Job Seeker!Submit your resume to hundreds of Employers. Employers can contact you directly as soon as a suitable position becomes available. Post your Resume.
If only there were a really simple way to answer this question. My best advice to you would have to be, to get in the door of a radio station and start working your way up. Get a gig at a station, almost any gig, but preferably as someone in some kind of support position in the programming department. Look for positions doing call-out research, promotions assistant, copywriting or if you have a background in digital production as a production assistant. Learn as many skills as possible. If you’re already working with digital audio using ProTools or Adobe Audition, hone those skills as sharp as possible and highlight them on your resume and your aircheck.
You’re going to have to start “small.”
It’s much easier and preferable to start working in a small market station than in a larger market. Why? For one you’re going to have an easier time landing that first gig but also consider the fact that you’re just going to learn a lot more. Small market station employees have to wear many hats because their budgets are much tighter. In a small market you’ll have the opportunity to learn everything from promotions, traffic, production and programming. Plus in a smaller market you won’t hit the experience “glass ceiling.” Jocks and programmers in larger market worked their way up and have a tendency to protect their air-time with a burning passion. Because of the smaller market size you’re just going to have an easier time convincing management to give you a shot on the air. Start small.
Be prepared to lose a lot of sleep.
If you don’t have the on-air experience programmers are going give you your first gig on overnights and probably on the weekend. Why? Because the station has fewer listeners, so when you make a “mistake” it will have less of an impact on the station and its advertisers. Besides, it’s a great place to hone your craft. You can’t learn if you aren’t allowed to make a few mistakes. One issue in recent years is the use of voice-tracking and satellite feeds being used in these dayparts, making it harder to find open on-air shifts in all market sizes. Still, a smart programmer knows he has to train and find new talent. And you want to work for a smart programmer don’t you! The gigs are there, just be tenacious.
Don’t give up!
As in any profession, dream gigs aren’t handed to you. Get in there and start working hard, learn the ropes and fight the good fight. You’ll get on the air. Believe it and work towards that goal, and you’ll never fail.
About the Author: John Ford.
John's extensive career in the Broadcasting industry includes roles as a Program Director, Talk Host, DeeJay, Creative Service Director, Producer and Consultant in multiple top 10 markets and on the Network level. John has held positions in management and as a talent at: WIOD-Miami, ABC Radio Networks, WLLZ-Detroit, KZPS and KDGE Dallas, WSHE and WZTA Miami, Greenstone Media and as the VP of New Media for Sabo Media. John also has worked with numerous traditional print and new media clients as a writer and as a consultant overseeing Internet start-ups with Parade Magazine, National Geographic and APB News.com. He currently lives in his hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Florida pursuing his passions as a Production and Programming Consultant, Talent Coach, Writer, On-Air Talent, Webmaster and Songwriter. John can be found on-line at JohnFord.net