What do television employers look for in a new recruit? Well much the same as sandwich chain Pret a Manger look for in theirs! Pret has been in the news charged with employing foreigners at the expense of local home-grown British applicants. Let’s not get into that debate but let’s identify what makes a new recruit in pretty much any job stand out.
Pret has their list of ten traits they look out for in job applicants so I figured we’d reproduce it here with some adaptions for those looking to get a job in TV:
1. Be honest Part-time jobs suit us, as we need people for the morning coffee rush – but be honest about your availability.
Forget part-time. TV wants your soul and will take it – 24 hours a day – but do be honest about availability.
2. Be flexible The fewer times you say you can’t work, the more positions we will have for you.
Don’t even bother saying you can’t work. Say that and you won’t work in TV!
3. Show commitment We invest a lot in staff training, so we don’t want people who say, “I really want to be an architect”.
If you get staff training you are in luck. Don’t say “I really want to be a presenter”.
4. Do some research Read up on the company. It is unbelievable how many apply and don’t know what we do.
So true in TV. If the company makes drama don’t tell ’em you want to work in factual.
5. Arrive early We would notice if someone was late to an interview. Turn up five minutes early.
Arrive late and you’re dead meat! No-one else wants to take responsibility for your job as well as theirs.
6. Dress personal We don’t expect people to turn up in a suit – we like individuality – but they should be neat and presentable.
Artists abound in TV. We love individuality but don’t take it to extremes, especially if you are working with the public.
7. Keep smiling Warmth and friendliness is more important than past experience. A lot of the job is engaging with people.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Good personal skills are almost more important than the technical ones.
8. Prepare your spiel Good applicants should prepare examples of how they have previously shown our key working principles.
Think not what an employer can do for you but what you can do for them – and spell it out.
9. Muck in We get a lot of people who say “I’m not really a foodie, I just want to work on the till” – that isn’t going to work for us.
“I’m not really into making the tea. I’m a media graduate” – it ain’t going to work for anyone in TV.
10. Bin the CV We don’t mind if someone hasn’t worked in our industry before. We train people how to make great food and offer top service.
Perhaps we won’t take this one from Pret. Your CV is the route to an interview. No interview, no chance to shine. Get your CV in the best shape possible*.
Attitude is everything in any job. Get the right one and you could go far!
*There is information about CVs on this site and many others. And there’s an article coming up soon courtesy of Chris Dodd on exactly what TV employers look for in a CV (and we’ve just started offering CV rewrites – sorry no more free ones, just can’t take the load without paying for the time it takes to do ’em. If you want more help check out new list of Professional Services!).