State Employee Grant Program

How do I get my first job in broadcasting?

They all want experience. How do I get it?

There are as many ways in the door as there are doors.
If you are in college, get involved with your college radio station or newspaper. Take courses that will give you a background in one of the job-specific knowledge areas outlined above. If you are out of college and looking for your first job, check with your college's career center. If you are looking for a career change, think about those aspects of your background that give you skills in a particular area.

Teachers, for instance, often make good salespeople, because selling involves teaching clients how advertising can help grow their businesses. Computer skills are translatable across many fields, including broadcasting -- particularly as more aspects of station operations become "digitized" -- and are fast becoming required even for entry-level jobs.

Some college and community radio stations will enlist volunteers to host programs during school breaks and summer vacation, in order to keep the station in operation. Many cable TV systems offer free training in video production as part of their community-access obligation.

Recognize that you will not be Dan Rather -- or get paid like he does -- in your first job. Be flexible. Be willing to take jobs that are not exactly what you want, just to get that proverbial foot in the door. Be willing to work the overnight, weekend and holiday shifts that no one else wants.

Look into internships and training programs; many stations offer them. While an internship may not give you a paycheck, it will give you hands-on experience and a resume item.

Hang in there and be persistent (but not obnoxious). The maxim in sales is that it takes 30 "no's" to get one "yes."


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