Anyone who wants to work in the media should read this

The media is one of the most competitive industries for would-be employees. Here are six ways to stand out from the crowd

By Sophie Cole

Ask anyone who knows and they’ll tell you that scoring a job in the media is tough. The industry is swamped with young, ambitious job hunters who will do just about anything to realise their dreams.

    The industry is swamped with young, ambitious job hunters who will do just about anything to realise their dreams.  

To help you stand out from the crowd, we asked recruitment pros and those who work in the media for advice. Without further ado, here are our top tips for media-career success.

1. Build a portfolio. And make it impressive

Show potential employers what you’re made of by building a portfolio of your finest moments.

For example, if you’re a wannabe actor or TV presenter, you need a showreel of your highlights. Likewise a camera operator or production pro: you need to show off your quality with a strong selection of original work. And if the printed word is more your thing, well, you know the drill: gather your finest pieces and have them ready to share with anyone who may consider hiring you.  

Of course, that’s easier said than done when you’re just starting out and have zero experience. But why not pair up with other aspiring creatives and help each other out? A struggling presenter and a fledgling videographer sound like a match made in heaven. Put your feelers out and chances are you’ll find your perfect partner.

2. Be proactive in hunting for opportunities

Jody Collings, a senior consultant at Just Recruitment, says that media roles aren’t as easy to find as those in more traditional industries. “Widen your search beyond the usual job sites to give you the best chance of finding the perfect opportunity,” she advises.

“Send speculative emails directly to media companies. Make it clear that you’re up for any snippets of work they can offer, and always keep an eye out for direct submission calls or auditions. You need to be proactive if you’re to bag the job of your dreams.”

3. Give uni a try

We all know that you don’t strictly need a degree to succeed in the media. Just look at people like Chris Evans and Holly Willoughby. But media companies are like any other employer, and often use a degree as a way of sifting applicants.

There are loads of degree programmes for aspiring media professionals, from journalism and TV courses to film studies, media production, music technology and courses with a behind-the-scenes focus such as media make-up or set design.

If you want to get earning straight off the blocks, consider an apprenticeship, combining academic study with on-the-job skills development. In an industry like the media, where hands-on experience is highly prized, this is an ideal way to make a name for yourself.  

4. Get some work experience. Then get some more

Tim Gibson, a journalist and video presenter for national newspapers including The Daily Telegraph, as well as marketing strategist for Just Recruitment Group Ltd, says that work experience is crucial when you’re trying to establish yourself in the media.

“I doubt there’s anyone working in the media today who didn’t start out with work experience somewhere,” he says. “It’s certainly how I made my name. Start small, with a local newspaper, hospital radio, or internet TV station. And be prepared to make the tea or pilot the photocopier for a week.

“It won’t be glamorous, but it’ll get you known and show potential employers that you’re serious about working in a notoriously demanding, challenging and competitive industry.” 

5. Stay focused

Winner of the prestigious Academy Nicholl Fellowship and seasoned screenwriter Sean Robert Daniels says that self-motivation and focus will get you a long way in the media industry.

“As well as all the usual stuff like being punctual and professional, I appreciate it when those I work with don’t need constant prompting,” he says. “It’s great to be self-reliant, to proactively look for ways to go the extra mile and stand out.”

Sean also says that it’s not just those behind the scenes who need to know their stuff.

“Doing your homework is essential. Even if you’re a presenter who just reads off a script, you’ll do the best job if you know the topic you’re talking about. And it helps if you’re someone who can take on information and adapt quickly, particularly if you want to work in news broadcasting or live TV or radio.”

6. Start small, think big

If you want to make it in the media, prepare to work from the bottom up. Be realistic about the jobs you apply for, as you’ll have a tough time convincing an interview panel to hire you as executive producer when you’re fresh out of college.

It can be disheartening to work as a humble coffee-fetcher or note-taker, but stick with it. Even the most humble roles provide a foot in the door. And sometimes, that’s all you need to get noticed and make your dream come true.

Published: 10 April 2019

© 2019 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

If you liked this article, you may enjoy – The top 10 email mistakes to avoid

You may also want to read – The Just Recruitment guide to interview dressing

Jobs currently available

Featured job
Management Accountant
Sector: Accountancy, Banking and Finance
Salary: £30,000 - £38,000
Location: Haverhill
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 906965
About the role

The Just Recruitment Group have a superb opportunity for an experienced Management Accountant to join our client on a fulltime, permanent basis working near to Haverhill.

Reporting directly to the CEO of this fast growing successful company. The business is currently growing at 20% per annum and is at a pivotal moment in its development. New premises have been purchased and new sales and accounting systems are due to be installed in the coming 6 months. This role will be part of the senior management team and involved in key decision making for the business going forward.

Responsibilities include:

  • Responsible for the whole of the accounts department and production of the monthly management report and KPIs.
  • Managing the accounts assistant who has primary responsibility for the purchase ledger.
  • Managing UK and overseas payments, controlling deposits and advance payments.
  • Cash management including weekly forecasting of cash and credit control.
  • Running all aspects of payroll.
  • Management of Royal London pension scheme.
  • Responsibility of all company insurances and utility suppliers.
  • Working with the Operations Manager, analysing profit and cost variances to budget.
  • Implementation of new accounting system, which will free up purchase ledger clerk to take some of the more administrative elements of this role.
  • Job and departmental profit analysis.
  • Monthly VAT returns and Bank reconciliations.
  • Ad-hoc tasks necessary for the for Senior Managers and Directors.
  • Management of personnel files.
  • Administration and other duties relevant to the role.

The ideal candidate will possess the following skills:

  • Experience working in a fast moving busy office environment.
  • Ability to work to deadlines, quickly and accurately under pressure.
  • Ability to prioritise.
  • Discretion required due to nature of the role.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Confident in using Microsoft Excel.
  • Flexible and adaptable.
  • ACA/ACCA/CIMA Qualifications are desirable but not essential.

 

Read more
Sales Proposals Coordinator
Sector: Sales
Salary: £18,000 - £20,000
Location: Braintree
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 908044
About the role

Just Recruitment is currently recruiting for a Sales Proposals Coordinator to be based in Braintree. 

The role will involve providing timely quotations to customer enquiries, sales order processing, customer relationship management. 

Duties: 

  • To receive customer enquiries via the telephone or electronically and obtain as much information about the project as possible 
  • Manage enquiries email in-box, respond to general enquiries, collect information to answer enquiries from other parts of the business and pass on where required
  • Acknowledge quote requests to customers and provide relevant SLA to be quoted within 
  • Acknowledge and confirm PO receipts from customers 
  • Set up electronic project files 
  • Maintain and update spreadsheets/trackers 
  • Log enquiries onto the Shared quote book and CRM 
  • Provide the customer with a quotation within SLA 
  • Proactively follow up the quote and secure a PO 
  • Send the order documentation to Operations for order fulfilment 
  • Add the sale to the shared works order book 
  • Develop and enhance business relationships and reputation with existing clients 
  • Maintain a comprehensive CRM commentary of activity and opportunity 
  • Refer potential business to other business sectors 
  • Prepare and send weekly Purchase Order report 
  • Support Customer Service Manager, Business Development Director and Business Development Managers where needed 
  • Proactively approach existing and potential clients with new promotions 
  • Work with colleagues to improve the customer experience 
  • Other duties appropriate to the level of this role 

Qualifications and/or Experience Required: 

  • Proven Sales experience 
  • Thorough analytical approach – good with details 
  • Good engineering education or experience – able to read manufacturing drawings 
  • Excellent communication and organisational skills 
  • Computer literate and conversant in the use of software packages such as Office 365, CRM 
  • Accurate data entry 
Read more
Trainee Project Manager
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £20,000 - £25,000
Location: Braintree
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 908043
About the role

Just Recruitment is currently recruiting for a Trainee Project Manager to join a very successful company, offering training and career development opportunities based in Braintree.

You will need to have CAD experience and to have worked within the construction industry, preferably within the architectural or structural steel industry but this is not essential. The role could also appeal to recent graduates with CAD experience looking for a career in a project focused role.

You will be predominantly office based but will be involved in site visits where required. The role is cradle to grave project management including client liaison, design using CAD, procurement of materials, through manufacture to installation. The value and length of the project will vary. Training both internally and externally will be available.

This is a great opportunity to join a forward thinking and reputable business offering the successful person a career in project management. The company fully supports training and career progression opportunities.

The person requires:

  • CAD experience.
  • deally will have experience within the construction industry, preferably architectural or structural metalwork industry but not essential.
  • Will appeal to recent graduates looking for a career in project management.
Read more
Valuations Executive
Sector: Property and Construction
Salary: £21k-£23k
Location: Halstead
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 908050
About the role

Just Recruitment is currently recruiting for a Valuations Executive on behalf of a Property company based on the outskirts of Colchester.

The role primarily involves compiling accurate Property Valuation Appraisal reports and distributing them to the relevant client.

Responsibilities:

  • Compile accurate Property Valuation Appraisal and Desktop Valuation reports
  • Maintain a consistency level within 10% of Valuation vs Sale Price
  • Provide interim valuation updates to Sales Negotiators

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Experience/knowledge within the property industry
  • Report writing experience
  • Excellent customer service
  • Comfortable on the phones

Candidates must have their own transport due to the location of the company.

Read more
Assistant Account Manager
Sector: Property and Construction
Salary: up to £25,000
Location: Halstead
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 908051
About the role

Just Recruitment is currently recruiting for an Assistant Account Manager on behalf of a Property company based on the outskirts of Colchester. 

Your primary role is to assist the Account Manager in the day to day running and development of the company’s accounts. You will be also be responsible for supporting the Client Services Director, where appropriate, in the wider needs of the company. 

Responsibilities:

  • Support the AM in their role
  • Proactively support the Administrator to ensure valuations are booked in as quickly as possible and all associated duties are completed on time
  • Proactively support the Sales Negotiator to ensure properties are sold at the best possible price to the right buyer
  • Proactively support the allocated Sales Progressor to facilitate swift legal completion
  • Compile and provide the AM with a completed Property Valuation Appraisal report
  • Monitor all periodic update reports for clients to ensure appropriate standards are met
  • Ensure client time scales are adhered to and, where appropriate, liaise with client regarding concerns
  • Overseeing vacant property inspections and occasionally being required to attend the property

Occasional weekend working. 

The ideal candidate must have experience within the property industry and have their own transport due to the location of the company. 

Read more
Deputy Editor
Sector: Media and Internet
Salary: To be discussed on application
Location: Colchester
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 908026
About the role

Do you have experience of working in an Editorial role? 

Just Recruitment is currently recruiting for a Deputy Editor to join a company based in Colchester. 

You will work closely with the Editor to develop the title commercially and editorially. 

Duties include:

  • Researching and writing features to a first rate standard to deadline for print and online
  • Commissioning features, liaising with contributors, PRs and interviewing experts over the phone and email
  • Keeping up to date with industry news and trends
  • Producing editorial for supplements
  • Contributing commercial editorial and content ideas
  • Overseeing pages from start to finish and liaising with designers
  • Providing commercial editorial support to the advertising department
  • Contributing to many aspects of the magazine’s social media and online editorial activity 

This is a full-time, permanent role working Monday-Friday. 

Read more