Job Openings ... Aircheck/Demo ... Resumes
June 24, 2014
Being a good air personality is about repetition and never sounding bored ... despite how many times you have introduced a song or read that liner. When a personality cracks the mic and opens his or her mouth, it could be for a new listener or the first time someone actually listened to the words of whatever message was being presented over the air.
The repetition theme also is a part of teaching the art and craft of this business. One of the many recurring topics is the one about putting together an aircheck/demo and a resume-- regardless of whether it's a jock wanting to know or a PD upset with many submissions lacking any number of things.
Whenever I have been unable to play as much golf as I would like to, it always takes a round to reintroduce to myself to the simplest of things. Before I tee off, a lot of what I have been taught in various scenarios rushes through my mind, but it takes a couple of holes for my muscle memory to kick in. The same seems to hold true for air personalities with and without experience. So let's again review what you need for your next on-air opportunity.
It all starts here, because if the sound of your aircheck doesn't 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 only in bits and pieces did he sound like the demo he submitted. The joke was on the GM who had no knowledge of programming, but would brag on his abilities to know air talent. Nevertheless, unceremoniously the new guy was quickly put on the overnight show.
Why Stations Audition
Today some stations conduct live auditions because they want to make sure of what they are getting. If your aircheck/demo 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 recording at the last minute for a job opportunity. I once worked with a personality who would edit down one aircheck/demo a week.
What Should Be Your Resume
Brevity is important; don't try and sell yourself in a resume or refer people to your LindkIn page. With so many looking for work these days, there is a lot of eye weariness for GMs, consultants, OMs and PDs; your resume should be clear, concise and explain previous job assignments 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:
2010-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, Wide Orbit
Editing Software Experience
Adobe Audition 3.0, Cool Edit Pro 2.1
Music System Experience
Selector, Power Gold, Music Master
Highpoints And References
It is always a good idea to point out your successes, ratings, awards and other accomplishments. Avoid B.S. and clichés like, "I doubled the ratings 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 the 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 it will go to the 'No' pile.
Social Media Do's And Don'ts
Showcasing social media skills also might enhance your chances for employment. Build your brand and realize the possibilities of a future employer doing a Google search on you. It is important to not to upload compromising pictures or post statements on Facebook which could come back to haunt you. Post your aircheck and commercial work there, but when applying for a job do not sent links to potential employers unless indicated in the posted job opening.
When I first started working with one client, I found out he was applying and only linking people to his LinkedIn page and not submitting his demo and resume. Although in theory it sounds like a good idea, in reality it becomes an extra step for people already overwhelmed with submissions and the daily grind. If an employer likes what you submitted and calls you for a phone interview, that's when you direct them to a link if they wish to hear more.
The Truth And Nothing But The Truth
Sometimes things boil down to integrity, therefore do not put anything on your resume that is not true. These days employers are more thorough than they used 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. Remember, it only takes one person to say yes.