How to Get a Job in Radio

Are you trying to land yourself a job in radio? Don't waste your time applying for countless roles on job boards, instead, check out these helpful tips to get you on the right track.

Jamie Ashbrook
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Are you trying to land yourself a job in radio? Don't waste your time applying for countless roles on job boards, instead, check out these helpful tips to get you on the right track.

Start Small (Think Big)

Probably the best way for you to get a job in radio is by starting out small. Don’t expect to jump straight in at the deep end and become a station manager overnight. You will most likely start out volunteering at commercial radio stations first, then build your way up to a paid position and eventually, the position you are after.

John Peel, for example, started off as an unpaid volunteer at WRR (AM) and worked his way up to be the longest running DJ at BBC Radio 1 to date, not to mention he's remembered as an incredible record producer and journalist. Just bear in mind that a lot of radio stations rely heavily on volunteers, so paid positions are relatively hard to come by outside of organisations like the BBC or Global (for here in the UK).

Talking to the Right People

A common mistake most people make is they imagine that once they are up and broadcasting, industry professionals will take notice and flood them with job offers, but that's not the case. Don’t be afraid to contact people online, the worst they can do is say that they don’t have any work available at the moment. Just make sure you are actually putting yourself out there and contacting people.

Take Adam Pacitti for example. He went above and beyond to land his dream job in the media industry by hiring a billboard to advertise himself.

It may seem extreme, but it worked! Landing him around 60 job offers and finally a job in the media industry.

If emailing people or splashing out cash on a billboard isn't your thing, then try talking to people face to face at industry events. They are a perfect place to socialise with industry professionals and get some contact information. In fact, BBC Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw built his career from networking and making a name for himself. He regularly gathered connections through his radio show at University which helped him to land his job at the BBC.

Creating a Social Presence

It’s best to start creating a presence online as soon as you can. This means making sure your radio station has a good online presence through different social media outlets, but also yourself as an individual. Make yourself known. Create social media accounts and tell people your story.

Show them how much you enjoy doing what you’re doing. It will always look good when you eventually get that job and your employers look online and see you working hard and enjoying yourself doing so. If you don't know what to talk about or how to brand yourself then check this guide on Social Media for Radio Stations: Why You’re Using it Wrong & How to Fix it.

Approaching a Radio Station

If you have a specific radio station you would like to apply for, then you need to think carefully how to approach them.

Firstly, you need to find the best person to talk to about getting your foot in the door. It's no good emailing hello@radiostation.com, chances are your message won't get seen by the right person. Either take a look on the station's website or do some research beforehand. If there's a LinkedIn page for the station they'll be a list of people working there.

Secondly, when you apply you need to use a personal touch. It's no good being too formal or too rigid, both of these things won't make you stand out, especially in the media industry! If you're looking to do on-air work as a presenter, you will need to talk to the programme controller or director. Provide a short snappy demo tape which shows off your skills.

Job Boards

Sometimes you just have to get your hands dirty by researching and applying for roles on job boards. Luckily, there are plenty of places you can discover jobs. Here are a few for broadcasters in the UK:

If we've missed a job website you think we should add, then let us know by getting in touch.

Still Struggling to Get a Job in Radio?

If all else fails, why not try creating your own job? Work hard on your radio station (or even podcast if that's your thing), create an actual business plan, and apply for start up awards for funding.

There are so many things you can do to try and start up your radio station as a viable business. While it definitely requires a lot of work, patience, and organisation, it’s definitely not impossible if you know what you're doing!

What do you think of our tips? Have you found a job in radio? Then share your experiences and offer advice to others in the comments. Why not take the hands on approach and start your own radio station? Sign up for your 7 day free trial by clicking the button below.

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