Here are my top 5 tips if you want to be a broadcast journalist.
1) Persistence, persistence, persistence!
It took several failed applications and interviews for me to finally get a foot in the industry door. Don’t give up, the more doors you knock on, the more likely someone is to answer. I once even lived in a hotel for 3 months (very Alan Partridge!) whilst freelancing because I knew there was the possibility of a job at the end of it… which I later got.
2) A conversation can go a long way…
Don’t be afraid to have informal chats with people in the industry. There may not be a job going at their place right now, but a conversation goes a long way and they may well remember you when they recruit in the future. Get your name out there!
3) Be flexible with distance.
I’m from Chelmsford in Essex originally, but I lived and worked in Coventry and Warwickshire for 3 years and have recently moved down to the South West and now live in Bristol. I understand this is often a case by case thing, but I’ve found journalism a good way of exploring new parts of the country and making a fresh start.
4) Listen to the radio station you want to work for.
This sounds obviously really but there is nothing more embarrassing than going for a job interview and knowing nothing about the station. Get an idea of how it works, the target audience, the areas they cover and the type of music they play.
5) Once you’re through the door – make yourself useful!
Ask questions, bring ideas to the table, make your mark. I’ve always had much more time for someone who’s enthusiastic with an appetite for learning new skills, over someone who sits and waits to be given something to do. And there’s nothing wrong with knowing how to make a decent cup of tea if nothing else!