If you're vying for a spot in a fun, interesting career such as a radio host or producer, you'll definitely need an internship before getting hired. A radio internship gives you a firsthand look at how a station and its affiliates operate with sales, talent, hosting and producing. You can snag one of these coveted internships by creating an error-free, eye-catching resume and interviewing well. If you approach your internship with creative flair and a sparkling work ethic, you just may land a job at the end of your stint.
Revamp Your Resume
A detailed, well-organized and error-free resume is number one in getting your foot in the door. Make sure it includes the school you attend and what you're majoring in. Include a high grade-point average and awards or recognition in anything pertaining to your career objectives. List any pertinent communication experience or jobs with similar skills you need for working at a radio station, such as an outgoing personality, technical proficiency and writing and researching know-how.
Put Your Best Shoes Forward
While a radio station environment may be casual, you should be anything but in the interview. Dress in well-fitting, conservative yet stylish clothing that says you understand the difference between an interview and an internship. Make sure your skirt or dress is only a couple of inches above your knee when sitting and refrain from wearing low-cut tops and super-high heels. Speak clearly and definitively in a friendly voice and ask pertinent questions relating to the job: how many hours you'll work in a week, what events you'll be attending and in what ways you'll get to use your savvy media skills. Don't forget to mention that you like the station and send a prompt thank-you note to those who interviewed you.
A radio internship involves communicating with listeners, hosts, producers and advertisers. You'll be responsible for coordinating events and producing factual marketing materials, answering phones and updating the website, helping record and edit on-air segments, and preparing hosts with their scripts and segment endorsements. Make sure you meet deadlines and produce content that's original, audience driven and fresh. If asked to fetch a guest coffee, come back with it as ordered. When the office needs tidying, pitch in without being asked. Approach the internship with dedication and interest, and decision-makers will be sure to notice your value.
Show What You Know
Delve into tasks that others aren't as willing to do. Can you navigate a Twitter account, update a flash banner and load a digital pic within seconds of each other? Volunteer to be the station's media voice, manage podcasts and update website content using your tech skills. Get invited to brainstorming meetings and throw out innovative ideas that show you have a comedic side and know what listeners want. If your writing is witty or your research skills are speedy, let everyone know. Volunteer to help produce a segment, prep a guest or help a host refine his script. These things all add value to your internship status and will have hosts and producers interested in keeping you aboard after the internship's over.
Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Finn has been writing professionally for 20 years. Her print and online articles appear in magazines and websites such as "Spa Magazine," "L.A. Parent," "Business," the Famous Footwear blog and many others. She also ghostwrites for mompreneurs and business owners who appear regularly on shows such as Ricki Lake, HGTV, Carson Daly and The Today Show.