If you are thinking about a career in radio, then perhaps the biggest hurdle is securing your first work placement. In a highly competitive industry, finding a way in can prove extremely tricky. We spoke with Point Blank, a world-renowned music school offering Radio, Music Production and DJ classes, to uncover their advice on how to get your foot firmly in the door.
Start out small
Qualifications within the media field are all well and good, but in the world of radio, work experience is, first and foremost what employers are looking for, which is why building up a steady portfolio of roles, no matter how small, proves you are determined and passionate about a career in the field.
When starting your career, don’t have unrealistic expectations of the kind of job you’ll find yourself in – very few people are able to you’ll jump straight into a well-paid job at a prominent station. In fact, some of the most well-known presenters started at the bottom in unpaid internships or as volunteers at local or community stations.
As the field is highly competitive, this is the typical way in which people secure their first role in radio, and if you manage to impress your associates enough you can quickly work your way up to where you want to be.
Grow your connections
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As with many professions across various industries, networking plays a vital role in accomplishing your goals. Being friendly, making connections and schmoozing with key people will certainly work in your favor when it comes to getting your name out there and even being offered job opportunities.
Unfortunately, important industry folk are not going to just take notice of you out of nowhere, you have to put the work in yourself, whether regularly speaking to people face-to-face, via phone or through social media.
Have an online presence
Creating an active online presence across the core social media platforms is wise since it makes it easier for people to contact you, to network and to make yourself known within the industry. Moreover, it gives you a chance to let your unique personality shine through and allows you to tell your story and prove to potential employers why you are passionate about the work you do.
Approach stations directly
If you have a dream station in mind, you should think long and hard about the best way to approach them directly. Finding the right person to talk to and personalizing your communication with them is extremely important. In such an over-competitive industry, you need to make yourself stand out from the crowd by demonstrating your knowledge and dedication to the job you’re applying for.
It’s a dog-eat-dog world, and the harsh reality is that you’ll find yourself out-of-luck if you simply send the same generic e-mail to lots of different stations!
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Above all, patience and persistence is key, as well as the willingness to take any and every radio role that comes your way.
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