In a few short days the May book will end. While this means a summer filled with garbage for the average viewer, it also marks the beginning of the annual job hunting frenzy.
Which means you should be getting your stuff ready now. But there's a little more to do than just cruise the job leads.
Of late I've had a few people get jobs that weren't posted in the usual places. Yes, I want you to visit tvjobs.com every day for listings, but don't stop there. There are other places to find openings if you do a little homework.
You also have to bear in mind that everyone else is looking for a job, and when those people find one, that creates an opening.
So, here's a little checklist to help you stay ahead of the pack:
-When visiting tvjobs, scroll down and look on the right side of the page to the headings "News Directors named" and "On the Move." A new ND generally wants to make changes, so send tapes to them whether they currently have openings or not. Trust me, they will shortly. As for the people on the move, that's some lead time for you to know where an opening has just occurred that might not be posted.
-Make a list of markets in which you'd like to work. Send tapes to the stations in those markets, openings or not.
-After you've made your market list, check each station's website. Very often job openings are listed there first. Sometimes, that's the only listing.
-If you're at the stage where you want to freelance, contact the station to see if they employ that system.
A few things to do before you actually mail your tapes... check out the newscast online if you can. Many markets have one or more lousy operations, and the product generally reflects it.
Check the staff list of the stations you've targeted to see if you know anyone.
Let your friends know where you're sending tapes, to see if they have any connections.
Consider a road trip if you're a recent graduate.
Don't call! Send your tapes, fuhgeddaboudit, and continue to look for openings.
You've basically got till October to find another gig. Most stations don't take the July book seriously, so that gives you a good bit of time.
Let the games begin!