Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Menus belong in restaurants

More and more resume tapes are wandering into my mailbox in the form of DVDs. The term "resume tape" will probably survive long after VHS tapes are dead since it is so ingrained into the business. Kind of like telling people to "dial" a phone even though push buttons have been around for decades.

That said, I'm also noticing the tendency to make your DVD menu more cluttered than the ones in a 24-hour diner.

So, what should a resume tape menu look like?

It shouldn't look like anything, because it shouldn't exist.

Put yourself in the NDs place. You have to watch a few hundred of these and the last thing you need to do is put a DVD in a machine and have to navigate through a menu. Why should a manager have to click on "standups" or "packages" or "anchoring?"

If you're sending DVDs, you should burn them so that they start to play immediately as soon as they are put into a machine. The ND shouldn't have to push a single button to watch your best work.

Menus won't knock you out of the running, but they just make a ND roll his eyes and shake his head. Make a News Director's job as easy as possible; he shouldn't have to spend any time searching for your best work.



Anonymous said...

I just went back and removed the menu and I will be sending out the rest of my tapes without the annoying menu, thank you for the great advice!

I just got an internship at KNBC (Los Angeles, Ca) I have a choice between the entertainment dept or the investigative news dept. Although I am very interested in entertainment news it just seems like I would learn more from working with investigative reporters, any advice? Also, do you think there is a shot in hell for an intern (college graduate) to get a job at the end of this non paid internship, seeing as it's a top market...

-The Grape said...

Congrats on the internship!

That's an interesting choice...hmmm, entertainment or investigative? Entertainment jobs are really hard to come by but if you get one it's probably the easiest gig in the business. You'll learn a lot from investigative, but few stations employ investigative reporters anymore. However, the skills translate well to everyday reporting.

You can certainly get a job when your internship is done. LA is a very unique market, and rules don't really apply there. It's more personality driven than any other place, so if you've got a great one, make sure to turn it on every day during your internship.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I seriously feel like your advice is what's keeping me in this business! So many other sites like to just throw out negative BS about the business, I like hearing the positive and the negative and your blog does that!

Also, I emailed back the person at the station and told them that I'm interested in either the entertainment dept or the investigative stories dept, but I want her to put me where she thinks I'll learn the most. So let's hope this doesn't back fire on me lol.