Getting their first job in the media industry is a big opportunity for anyone. It opens up new doors to explore as you begin interacting with the wider industry. But how do you get a job in the media industry? We share our top tips.
Firstly, it’s important to note how competitive the media industry is. Many people will try to secure a job and unfortunately, there simply aren’t enough jobs so everyone gets one. Because of this, it might be useful to broaden your horizons and look at other areas of the media industry to get your foot in the door.
Because the competition for entry-level roles in the media industry is intense, employers look favourably at candidates who have some experience in the industry already. But how do you even get experience in the industry? It’s a chicken-and-egg problem – which came first?
Thankfully, parts of the industry go through stages where they need lots of staff, production companies especially. They’ll be handling multiple productions and they’ll need assistants or runners to help out on set with odd jobs here and there. Offering your time in exchange for experience is so valuable for your CV. While these roles may only last a few weeks or months, they are so useful to young people to gain experience in the media industry and its inner workings.
You could also keep an eye out for graduate schemes or internships. These tend to be entry-level roles, but many of the top media employers operate their schemes to offer the best experience for those fortunate to get a place on the scheme. They’ll rotate around different departments within the business across a few years, letting everyone gain an understanding of different functions within the company.
Even if companies aren’t advertising official internships or work placements, definitely reach out to a top executive at nearby media businesses to seek out work experience opportunities. Those are your best chances to soak up as much information and experience in the industry and will give you a strong head start when applying for roles.
Do you need a university degree?
While a university degree may be necessary for certain career paths, the media industry is one of the most supportive industries, training hundreds of talented people who haven’t chosen the university route.
For those deciding to head off to university, consider what areas and roles you’d like in the media industry. If you’re interested in the broadcast and transmission side, then studying science, technology and engineering degrees will put you at the forefront.
If you’re passionate about working in the media and entertainment industries, start attending events on relevant subjects. There are many events that are put on for the media, industry executives and society-members, however most offer a way for newcomers to gain entry. You might need to cover the cost of a ticket, but the opportunities to attend one-off screenings and chat to decision-makers within the industry could pay off. A £10 ticket could turn into a £30,000 salary, now that’s a worthwhile investment.
Take a look at various charities and their events, such at the Production Guild or the Royal Television Society. They’ll run events throughout the UK, offering everyone the chance to attend whether they’re a member of the society or not. Look at the subject and if you’re interested in it, then attend! Your passion will shine through if you’re chatting to people there.
Networking is one of the easiest ways to secure a role in the media industry. If you can make an impression on people you meet, they will remember you. Always try connecting with them on LinkedIn or dropping them an email after chatting too. Slowly build a relationship with people you can offer your skillset to (and they’ll need).
Check the Action Media Jobs website
Of course we would include this, but it could be a vital tool in your job search. Here at Action, we curate a list of the top vacancies and schemes in the media industry, offering you the one-stop shop for a new job within media and entertainment.