Ten tips for getting a TV news job

Thousands of recent or soon-to-be journalism grads are combing media company websites and shooting out resumes all across the country right now.  So what types of jobs are they likely to find?

In doing content analysis of more than 500 broadcast news job postings from the ten biggest TV news companies in the U.S. at the end of last year, we found that producers are still most in demand for the second year running.  

More than a fifth of all openings were for producers (20.4%), followed by reporter (13%), photographer (8.3%), executive producer (6.1%), Web writer/multimedia producer (5.7%) and assignment desk (5.3%). (Various other categories such as news director, editor, production assistant, etc. made up the rest of the open positions.)

No matter what position you’re applying for, the study also yielded some important information about what skills and attributes are most desirable in job applicants.  Here they are in a top ten list with number one being the most frequently mentioned in job postings:

1. Previous professional experience.
2. Strong writing.
3. Communicaiton skills.
4. Non-linear editing.
5. Web/multimedia skills.
6. Can work as a team player.
7. Can work under pressure & tight deadlines.
8. Creativity.
9. News judgment.
10. Willingness to work long hours.

Use this list to help craft your cover letter and resume.  Sell your  potential employer on your writing skills and the multimedia tools you can use.  If you have previous professional experience (and that includes internships, in my opinion), make sure that’s the first thing they see.

And don’t forget to mention your experience with social media, too.  For the first time this year, we saw job postings asking for applicants who understand how to use social media as a newsgathering and dissemination tool.


3 comments for “Ten tips for getting a TV news job

  1. October 25, 2010 at 10:23 am

    How do. A friend recommended you lot to me! This is the first time in a long time I’ve entered a forum for non casting purposes…hopefully people might respond to my posts this time -Good day!

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