Jobs are hard to get these days – for everyone, not just those of you looking for jobs in TV. You need to ensure the way you apply is as good as it can be. If your new-year resolution is to improve your application skills then here’s some useful advice, courtesy of the experts at recruitment firm SalesTarget.
Can’t seem to get far in the application process?
You fire away your CV every day, several times a day, but it seems like you hardly get called in for an interview, or when you do, you can’t seem to secure a second one. Salestarget.co.uk asked Jon Humpfreys, the managing director at Manesis Search & Selection, to identify some common issues jobseekers may want to address if they don’t seem to get very far in the application process.
Check your CV again
“If your CV is not getting you an interview, then there is something either not right, missing or putting someone off,” says Humpfreys. Often, we look at something so many times that we miss the mistakes that are right in front of our eyes. Humpfreys suggests having a friend look over your CV or, if you can, hire a professional to edit it.
Even if there are no mistakes, your CV may not seem relevant to the job you’re applying for. Humphreys suggests tailoring your CV for particular jobs. If you are applying for a job in a post production company, then any experience you have in post production should be highlighted more with detailed bullets than with other positions that are not as relevant.
“If a candidate’s background spans different roles or markets and [the candidate] is applying for a wide range of roles, sending different CVs for different jobs makes perfect sense.” One common mistake Humphreys sees is candidates not marketing or ‘selling’ themselves enough. The CV should not only detail what you did but it should put into context how that was important to your employer. Another is CVs that are not clear, just as when they mention companies without describing what they are or how they fit in their market.
Do more research
Recruiters like to see a candidate who is enthusiastic about working for the company and not just because it’s a job. They want to know you’ve done your homework. That sort of initiative is seen as an indication of how you’ll perform if given the job. The most impressive cover letters show some knowledge of the area you are hoping to work in (ie television!) and suggest how you can play a part in the company’s goals.
The only way you will know what recruiters think about your CV is to ask them. Contact the companies you have applied to and ask for constructive feedback. Don’t be surprised if few people respond. Recruiters sometimes receive hundreds of emails a day, so don’t take it personally if someone does not respond. If someone does respond, however, remember not to get defensive with any feedback they give you. Listen to what they are saying and see if there is any truth to it. Improve your interview skills.
Our guide to interviews breaks down what you should do before, during and after the interview. But there may be other long-term things you can do to improve your ability to impress a prospective employer. You may consider the following:
• If delivering a presentation during an interview makes you nervous, do a rehearsal in front of family or friends
• Do you dread tests? Practice timing yourself on completing tasks you’re likely to be asked in an interview.
• Do group exercises worry you? Perhaps a weekend public speaking course could help.
• Consider weekend, holiday or part time sales jobs to try and get some work experience to boost your CV.
Thanks to Kat for that article and if you want to hear some thoughts on what they may ask you at an interview for a TV production job then you check out my article on that subject HERE.
There are also several articles on the site providing advice to work experience and runners applying for those first jobs in TV.