When I graduated from the Princeton of the Plains, Kansas State University, I thought I was going to immediately get a sportscasting job.
It took seven months. I interviewed in person in Grand Island, NE and El Centro, CA and did a phone interview in Clay Center, KS. I finally got a job in the small town of McPherson, KS.
I wish I would have known then what I know now.
Here are nine top tips for landing your first sports broadcasting job.
1. Start looking early
Hopefully it won’t take you seven months but it will probably take at least three. Don’t wait until you graduate to start looking for that first opportunity.
2. Build relationships
Relationship building is unappealing for young people because the payoff is rarely immediate. But trust me, there will be a payoff. Employers generally want to hire people they know or who come recommended to them. So build relationships.
3. Use your alumni network
The thing that makes Syracuse the top school for sports broadcasters is their alumni network spans the industry. Lean on the alumni network at your school. Again, employers want to hire people they know or who come recommended to them.
4. Make sure your demo is properly constructed
There are resources on the STAA website to help you with that. Here are three links to get you started:
- The Time-Saving Key To Choosing Demo Material
- Is Your Demo Overwhelming Employers?
- Constructing a TV demo
5. Properly format your resume
There are many things that go into this. In short, put your experience ahead of your education. The thing employers most want to know is what you’ve done and where you’ve done it.
6. Write a great cover letter
Again, there is too much to go into here. We cover it in other blog posts and in the resources provided to STAA members. One key, though, is to start your letter by stating the position for which you’re applying and why you want to work for that employer. Take time to customize your letter.
7. Present professionally
Make sure the way you present your demo, resume and cover letter to employers is tight. Use a website or a personal webpage to deliver those things electronically.
It’s called the job market for a reason. You have to market yourself. What are you doing to differentiate yourself from the competition? If the reasons you don’t follow-up are that you’re shy and feel like you’re being a bother, get over it. Employers respect applicants who have the confidence and aggressiveness to follow up their applications.
9. Don’t be lazy
This includes all of the areas above. Getting a job is hard, but jobs usually go to people who are willing to do what other job seekers are not. Don’t be lazy.