Friday, August 19, 2011

Resume tape season about to begin

Those of you who have been sending tapes out this summer are probably wondering why things are moving so slowly. You've heard nothing, or it takes forever for News Directors who have shown interest to get back to you. If you're a college student looking for that first job, you're probably throwing up your hands in disgust.

Fear not, it's the summer. And once the calendar clicks over to September, let the hiring begin.

That's not to say people don't get jobs in the summer. They do. But September and October are often busy months for personnel changes.

There are several reasons for this. First, after May the next sweeps month is in November. News Directors are in no hurry to beef up their staff during the summer, preferring to save that salary for the fall. Personally, I think this "nobody is watching in the summer" theory is a bad strategy, as news viewing as been up this summer due to all the shenanigans in Congress. But it is a popular one.

So if you're a News Director you want a full staff ready to hit the ground running in November. That's why you start doing interviews in September.

It's also why you guys need to get your tapes ready now and also send them to stations without openings. Why? Well, all those people who are going to get jobs in September are going to create openings. It's a domino affect, and there's no point waiting for a job to be posted.

Here's that scenario: Reporter gets job in September, gives notice, News Director panics to fill his slot. Hmmmm, your tape is already on his desk and he likes it. He needs a quick hire rather than be shorthanded during sweeps. Does he post the job and go thru the month long process of reviewing tapes, or hire someone he already likes? Many times it's the latter.

Next week I'll be re-posting the various resume tape tips that have run on this blog in the past. But you need to get things in gear now. Get your stuff ready, get your dubbing system set up, make a list of your target stations.

Then when those openings do occur, you'll be first in line.

TVNEWSGRAPEVINE, copyright 2011 © Randy Tatano



Lynn said...

Thanks for the reminder! I'm going to walmart to buy some supplies for resume season and I was wondering if you have any recommendations on packaging and labels, etc. I was thinking 8.5 - 11inch bubble envelopes and plain white sleeves for my DVD's... Sound about right? Oh and do news directors really still prefer VHS?

-The Grape said...

Bubble envelopes are fine, and that size gives you enough room for a resume and cover letter. (And guys, don't spend extra money on the paper components of your application.... nobody cares. Plain white is fine.)

Plain sleeves for the DVD is fine as well. Make sure your name and contact info is on the DVD. You can write it with a sharpie if you don't have them printed up.

The jury is still out on DVD vs. VHS, though DVDs are cheaper to ship. But this is crucial...test every DVD to make sure it plays in more than one computer before sending them.... in other words, play them back in a different computer than the one that burns them. I can't tell you how many DVDs I receive that simply won't play.

Finally, do NOT add a menu to your DVD. A News Director doesn't have time to navigate those things. Your DVD should play as soon as it is loaded.

maddy said...

I’m glad that i found a place to get such great information. Keep up the good work!

Director Cv

Anonymous said...

I graduated in 2007 and worked in marketing and PR since then. I want to get into the tv business, should I mention in my cover letter why I didn't go right into news after graduating with a degree in broadcast journalism?