Media is a challenging and competitive industry which often demands hard work and long hours. Most areas of Media require candidates to start in entry-level positions and work their way up. Graduates eager to work in Media must be good at networking and leaving a positive impression, and be willing to put in the time to impress employers with their talent and persistence.
Many Media fields have their own degree programmes, such as Journalism or Broadcasting, but experience and drive are more important in this sector than degree or classification. Candidates must display Commercial Awareness and excellent written and verbal communication skills. Most jobs in Media are not advertised, so the key is to find a place to start, put in the hard work and network.
How to Get a Job in Media
The most important skill for graduates considering a career in Media is communication. High quality written and verbal communication is essential - whether it is a news report or a radio show, candidates need to show exemplary style and craft.
Beyond communication skills, each form of Media has its own special requirements.
Print is the oldest and most traditional form of Media, and is becoming increasingly interactive as it moves into the digital world - but the demand is still there for great journalists and writers who can dig up and tell a story. Print journalism requires exceptional writing style and accuracy, and each type of writing for print has its own specific requirements, whether it be news writing for a daily paper, or producing content for a monthly magazine.
Candidates should aim to get as much experience as possible to help show employers that they have what it takes. Journalism degree programmes often provide students the opportunity to set up work placements or internships. Graduates can also try volunteering with local newspapers, student media, online student magazines, or even writing their own blog. Journalists must be driven and persistent, and it is important that candidates show real initiative. Applicants should be able to provide a portfolio with samples of their work.
Radio is undergoing a transformation as it adjusts to digital and online broadcasting. Cheaper means of broadcasting has opened up opportunities for enterprising personalities to set up their own radio station or podcast - which is a great way for candidates to showcase their own style and show real commitment.
Many universities have student radio stations with broadcasting equipment similar to those used in professional studios, which is another ideal way for students hoping to go into radio to get experience. Whether a graduate wants to be a presenter, a producer, or even a writer for radio, experience in the field is the best way to impress prospective employers.
The most popular broadcasting method in Media, Television is extremely competitive and often requires that candidates work their way up. Openings in key roles are rarely advertised, so graduates eager to get into Television should look for positions which will help get them in the door, such as Production Assistant or Office Runner. Most successful Television personalities started at the bottom, and graduates should be prepared to do the same.
Candidates need to show initiative, reliability and a willingness to work hard for long hours, with a healthy dose of personality and confidence.
Online and Social Media
Online and Social Media uses elements of written, visual and audio media, often combining them in a new or unique way. Candidates wanting to work in social media should demonstrate proficiency in social networking, SEO, blogs and how to use digital media to build an audience, as well as an ability to be innovative.
An excellent way for candidates to demonstrate their talents is to start their own online media presence. Online blogging platforms such as Blogger or Wordpress offer free versions ideal for graduates looking to build up a Personal Brand and showcase their media skills.