Is Your Radio Resume Holding You Back?

When you’re applying for an on-air job, nothing is more important than the aircheck we attach to your email. However, the resume we include with your email is a close second.

Over the years I’ve hired, coached, worked with and known some incredibly talented on-air personalities. But, their level of talent and experience on-air often did not translate to a strong and effective resume. Some of them even missed out on opportunities they were fully qualified for because of those weak, poorly formatted resumes. Is the same thing happening to you?

Here’s a few simple things to do, and not to do, when putting together your resume.

DO use your graphic design skills (if you have them) or a good template to make your resume look professional and stand out.

Not unlike an aircheck, DO start with your strengths. If your work experience is your selling point, then put that towards the top. If it’s your special skills that make you stand out, or awards you’ve won, then list those first.

However, DO NOT list every special skill you have. DO list the unique skills that you’ve acquired focusing mostly on the ones that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. This sends the signal that you aren’t mass-applying to everything on the job boards and are interested in this specific position.

Similarly, DO NOT put every single job duty under your work experience. We’ve all read the weather, taken meter readings, etc. Things that are a given can and should be excluded.

DO summarize your job responsibilities to eliminate redundancy. Someone who repeats things on their resume will probably do the same on-air.

DON’T confuse them. Make it simple and easy to read. Remember, you’ve got limited time to catch that PD or hiring manager’s attention. Don’t make them search for the important stuff.

DO get everything on one page. Only using a second page to list references if necessary. I’ve literally had on-air personalities send me a book that included hundreds of pages showing everything they’d ever done in radio. That’s a red flag that screams ‘this person is going to hard to manage and coach’.

Finally, DO include references. If they’re interested than they’re going to ask for them anyway. So, save a step. Resist the urge to put the names of well-known radio people that you only worked with for a very short while or barely know. Instead list people you’ve known or worked with for long enough that they can fully articulate how great you are to work with when they get that call. That being said, if you legitimately have worked with someone who’s fairly well known in the industry don’t be afraid to ask if you can list them as a reference. Nine times out of ten, they’ll say yes. But, it’s also important to understand that experienced hiring managers are going to go beyond your references, look at your work history and call anyone they know that might have crossed paths with you. Because we all know people typically only list references they’re confident will say nice things about them.

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