MP3s and Resumes, Please
July 16, 2013
Radio personalities spend a good portion of their career looking for jobs. "Send your tapes and resumes to" can be seen in every listing in our business. What we try to do is capsulate who we are and what we do on one page and in an audio file. No matter how often I write on the subject, the question of "Is my aircheck and resume okay?" continuously comes up. I do not take it lightly because when you are unemployed or looking for the first commercial job; you try and anticipate if your information will get the attention of those posting a job.
I can remember sending an aircheck to a PD and forgetting to include my resume. Fortunately, I had included my phone number on the demo; this was before the age of MP3s. He had one question for me, "Is this aircheck from one show or a composite 'best talk break ever' demo?" I said it's from one show and he said, "Okay, then let's talk!" You have to remember it is all a crapshoot and very subjective when it comes to submitting your package for a job. It is impossible to know what the person hiring is looking for in an aircheck. How long they will listen or what will catch someone's eye on the resume is not an exact science.
It all starts here, because if the sound of your aircheck does not measure up, no one will read your resume. What would be the point? I always suggest a two- to three-minute edited demo from one show. A composite audio file or a "Best of" is not a good idea because it is not a true presentation of your skills, other than editing. I can remember a well-known morning show personality submitting an aircheck to a then PD-less station. The GM hired him without waiting for the consultant or letting the incoming new programming guru find someone. The new morning jock got there and in totality, sounded like the aircheck -- only in bits and pieces. The joke was on the GM who had no knowledge of programming, but he would brag on his abilities to know air talent. Nevertheless, unceremoniously the new guy was quickly put on the overnight show.
Today some stations conduct live auditions because they want to make sure of what they are getting. If your aircheck is five years old or you are just getting into the business, I suggest you find someone to help you put together a demo. For those currently employed, aircheck daily and you will never have to face the pressure of having to record a demo for a job opportunity. I once worked with a young lady who would edit down one aircheck a week.
What To Put On Your Resume
Brevity is important; don't try and sell yourself in a resume or refer people to your Lindkln page. With so many looking for work these days, there is a lot of eye weariness for GMs, consultants, OMs and PDs; make your resume clear, concise and explain your previous job assignment in as few words as possible. Hit the major highlights of the job, not a complete explanation of every function you performed at the station. Here is an example:
2006-to present, WWWW/Chicago
Morning Show Host & Operations Manager; responsible for programming and music
You should also list under individual headings your areas of expertise pertaining to the job listed, such as Automation Systems, Editing Software, and Music Systems(Usually OM, PD, MD) For example:
Automation System Experience
Prophet, Auto Vault
Editing Software Experience
Adobe Audition 3.0, Cool Edit Pro 2.1
Music System Experience
Selector, Power Gold
It is always a good idea to point out your successes, ratings, awards, and other accomplishments. Avoid B.S. clichés like, "I doubled the rating in six months" or "We became #1 once I took over afternoons." Present the facts and let your references and background do the talking. Keep a cover letter to a couple of sentences and don't write things an employer would expect an employee to do anyway. Phrases like, "I will work hard" or "It would be my honor to work for a longstanding successful company such as yours" add no value to your application.
Check with any reference before listing and I suggest putting down three. Do not lie about a reference by putting down a name you think will get noticed ... and you don't actually have a real relationship with them. Any resume saying references upon request will irritate and unless the aircheck is outstanding, will go to the 'No' pile.
And lastly, do not put anything on your resume that is not true, these days employers are more thorough than they use to be. Hopefully your MP3 and resume will get you an interview and a job. Don't get discouraged if you do not get a response, not all companies send feedback unless they want an interview. Keep applying and do not take no or a no-response personally.