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How Not to Get a Job in Sports Radio: Sales Remix

Last week, Jason Barrett posted a blog titled “How Not to Get a Job in Sports Radio” outlining a myriad of ways you can blow your opportunity to get hired in this crazy business. As someone who has done his fair share of hiring for various positions in radio, I’m constantly amazed at some of the incredibly stupid things people will do when trying to get employed.  

In the article, one of the parts that stood out to me was the advice on social media. Not that long ago, I had a gentleman apply for a sales position and his resume intrigued me. As I was getting ready to reach out to him for an interview, I put his name into Facebook and let’s just say the things he chose to write about and post pictures of (on a public account) were not the kinds of things you’d want a potential employer to see. The guy presented himself online as an HR nightmare.  His resume quickly went in the trash.  

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Jason’s article made me think of other highs and lows when dealing with recruitment. Recently, I’ve had two candidates who were applying for on air positions reach out to me as the sales manager and introduce themselves. The two of them did, however, take very different approaches.  

One of them sent a note that said they were looking through our website and saw my contact information. He wanted to reach out and let me know that he had applied for an on-air position, but that at his current job as a talk-show-host, he is very involved in the sales process. He listed a few of the accounts he had worked on and some of the creative ideas he had implemented in his show that became sales opportunities. I was impressed.

The other gentleman sent a note that said he had applied for the on-air position and hadn’t heard anything yet from our PD. He wanted to know if I could “put a word in for him” and help him make sure the right people saw his application and credentials. Then, all throughout the day, I started to receive forwarded messages he had sent to every name he could find on our station websites. I was not impressed. This man went right up to the line between persistence and annoyance and took a huge leap.

People ask me all the time about how they can go about getting jobs in our industry and I always tell them the same thing: sell. If you can directly help generate revenue, you have increased your chances of working in this business exponentially and once you are in, anything can happen.

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You see, the secret to being in this business is being in this business. Many people I know started on one career path in radio and ended up in another (myself included). From on air to sales, from marketing to on air, from sales to marketing and on and on. Radio sometimes acts as its own little world and once you’re in that world and understand its complexities and pace, you become much more valuable than someone “from the outside.” The easiest way in is to be able to sell.

So, much like the guy who emailed me and gave me his background with ideas and working with clients, if you’re looking to get in to the sports media business, relate what it is you want to do to revenue and increase your chances. Or, start in sales and prove your ability to bring in revenue and who knows where it will go from there, heck you may even really like it!