How to get your first job in TV and Film?

The television industry can be thrilling to work in. One day, you might be meeting celebrities, the next you’re contributing ideas for a brand new show. There are so many different roles within TV, but getting your first job is tricky, but we’ve put together a few ways you can get into the industry.


Many companies run internship programmes each year to bring in new talent to the industry. They are typically offered by larger organisations to help you gain crucial work experience and a better understanding of the industry. Internship schemes can range from a few months – ideal for Summer work – up to a year, which is designed for placement year students or graduates.

Internship programmes can be paid opportunities, especially on the longer 12-month programmes from larger employers, however you may come across some unpaid schemes. Internship schemes are highly sought after, so the application process can be tough with multiple interviews with line managers and HR.

You’ll often find internship opportunities on employer websites, industry organisations and here on Action Media Jobs. Each year, we compile a list of all placement opportunities available from the major US studios in the Autumn.

Work Experience

If a longer, secure internship scheme isn’t an option for you, it’s worthwhile exploring work experience opportunities. These are more likely to be offered by smaller businesses that need an extra pair of hands, hence timing is crucial to secure these.

Make a list of companies you would like to work at and find out as much information as you can (newsletters, websites, news articles). If they aren’t offering official work experience opportunities, it’s always worthwhile dropping them an eye with your CV attached. Get the timing right and they might consider inviting you for work experience.

Graduate Programmes

Many of the biggest organisations will open up graduate programmes throughout the year. The largest business will have whole teams dedicated to the graduate recruitment drive, touring the universities to chat to final year students to secure their expertise and talent.

These programmes offer graduates a guaranteed job for several years, while they rotate around multiple departments in the business. This rotation helps both employer and employee to decide on the direction of their career.

Perhaps more commonly in the media industry are graduate jobs, entry-level roles requiring university graduates to fill them, but the requirements are relatively wide-reaching.

Community & Student Broadcasters

In the past two decades, many local broadcasters have popped up to serve residents. Many universities operate their own student radio broadcasting across the campus, while local TV stations aim to provide local news and programming. These are often run on a not-for-profit basis, so many people involved are volunteers. Getting involved in your local station would give you an excellent launch to your career.

Many of the top broadcasters nowadays started in these small stations, yet it’s a strong proving ground for support staff to assist in the production and operation of the station.


Getting out there and making a name for yourself is the best way to secure opportunities. The UK hosts plenty of film festivals, so be sure to attend and chat with those in the industry already. Many people are more than happy to provide advice on who may be looking to hire and other general advice getting into the industry – they know it can be difficult to get your foot in the door.

Plus, make sure you’re attending events organised by industry bodies. Often they’ll have a guest panel of executives, who will answer any questions you may have. Finally, make sure to maximise your use of social media – LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook – keeping up to date with the industry news and engaging in the conversations.

Apply for jobs

Make sure you keep an eye on both company websites and job boards like Action Media Jobs. We curate a list of the very best vacancies in the media industry, from entry-level and internship roles through to senior management positions, so we’re your number one destination for your entire career.