Brit Stack, news director for KOAM-KFJX-TV in Joplin, Missouri, has spent a lot of years working with early-career TV journalists.
She says before you even think about applying for TV news jobs, you need a strong resume.
“I think that one of the biggest mistakes that I see for resumes, in particular, is not highlighting relevant experience highly enough,” Stack said. “I’ve literally had resumes where their relevant experience is on the second page or the third page even.”
Stack also said that when submitting video reels for an anchor role, it is important to make sure all attached links are accessible and working. Video reels should be organized and no longer than 10 minutes.
Once you have all of your items in order now what?
When it comes to applying for jobs, Stack says many graduates stress over the interview process. For some, it’s their first time putting themselves out there to be seen by employers. According to Stack, preparation is key.
“Research the station,” Stacks stated. “At least look at some of the stories they’ve covered [within] the past couple of days and have an idea of who their main anchors are.”
Stack also mentioned that prospective candidates should not be afraid to ask questions during the interview process. Questions encourage conversation.
“I want to have a conversation with you,” said Stack. “I want to know who you are, [and] why you got interested in journalism.”
Congratulations! You got the job. So, what’s next?
Stack says it’s hard to get the most of a job when fear is standing in the way.
“Don’t be afraid to try new things,” Stack said. “Sit down and talk to the veterans. That is the best thing you can do. You’re going to learn so much. Also, just [be] a good listener.”
In 10 years, Stack managed to go from an internship while she was a student at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media to the top job in the newsroom. When asked how she made it happen, Stack said her passion to help young journalists is what drives her.
“The funny answer is a lot of hard work and a lot of pulling my hair out,” Stack joked. “But the real answer is determination, wanting to train younger journalists and really relying on the skills that I learned here at Ole Miss..”