Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It's almost spring. The wallflowers are already in bloom.

"Wallflower" is a rather old term, used to describe a painfully shy woman who goes to the dance but hugs the wall, arms wrapped around her waist, body language screaming, "Please don't ask me to dance."

In our business, there are plenty of male wallflowers as well. Oh, we're not talking about dancing here, but about sending out resume tapes.

Too many of you are way too shy to do it. Don't look around in the newsroom, saying, "Are you talkin' to me?" Yeah, you. I'm talkin' to you.

Here's what many of you think will happen if you send a resume tape to a station you think won't hire you because you're not good enough:

News Director puts tape in machine, watches it, rolls his eyes. Says, "How dare she send me a tape! She's nowhere near qualified. I will therefore write her name down in a rolodex so that the next time she sends me a tape I'll remember! Then I'm going to call her up and chastise her for sending a tape for a job opening for which she's not qualified!"

Sounds pretty ridiculous, right? But I'll bet some of you have actually considered that scenario.

And here's what really happens:

News Director puts tape in machine, watches it, doesn't care for it, ejects it, throws it out. He may do this three hundred times for a single opening. You could walk into his office the next day, introduce yourself, and he wouldn't remember you.

Why? Because as a manager you don't remember the people you don't want to hire. It's not only a waste of time, it's pointless. And as for the people who aren't qualified, so what? They took a shot. You still won't remember them.

So don't ever think that you'll damage your career sending tapes anywhere. And don't ever think you can't send a tape a second time to a station, because the News Director not only won't remember your first tape, he won't care that you sent one. The only thing that matters is filling the present job opening. The past means nothing.

So please, even if you're not Catholic, give up being a wallflower for Lent.


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