Finding Work

So you’ve decided that you want to make a career in the entertainment industries – what now? How do you find a job? Read on and check out our Here to Help page.

Most work isn’t advertised anywhere so you have to go and find it, and unfortunately there really aren’t any short cuts. Also there may be hundreds just like you chasing the same opportunities, so you have to find a way of making yourself stand out.

Interested in TV? Here's some tips and know-how from the BBC Academy

Step 1 - CV

Put together a neat, clear and well-thought out CV. A lot of people find that having several different versions for different companies works well – Jude Winstanley of the Unit List has some great tips (Link to Jude Winstanley’s guide on CV writing). Check out this advice from Skillset too.

Step 2 - Research

Next, put in some serious research and come up with a list of all the companies you’ve ever thought of working for (and some maybe you haven’t!) Go to their websites and see if you can get a name for the person who hires junior staff – it’s often the production manager or head of production. A quick phone call asking who is responsible for hiring runners will often work as well.

Step 3 - Cover letter

Write a covering letter which makes it clear that you’ve done some research into the company. You might mention some of their work that you’ve seen and enjoyed, and if you offer particular skills which you believe might be of interest to them, now is the time to point them out - for instance, if they specialise in current affairs and you have a journalism qualification, or they’ve done a lot of work abroad and you speak a couple of foreign languages.

Step 4 - Make contact

Don’t send out hundreds of generic letters: use people’s names if you can, and choose the CV to fit the kind of work the company is known for. Just like your CV, make sure the letters are well written (good grammar is important) and free from spelling errors – if you’re not confident, get someone else to proof-read them for you.

There’s been a big debate raging about whether it’s better to email your CV, send it by post or even drop it in in person. It’s up to you really, but we think, these days, providing an electronic copy is a must.