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Submitting an aircheck to a prospective employer is the most important part of landing your first or next radio gig. Getting your aircheck into the hands of the Program Director is tough enough, and you're going to have a lot of competition. So your aircheck has got to grab their attention, and grab it fast. For more tips, visit, freeaircheckreviews.com.
1. Put your bet "bit" first.
Today with consolidation and PD's wearing more hats than ever, you've got to grab their attention immediately . if you don't give them something really gets their attention in the first five or at most ten seconds, the PD is off to the next aircheck in a heartbeat. Spend a lot of time deciding what's going first on the aircheck. It's also a great idea to get a second opinion on your first choice from someone you respect in the industry.
2. Does your aircheck have a polished sound?
Take the time to EQ and make sure all of the levels on your aircheck are as consistent as possible. PD's listen for this stuff. It not only shows that you pay attention to the detail of your on-air sound, it also shows that you have some concept of production value. A talent that has good production chops, both on and off the air is invaluable to a PD.
3. Make everything as "tight" as possible.
If you're applying for a gig at a CHR, AC or Country station where all the talk is over music, up ramps and hitting posts, by god it better be tight and show off your ability to follow those rules. The PD is expecting to hear your best work, he or she knows that you’ve spent hours weeding through audio to find the best bits. Everything you submit to the PD on your aircheck should reflect your absolute best work. Don’t disappoint.
4. Go beyond formatics.
Use what you’ve learned to show off your formatic chops, but don’t just sound like a liner card reader. Fill the aircheck with info that’s relevant to the listener. Include segments that have concise tidbits of info about the artist, localize and talk about your community, if you have the chops include some quick phone bits with listeners and if your current PD gives you the latitude, add-lib those liner cards you are reading with your own flair.
5. Show your personality.
The hardest thing to do on the air is sound like yourself. Avoid sounding like every other big, bad radio announcer out there and sound like a real person. Let your personality shine through with honest humor, realism and even some vulnerability. Your personality is the one thing no one else can copy. Really smart PD’s look for this above and beyond everything else. Use it.
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