Here's a little throwback to my last semester in school at Seneca College! At this point I already had my placement at a radio station set and ready to go for when I was done.
How did I do that?
I did a few things that I am more than happy to share with you in this post written not just for my former radio students, but anyone who is looking for mentorship or guidance in getting your foot in the door:
Start Looking Right Away
As soon as you know you have do an internship, start looking for a placement. Do not wait until the semester is over because that's when everyone else is going to be too. Cut your competition from the get-go and be the first in line.
Don't Be Picky
Your willingness to work at ANY station in ANY position will be the first of many humbling experiences in your career. Plus, you learn something different from everyone you meet. That should be your number one priority - not working somewhere trendy or on the top of your favourite list. Although, that is cool too.
Create a Network
Start making relationships with people you admire in the industry. Look to them for mentorship. Maintain a relationship. Don't step over the line by filling up their email inboxes with 23783782 messages.
Prep Your Resume
Here's what I want you to think about when you are writing your one pager resume (Yep, one page! Keep It Simple, Sweetheart💋) :
- Objective: Use words that show you are positive about making your next move and that you want to learn, grow and be an asset to their company with your skill set. Leave our talk about your education. You'll share that in the 'experience' section.
- Experience: The first thing you want to list is your studies (On Air @ Seneca College...or wherever!) Highlight the skills you have picked up in the program that will make you hireable - on air, board op, behind the scenes, promotions, music, interviewing, etc etc etc!
On Air-Talent at S@Y Radio, Seneca College - January 2016-Present
'Highlight ALL of the skills you have learned here!'
- Now add any other relevant job experience like volunteer work.
- Then add your 'Work Experience'. Here, you will simply describe what you do there in one sentence. Then think about how this job can be related to radio: Did you promote the store brand in any way? Did you work as a team? Did you research or prep info for meetings?
Cashier at Frescho, December 2009 – 2013
I greeted each customer, rang their groceries through and was responsible for balancing my own till. I helped to train new employees and was able to show them where items went in the store. I reviewed the weekly sales flyer to stay informed about store sales promotions.
This example shows me you did your job, worked as a team. represented the store values and knew the promotions that were important to customers. ALL of that is important in radio when you think of customers as listeners. Now, you don't need to list every job you've ever done (drop the paper route from when you were 10!) just use the ones you can make 'glittery' for your application. I'd say to mention three jobs, tops.
Make The Best Demo, EVER!
Get into a studio and play around! Listen to other jocks and stations and try to emulate them while being your own creative self. The best part about this is before you submit it to anyone you can erase it, edit it, get feedback on it, whatever! Make your demo really accessible. I always have a current copy of mine on Dropbox, Soundcloud, my website and on a USB stick - you seriously NEVER know when you'll need it!
ALL of these tips helped me land my first internship at Flow 93-5 and THIS is where I truly came to appreciate this industry:
Just today, one of my past students sent me this email: