Whether you are looking for TV sales jobs or fancy yourself in the position of producer or occupying one of the select TV director jobs, here are some common points to help you minimize the amount of luck you will need to get the position you are after.
Network, Network, Network!
We are not talking about a TV network here but your own personal networking activities – you should always be networking and making contacts with industry professionals in order to get your face and name known as well as making sure you stay in touch with developments in the area you are interested in.
Do not hide your ambition and desires; make sure the people who you do come into contact with are well aware of who you are, what you do and what you are looking for.
Always be working!
Many of the famous names you are aware of within the TV industry started from humble beginnings before they got their break. Many careers in television have started with unpaid internships and you should explore this as a possible route into the industry.
It does not matter if the money is not what you hoped for, nor whether the work is what you want to be doing; the key issue for TV industry employers is that they particularly look to employ experienced people and it stands you in far better stead if you have some or any experience when it comes down to standing out from the crowd of applicants, many of whom will have no experience at all.
Do not be afraid to get your hands dirty!
Different employers will have different requirements for their position and will be looking for different skills and experience. Compare each job to find the differing roles and responsibilities required for each position and tailor your resume to them.
Make sure you use a basic resume that you can amend and adapt to suit each employer and his or her requirements. For instance, one employer may want candidates to have experience working on outside broadcasting; make sure you highlight anything you have done in connection with outside broadcasting. Another job you are interested in may require experience working with animals; highlight the experience in your resume for that employer and so on.
Do not pay money to ''agents'' or industry ''professionals'' promising you a job; firstly, agents do not charge you to get you work, and secondly, nobody has a corner on the TV job market. Paying an agency or middleman a fee or advance commission is a sure sign that you are being scammed.
Stick with your resume: make sure that you protect your resume and by this, we mean, ensure it does not fall into the wrong hands! Many web based services are simply nothing more than harvest sites who collect resumes and either sell them on to third parties (yes, this does happen) or blindly send them out in mass mail shot marketing exercise in the hope an employer may take an interest. Approach neither is particularly helpful nor in fact can seriously harm your chances of establishing credibility within the industry. Only deal with an agency or web service that operates a strict and transparent policy on securing your resume so you know who gets it, when it happens and you control how it is used.
Broaden your horizons and look overseas for work; there are many overseas employers who would be happy to take on someone with American TV experience and you may find that you can gain the experience you need to boost you to the next stage of the career ladder by getting a job overseas.
Do not pay any fees or money over to a web site or recruiting agency until you have had a free trial of the service they are offering and you are confident that it is suitable and appropriate for what you need. Some web services do charge fees and this is perfectly legitimate and in many instances offers an excellent service, but be sure you are going to get what you are being asked to pay for.
Many web services offering help with finding vacancies are great at what they do as long as the area is not specialized; TV work is specialized and the mainstream web services do not have access to the vacancy information you are going to need. You will find that some sites also make their money by charging employers to advertise their vacancies are not going to attract TV employers because these jobs are so sought after they really do not need to pay anyone to promote them.
Be prepared to pay but remember Tip #7 above!
One simple way to check the credentials of a web site that claims to be able to provide you with great information on vacancies and provides a fantastic service – simply check the ''About Us'' or ''Contact Us'' sections of the website and see if they have a physical mailing address and a landline telephone number – if they don't have these then avoid using them and if they do, try calling them up to see who answers the phone at the other end!
Aside from commercial agencies and web sites offering services, there are hundreds and thousands of industry related message boards and forums which publicize job information, openings, and has projects on the horizon. Get yourself registered on these and spend time acquainting yourself with the people active on it so as many people as possible know what you are looking for and how to get hold of you.