In June, with most colleges out for the summer, the focus for most new broadcast meteorologists is either on internships or the job search. I’ve always felt that getting the first job out of college is the hardest, and it can be a real stressful time for new grads. Its like jumping off the diving board, hoping the pool is really full of water.
So hopefully, you’ve got a great resume tape. If you don’t, that’s a topic for another post. Now that you are out of school, its time to hit the pavement and grab that first entry level job. The first thing you’ll want to do is reconnect with professionals you might know from internships or conferences. They usually have an ear to the ground and might know of an upcoming or current opening in their market. You don’t want to be a pest, but a quick email should do the trick. If they know about something, and want to give you a hand, you’ll hear back.
The one-stop shop that almost everyone uses is TVJobs.com. You pay to get access to the job database, but the cost is reasonable for an annual subscription and well worth it. That is where I found my job at WCAX in December 1998, and more than ten years later, its still the place to go. Medialine.com is also a good resource, not only for finding openings, but posting your tape as well. The WxLine forum is also very good there to see what mets are talking about. It does cost money to post your reel and look at openings, but if you are actively looking, its a good investment.
If you are trying to save some money, or if you know the region you’d like to find a job in, you can search television websites directly. Most stations post their openings somewhere on their site. Each station is different, so it can be a little frustrating and time consuming at times, but sometimes you’ll find that unadvertised job you weren’t expecting to find. To get started, try Newslink.org. There you will find a pretty good index of local television stations organized by state.
I see a lot of graduates sending out blind tapes, meaning that every station within a three hundred mile radius of where they live will get a DVD popping up in the mail. I’ve never felt that unsolicited tapes help give you an edge. I think that if a station needed to fill a position, even if it was in a pinch, they just wouldn’t hire the person who showed up in the mailbox that week. They are going to find the best person they can, and with so many mets looking for jobs, it would be crazy to just hire anyone.
Its a process, and it takes time, so no matter how good you think your tape is, be patient and persistent. Things usually have a way of working out. Any tips or tricks you’d like to share on how and where to look for broadcast meteorology gigs? I’d be happy to hear from you.