About getting a Job at the BBC

#1

A friend of mine works at the BBC. I’ve met a number of people who have also wanted to work for the BBC, but have failed to get in. The problem is that it’s one the most competitive organisations in the whole UK to get into, simply because everybody wants to do it.

So, unlike other industries, getting a job here is more matter of who you know. There are few ‘straight-forward’ application procedures. Assuming, like myself, you know nobody in the industry, the best thing to do is to get work experience.

Work Experience

Work experience is working for free, and is one of the few remaining forms of slavery in the UK. But it will help you get a job.

The BBC offer a work experience program, and you can apply online. For anybody who has applied to this, you will know how notoriously difficult and competitive getting in on this can be. To cut a long story short, you are wasting your time if you only apply to BBC work experience, because the odds of getting a placement are extremely low.

The trick is… don’t bother trying to work the BBC. Of course you should apply and make every effort, but the chance you will get in is low. The reason is because anybody who wants to work in any kind of broadcasting (and that’s a lot of people) are going to be applying to the BBC.

So, in addition to applying for the BBC, you should apply for work experience at the countless other independent organisations that are related to broadcasting. These include television studios, production studios, radio stations, news organisations and so on.

If you can secure a job at a place like this, you have your ‘in-road’ to working at the BBC. With 12-18 months experience working elsewhere, not only will you meet a lot of people, but now you are in a position to be employed by the BBC.

I’ve seen it done and it will be done again. No doubt the BBC might dispute this, but I do believe, in my opinion, this is the way it is.

Hope this helps,
Chris.

#2

I’ve been on courses before and have met people who applied for years (literally) to the BBC work experience programmes beofre getting a random call asking them to come in for two weeks.

The trick is to be persistent and then when you get in, to wedge your foot in the door so hard that they can never get rid of you!!! If this means working for free, working long hours, sleeping with your boss (only joking… well, maybe!) then that’s what you have to do.

The other way to do things is to get a contact by any means possible (cold calling, randomly turning up, attending press careers events, etc) and then abusing this contact and trying to get work experience from them.

In my experience this works the best… once you have a contact, abuse them! Don’t give up, and keep contacting them until you get something. This is what they probably did to get their job after all…

I’ll give you an example, many many years ago when I was 17 I applied to a local paper for their work experience programme. surprise, surprise two weeks later I got a rejection letter. “We are too full, go away”. Understandably I was annoyed.

A few weeks later I witnessed a group of kids joyriding and hit a tree and then run off leaving a burning car. It was night, and I was the first person there before the police arrived. After calling the police (obviously) I took some pictures, (which meant I had to convince the police that it wasn’t me who set the thing on fire) and then later that night wrote a story. I sent this story to the same paper and waited. They never contacted me, so once again I gave up. Then, later that week a family friend commented to my mum that she’d seen my name in the paper. The cheeky b£££stards had printed my article word for word without telling me and gotten all the credit!!! I called up the paper, found the person who had printed the article and jokingly complained to them and suggested they let me do work experience in stead of paying me for the article itself. The contact found this quite humourous, and let me turn up the week after and literally write loads of articles. Getting a direct contact at a paper, radio station or TV broadcaster is a brilliant way to get your foot in. I still write freelance for that paper now, ten years later. And yes, I do get paid now!

#3

The BBC is full of dinosaurs. It’s a poorly managed organisation and not the great place to work that it once was. Don’t worry about not getting in there, you are probably better off.

#4

You’ll get a job anywhere with BBC on your CV though. Plus it’s still a great place to learn and the training they give is great… and you get to meet all the celebs on the beeb!

#5

I have applied for a training scheme with the bbc and was hoping to find out how long it generally took to be notified, and if you get any notification if they do not want you for interview?
I am still hopeful as the closing date was the 6th April but I really want it so want to know how long I wait until I should start hassling them!?! :o

#6

Hi all,

Do you know how long I shall wait to hear back from the BBC after applying? 12 days have passed now since the application deadline and I am starting to get a bit nevous! It’s a possition at BBC Worldwide (non trainee or workexperience). Thanks!

#7

Hmmmmmm. Well don’t be too gloom-ridden and don’t be ridiculous. I may of course have just got lucky but in my second year at university I put in just one application to BBC work experience, I spent a week on it and really made sure that I answered all their criteria specifically, interestingly and even with a little humour/zaniness, and I got accepted, no interview or anything. It’s not impossible.
Please don’t shroud it in mystique, it’s a workplace just like anywhere else and as long as you can understand what they’re looking for and can demonstrate that in writing you’re good.