Ten Top Tips on How to Sell Yourself to a TV Employer
Attending the Boldface Productions’ networking event recently confirmed that many people looking to break into the media want advice on how to sell themselves to potential TV employers. There is advice elsewhere on this site and in my ebook ‘An Expert’s Guide to Getting in to TV’ but for now some simple top tips on marketing yourself effectively in the application process.
Have confidence. If you don’t demonstrate confidence in an email or an interview a potential employer will feel you won’t have the confidence to deliver the job. Believe in yourself and your skills.
Believe that your skills are valuable in the media. Even if you have no experience in TV or other media you probably have skills that will be useful. If you have coped with difficult customers in a shop you have people skills; if you are good at organising events and creating schedule you have to skills to organise teams in TV.
Have something to say about the job. Do your research on the job and the company hiring and have an opinion (either constructive or positive) on what they do.
Have something to say about your skills and interests. If you are out of work make sure you are developing a project of your own you can talk about – writing and pitching features for local news, or a blog; making short films online; being involved with local hospital radio, anything that shows you are using your initiative to create media.
Dress to impress. This doesn’t need to be suit and tie but keep it clean and respectable. An original style is great but make sure it doesn’t detract from selling you as someone approachable (ie avoid mega scary!).
Smile. It’s the best introduction you can deliver.
Use mirroring techniques to help build rapport. This simply means adopting similar body language when talking – something that people naturally do when deep in conversation with someone they get on with. But it must be natural and sincere. Don’t go mad – it’s not about copying their every move but occasionally reflecting back their body language.
Use eye contact. Avoiding eye contact makes you look shifty or at least lacking in confidence. Don’t be staring down in your lap however shy you feel.
Make sure your CV is in good shape and selling you. It sounds obvious but not everyone puts enough attention on the one document that could make all the difference between getting an interview or not. (There’s advice and examples of ‘before’ and ‘after’ CV makeovers in my ebook).
Prove you care. If you are going for creative jobs then take examples of your ideas and show a passion for developing new ideas. If you are going for a technical job demonstrate your interest in how the technology works.
Believe in yourself and go out with confidence. Good luck!