one (and many before) will see graduates unleashed onto the workforce looking to gain that all important first rung on the ladder of their media career. PB’s Joe Mahoney offers up some valuable tips to those about to embark on the hunt for their first job.
1. Keep in touch with as many people as you can – uni mates, past employers from work experience can be a good source of information and can give you a heads up on what’s happening.
2. Think about your online profile and the impression it gives of you to potential employers. Although production companies don’t actively search for graduates via networking sites such as Facebook, they may do a quick check on you prior to an interview. So make sure it doesn’t have embarrassing photos of you throwing up on the pavement from a night out nor has derogatory comments about other people.
3. Join your university alumni society; it’s a great way to network.
4. Learn to sell yourself and your skills. This doesn’t mean boasting; it simply means promoting yourself in a good light and thinking positively about all the experiences you have gained so far (which, granted, won’t be a lot) and conveying them to companies both on your CV and at interview.
5. Avoid spelling mistakes on covering letters and CV. It’s an obvious one but spelling and grammar still count. If you can’t get your most important sales doc right then it might just tip the balance of getting that interview away from you.
6. Make sure your applications are high quality and individual to each job. Don’t fire off the same CV to everyone – it will seem impersonal and obvious that you’re just taking a scatter gun approach.
7. Do your research. If a production company is renowned for making a certain type of show then it helps to have a genuine interest in their output.#
8. If you’re lucky to get that interview, don’t offer up your amazing programme ideas unprompted. I’m sure your head is bursting with Bafta winning shows, but you’ll simply come across as cocky. You’re far more likely to be asked about the company’s recent slate so have some constructive comments on why you like them
9. Don’t dress like you’ve just fallen out of bed, come clean and groomed – appearances matter.
10. Stay positive. Finding that entry-level job can be hard and time consuming but don’t get fed up – telly is a great industry to work in, very rewarding and you’ll get to work with some amazing people that may change your life (usually for the better!).
Joe Mahoney is Managing Director of ProductionBase