How to get a start in television

How to get a start in television

Wednesday, 12th July 2023
Love Island: made by Lifted Entertainment (Credit: ITV)
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An RTS Futures event in June offered tons of tips – covering CVs, training schemes and interview technique – for new talent hoping to make their mark in TV.

Kicking off the online event, Edi Smockum, MD of recruitment specialist ThinkBigger!, whose clients include Channel 4, said the aim of a CV was to “get a clear and positive account of what you have to offer”.

She said a CV can run to up two pages, “but never be embarrassed if you’re a new entrant – one page is absolutely fine”. It should, she said: “stress achievements and skills”; “get your key messages across quickly and strongly at the very beginning”; and “keep the presentation simple”.

Smockum added a few more CV staples: “Tell me who you are and what you want to do”; “tell me the story of your career – I don’t mind if you’ve just left university or worked in hospitality”; and “check your spelling and grammar again and again”.

Daniell Morrisey, who runs the BBC’s apprenticeship and trainee schemes, outlined the types of schemes and bursaries operating across the industry. “There’s something for everyone and at every level of experience,” he said.

“Our entrance-level schemes at the BBC are all about potential, so we’re not looking for lots of experience, but we are looking for passion.” For journalism or production apprenticeships, Morrisey advised that blogs, films on social media or work on a school or university newspaper offer evidence of commitment. To find information on schemes, he recommended looking at the websites of broadcasters, indies, ScreenSkills and RTS Futures.

Stern & Wild talent agent Natalie Spanier advised: “Watch lots of telly – work out what you like… and do your research. Find out who the production companies are that make those shows, look up the people on the credits and start making a strategic list of those companies and people.”

“Do your research” before an interview, said talent exec Lauren Evans, who works for Lifted Entertainment, which is part of ITV Studios. During an interview, she added, “Show passion, enthusiasm for the role, a willingness and eagerness to learn”.

The online RTS Futures event, “The ultimate guide to getting a job in TV” was held on 8 June.