Looking at TV jobs? CV advice for broadcast professionals
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Looking at TV jobs? CV advice for broadcast professionals

Looking at TV jobs? CV advise for broadcast professionals

Your CV – first stage in the job-hunting process

Your curriculum vitae is often the first stage in the job-hunting process, a clearly laid-out, standardised way to convey as much about your professional history and relevant aspects of your persona as possible to hiring managers and recruiters.

In crowded markets and up against the stiff competition, you need to stand out – but for all the right reasons. It’s all very well being memorable, but if people think of you sometime after they’ve seen your CV but don’t make you any kind of favourable offer then your CV has failed to work and your left to trawl through lists of TV jobs again. So be sure to include your accomplishments, achievements or notable involvement in specific projects.

Your CV is a great way to promote your unique selling points and give recruiters and hiring managers your ‘headlines’ that will make good talking points during the stage that follows your paper-based application: interview.

CV Tip 1 – Create a standard version of your CV

Keeping a standard version of your CV on your hard drive can be a good idea, particularly if you’re in the throes of a major job-hunting effort and are going after quite a few different positions within a relatively short space of time.

Your standard version should form the basis of every CV you send out but this version is rarely going to be the best one to send out without you having tweaked it first to make it’s as relevant as possible.

Hiring managers and recruiters want to see – quickly – relevant information. They want to know, as soon as possible, why you might be a good fit for what they’re looking for.

Once you have that standard version, it’s a good idea to…

  • Use that as a starting point when applying for each job
  • Then look closely at the language used in the job advert
  • Also, study the language used on the company’s website
  • Use what you glean to tweak your CV. Yes, it still has to reflect you and your own personality but you also want the hiring manager to see that you’ve not only taken the time to research his or her business but are actually talking in their terms
  • Remove bits of information that don’t relate to the job you’re applying for

In every version of your CV, think smartly when you come to list your interests. Talk about things that will enhance your applications. What makes you different?

When people talk about enjoying things like ‘socialising’, ‘going to the cinema’ or ‘eating out in restaurants’, they’re not really saying anything: we all like and do that stuff. A future employer doesn’t care, frankly, that you like doing the same things that most of the adult population enjoys.

Do you skydive? Has anything you’ve written been published? Do you run a Scout troop? Have you run a marathon and raised thousands of pounds for charity? Not everyone has done those things. They’re impressive, so if you have, make sure you include them. That’s what people want to know about – particularly examples of how and where you’ve gone the extra mile because that’s relevant to them and their business. If you’ve got a history of going ‘above and beyond’ in other areas, you’re probably the type of person who doesn’t cut corners at work, too.

CV Tip 2 – Get everything onto two (white) pages

That’s a maximum. People haven’t got time to read everything about you that might not be relevant in their search for the best candidate, especially if they’re looking through dozens or even hundreds of CVs.

Using anything other than white paper is a) distracting, and b) more expensive for someone to print, so please bear these in mind.

CV Tip 3 – Be clear, concise and precise

Use a clear font and don’t ramble, waffle, repeat yourself or talk nonsense. The last thing you want is to distract your reader. Make sense. Use plain English, not some hyped-up ‘business’ version that relies on jargon and clichés. You’re pitching. What you say and how you say it reveals huge amounts about you.

Your opening paragraph is crucial. Help your reader move on to the next CV in their pile quickly and easily. We can’t pretend that having read your story they’re going to stop reading every other CV in their stack so, realistically, we have to address that head-on. And the best way to do that is to make yours stand out by being beautifully written, clear and concise – while telling them great things about you, of course. How do you stand out? What makes you remarkable?

The job of your CV is to make the reader take the next step – and invite you for an interview. So give them the best bits about you. “Excellent interpersonal skills and organisation.” “Highly motivated.” “Positive thinker.” These should all come as standard. They should be a given. In fact, such statements are so commonplace that recruiters and hiring managers skip over them, probably subconsciously. That means you’re not making an impact when you say things like that.

Use language that promotes you. For example, a statement such as, “I have a good technical understanding” can be said similarly with, “I created the technical reference material for the rest of the department”, but the second statement speaks volumes more.

CV Tip 4 – Pay attention to detail

That means on every level. Take the time to do this properly. Have you spelt your name correctly at the top of the document? Is all the grammar and punctuation water-tight? Check it. Is the company you’re applying to based overseas? If so, have you included your own country’s dialling code to make it as easy as possible for them to reach you?

Talking of contact details, please make sure you include not only your phone number, but also your primary email address (give one that won’t elicit a negative perception of you – i.e., use [email protected], rather than [email protected] or [email protected]), and LinkedIn profile URL, if you have one. Give your Twitter handle, too, if it’s relevant. And make sure they’re all spelt correctly: spelling your email address incorrectly could mean the difference between receiving an invitation to an interview or not.

CV Tip 5 – Order the content correctly

This is crucial. Place your current employment first and then list – clearly and consistently – other positions you’ve held beneath, going backwards, chronologically. Mention your duties and achievements.

CV Tip 6 – No photo, please

Popular elsewhere (in Europe or the US, for example), having your photo attached to or embedded in your CV doesn’t go down well here in the UK. Let your words, your attention to detail and your personality shine through. Don’t allow someone to judge you based on your photograph alone.

Get your CV right and they’ll soon know what you look like when they invite you to an interview.

In summary: don’t miss out on jobs because your CV let you down

Failure to write and submit a great CV means you might miss out on jobs, simply by not projecting yourself in the best possible light and truly showing who you are and what you offer.

When you’re happy with your CV, you’ll need to spend time crafting a brilliant covering letter to accompany it. Click here to read our advice on that subject. For interview advice, click here and read this for tips on a Skype or telephone interview.