Job hunting advice is easy to come by, but sometimes it helps to take a look at the résumé materials others have created. Follow the links to discover what these job seekers used to land that first or second job:
- Lillian Askins, Reporter, WAAY-TV, Huntsville, Alabama
- Airyl Onstott, Reporter, WTOL-TV, Toledo, Ohio
- Jennifer Coates, Producer, WNCT-TV, Greenville, North Carolina
- Jules Marcantonio, Producer, WKRN-TV, Nashville, Tennessee
Lillian Askins, Reporter, WAAY-TV, Huntsville, AL
Lillian Askins graduated from the University of Mississippi with a major in journalism and a minor in art. She began working as a TV reporter for WAAY right after graduation. Lillian used the free website building site, Wix.com, to produce her portfolio.
Lillian's site features her video résumé as well as examples of her photography skills. She is also prominently featuring her social media presence, and she makes it easy for potential employers to contact her directly through email, right from the home page.
Airyl Onstott, WTOL TV, Toledo, OH
Airyl Onstott started sending out her reel before she graduated from college, but it took her several months to land that first job.
Her résumé reel opens with a montage of stand-ups and then goes on to feature packages she shot, wrote, and edited herself, as well as stories she worked on as an intern at the FOX affiliate in Dallas, Texas.
Jennifer Blair Coates, Producer, WNCT-TV, Greenville, N.C.
Jennifer Blair Coates sent this letter when she applied for her first job at WVIR-TV in Charlottesville, Virginia, a small market station that often hires new journalism graduates.
Dear Mr. Cupp,
Are you looking for an energetic, fast-learning, multi-tasking newshound for your newsroom? How about someone who is organized, reliable and devoted? I will graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University's broadcast journalism program in December and I'd like to start working at WVIR-TV with your distinguished staff of reporters, anchors, and directors in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.
Growing up in Winchester, VA, gave me a real love for the mountains; so I would very much like to call Charlottesville my new home. This past summer I was selected for a Virginia Association of Broadcasters' internship with WWBT NBC12 in Richmond, VA. I worked for two months in production while shadowing reporters and producers. Following the internship, the station hired me as a morning news assistant. While at VCU, I've had the opportunity to work for three semesters as a reporter, anchor, and producer for our monthly television show, VCU InSight, which airs on Richmond PBS. With each experience I have developed an even greater passion for news.
I've produced stories ranging from the effects of the Iraq war on campus to the future of ROTC programs to profiling a breast cancer survivor and exploring suicides on college campuses. I've covered stories on everything from the devastation of Hurricane Isabel to the effects of the largest fire in Richmond's history and the Democratic Party's annual fundraiser in Richmond — I've loved working on all of them.
I will bring energy and enthusiasm to the station. I can use my investigative talents and curiosity to bring new issues to light for the community. I love the challenge of research. One thing I feel makes me stand out is my thoroughness and commitment to ethical decision-making. I am flexible and hard working. I have the ability to multi-task and work at a fast pace, essential skills for a newsroom. I am very goal-oriented. And most importantly, I love to learn. I have what it takes to produce quality newscasts for WVIR-TV NBC29. The experiences I've had with VCU InSight and at NBC 12 have given me the skills required to excel in this competitive profession. I am committed to making the most out of my career — and giving 110% to your news organization.
Thank you for your consideration.
Jennifer Blair Coates
This cover letter does a number of things well. It showcases Jennifer's passion for journalism, and it shows that she did some research about the market she was targeting for a job. She emphasizes what she can do for the station, rather than focusing on what getting a job there would mean for her.
Jennifer's résumé reel consisted of a student newscast she produced, along with a self-critique of the show, which outlined her contributions to the show as well as what she thought worked well and what she'd do differently next time. She sent modified versions of this cover letter to other stations and landed a full-time producing job at WNCT-TV in Greenville, North Carolina, right out of school.
Jules Marcantonio, Producer, WKRN-TV, Nashville, Tennessee
Like a lot of college students, Jules Marcantonio thought she wanted to be on air when she came to school, but through internships and other practical experiences, she realized her heart was in producing newscasts. She reworked her résumé to play up the skills and experiences she thought might help her land a producer position and she was hired before her graduation day.
Also, note the things that are NOT included on her résumé: a physical address or an objective. And her education is listed at the bottom after she has fully detailed her experience and skills.