Thursday, November 3, 2011


With all the recent layoffs in our industry, I thought it would be good to re-visit a past blog of mine on the right way to apply for that next gig.

It’s been my experience whenever I’ve posted for a job opening most of the applicants I get are awful. I’m not talking the demos themselves, but the overall package and presentation. I’ve realized that many people have no idea how to apply for a job in today’s radio environment.

Times have changed. PD’s are doing more and moving faster than ever before. Trying to find great talent to fill an opening is a massive chore. The easier you can make it on me, the better shot you have at getting the gig.

If you are looking for work, this is your one chance to impress me and get my attention.

Here’s a list of what NOT to do the next time you have to send a demo.

1) Send everything I asked for in the posting all in one e-mail. I don’t have time to chase you down for your references (I hate the line “references available upon request.” That tells me you don’t have any and you need to call some people to get them). I’ve actually had several people not even send an audio demo with their resume.

2) Don’t just send me a line in an e-mail that says “check out my website” and not include anything else. I don’t have time. I want (and many times need for HR purposes) hard copies of the demo and resume. Again, if I have to chase you down for this, you probably won’t get the job.

3) If you attach your demo and resume file to the e-mail, label it with your name and what it is. I’ve gotten some that were generically labeled “Resume” or “Demo.” I had to re-name them so when I put them into my “Opening” file on my computer, I know whose who. Again, it’s a small thing that can really help a busy PD. A few people did include their name and phone number of the file name. I liked that a lot.

4) Send me a demo that’s about three minutes. One guy sent me an eight minute demo (that locked up my e-mail) and another guy sent me a :14 second, one break demo. Obviously, send your best stuff and put the best of the best at the start of the demo. I know you’ve heard that before, but you’d be amazed how many people don’t put a lot of time or effort into the demo. That’s the single biggest thing you are sending me. Make it count.

5) On the topic of demos, don’t open your audio demo with an artist saying “hi this is (famous star) and you’re listening to …”. I want to hear you, not the artist saying your name. Most PD’s are not impressed by that.

6) Do your research. With the web, you can research a ton about the station and the market. Know who is getting the demo and a little about the station. It’s amazing how many people still write “Dear Sir/Madam. I’m always impressed when someone out of town knows a lot about the station and the area.

This last part is for the PD’s that may be looking for someone.

I was a former jock once that sent out airchecks and never got a call back. It was frustrating and demoralizing. I vowed that one day, no matter how hard it is, I would respond to everyone. Even if it was a short e-mail saying “thanks, but it’s filled.”

We as PD’s owe it the applicants to return their phone calls, or respond to their e-mails. I realize it may not be the same day, or even the same week but as PD’s, its part of our job. I constantly hear PD’s saying “where’s tomorrow’s talent coming from?” If we’re not making time to respond to them (or even offer advice/critiques to them) then we are just as much to blame at the lack of talent as anyone else in this industry.

I was lucky enough when I started to have a few PD’s help me and to this day, I’ve never forgot them and still look up to them. I love this business and think we as PD’s owe it to all talent to give them some attention and coaching, even when they don’t work for us. Trust me, it will pay off.

1 comment:

  1. BRAVO, JOHN! Not only is it refreshing to know that there's at least one PD who will actually acknowledge that you've taken the time to send a package, but this article is also a great reminder that too many of us short circuit our own career efforts with a poor job of marketing ourselves.

    Thanks for this blog, and thanks for being one of radio's best!