How to get a job in television

By The Media Training Hub Team Posted at 10/06/2019 Training

Getting your first job in television, film or media is doubtless the hardest stage of your career and it's a question we hear so many times from students and professionals who want a career in the media industry.

Here’s the problem: the film industry is hugely popular and therefore very, very competitive. You might want to be a location sound recordist or camera operator or makeup artist, special effects supervisor, film editor, costume designer, producer, director, cinematographer, production manager, camera assistant, focus puller, camera trainee ….. the list goes on.

So how do you make a start?

How to set your career on a path to excellence & success

Be focussed. Decide what you really want to do even if you’re not set on a specific role, you probably know which area you want to work in. Then look at people who are working and successful in that role, research their career path and what training they had on the way, and use this as a road map for your progress. You probably won’t be able to follow it exactly but it will give you a framework to build on and a target to aim for.

Get some practical work experience

If you’ve recently graduated or finished college, the most important thing you can do is get some practical experience. Ideally this will be in a paid role with a company in the media industry. Even if it’s part time or short contract, this experience will be a valuable addition to your CV.

If you can’t get a placement in the industry, try to make your own short film by collaborating with other graduates or students but make sure that you are working in the role or department that fits your career path.

All relevant experience is useful and you should take every opportunity to build your portfolio. It might just give you the edge when applying for a job.

Get some additional skills training

If you can afford to invest in additional training, you should consider boosting your CV by attending a course in your area of interest. It's not only a way of improving your skill set and experience but can also be an invaluable networking opportunity. You'll meet professional tutors who have experience and contacts in the industry who might be able to offer guidance or put you in touch with potential employers.

Links to more advice

This is an article by Dave Owen from Dave owns an outside broadcast business and regularly employs staff. He offers advice on how to get your first job in television and also his take on what he looks out for in new employees.

Read article

Useful information on how to get a job with the BBC

Working for the BBC

Camera Assistant at the BBC

Working for a kit hire company

Advice from VMI Rental 

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