Be smart, not dumb


In the last few months, I’ve had the opportunity to see a sample of applications for some senior production jobs at a UK broadcasting company.

What dismayed me was the naivety of applicant’s knowledge and understanding of the roles. I’ve seen media undergraduate students applying for roles which demands at least ten years experience in the industry. This reflects very badly on their application and those put forward in the future.

If you have little or no experience in the industry, go for entry level jobs. This seems like common sense, but you wouldn’t believe how applicants lack such sensibility…

Also if you do have experience in the industry, be realistic. You can’t walk into a factuals department as a researcher if you have only been running in entertainment shows. There is some degree of overlap, but typically a factuals department would like someone from a factuals background, same with entertainment and drama.

When you apply for media jobs, please do your research. Study the role, know what to expect, find out from people who have been in that role. Also know that company you apply for inside out. Its no good applying to somewhere when you haven’t seen any of their shows.

Spellcheck your cv/applications, as those with errors get chucked out. Hundreds if not thousands of people apply for positions every day, so it makes it easier for recruiters to whittle the list down.

Finally, I’ve seen this one case where it was an utter LMAO moment and complete imbecilic farce:

“I would love the opportunity to work for Ch4 as it provides shows that are provocative and entertaining. I wish to take viewers upon a journey and believe that Ch4 must continue to take risks if they wish to be at the vanguard of creativity and boldness.”

The broadcaster I work for isn’t Ch4…


Hey that was MY application! Not really, :smiley: but some of those questions on applications do make you jump through a few hoops. I sometimes wonder if A) ideas are being pinched and reformatted and B) if the company sees the applications as some sort of market research.



You raise some useful points here - and I agree that applicants should always do their research when applying to jobs.

But I also feel strongly that recruiters could do a lot to improve the relationship with job-seekers - as it can seem (on a bad day) like the recruitment process is designed to cause applicants as much humiliation as possible!

I dont’ know what your company’s policy or processes are like but… Not only are companies’ application forms increasingly time-consuming to complete, but you then ask applicants to spend time preparing for interviews, getting to interview etc and spending money on getting there too. Then they might take a day of doing an interview or assessment centre, and then another day for another interview…

Applicants know that this ‘jumping through hoops’ is part of the deal - but I think they also deserve a response if they are unsuccessful. Just saying “If you haven’t heard by the 10th, we don’t want you” is not good enough. And claiming you ‘don’t have time to reply to every candidate’ also won’t wash now that there is plenty of software available to help you do this. And remember how much time the CANDIDATE has just put in!

The good news is that some companies have finally twigged that this kind of shoddy behaviour is a bad look for their company - and that a poor candidate experience can actually be damaging to their brand. Often, the candidate IS their customer - plus we now have excellent sites like WikiJob which are all about transparancy, so poor treatment of candidates should become a thing of the past before long!

In the meantime, when posting comments like the above, however well-meaning it was intended to be, I think a little empathy wouldn’t go astray. In particular, the “I’ve got a job and you haven’t” tone is unlikely to go down well. If you’ve ever been unemployed for more than a week, you’ll know it can be a pretty demoralising place. You don’t have to kick people when they’re down!

Tanya de Grunwald

PS You can find the blog post ‘Ignored candidates take revenge on rude recruiters’ here: