On air sign in a radio studio

October 13, 2022, by Leah Sharpe

Why I Changed My CV Because of BBC Radio 1

By Emily Oxbury, MA History Student and Student Blogger

A surprise CV review at a Radio 1 Connects training day inspired me to drastically update my CV, something which was long overdue as I had not thoroughly edited it since applying for university three years ago!

Since first properly curating a CV I have undoubtedly developed my career aspirations further and began to aim towards breaking into the media or live events industry. Although I had been sure to keep my work experience up to date and add all my university jobs, my CV was certainly in need of some tweaks in order to mirror these goals of mine.

Fortunately, the careers adviser at a recent Radio 1 Connects training day was impressed by the content of my CV, stating that my work experience and hobbies clearly reflected my passion and interest in radio. However, she gave me some key tips on how to better structure and order my CV to specifically appeal to potential media based employers.

1. Emphasise work experience

Firstly, I was advised to emphasise my work experience and place this as the opening section of the CV. This surprised me as I had previously always started with education. The reasoning behind prioritising experience, when applying for media based roles, was that employers are searching for things that make you niche and demonstrate your specialisms. Almost all candidates applying for these jobs will have a very similar educational background, but volunteering and work experience can really help you to stand out from the crowds. Of course education shouldn’t be completely omitted, and the generic advice of including Maths and English GCSE grades, A-Levels and University education remains. A brief summary of your education is important when applying for any industry!

2. Include links

Providing links and signposting to further demonstrate my involvement in radio was seen as favourable. Providing a link to either your LinkedIn page or Soundcloud can allow you to showcase your presenting and editing style – something which can’t be shown through a written CV! Providing an online portfolio of all your best work in one place means potential employers don’t have to trawl the depths of the internet to see examples of your work. Instead, if your CV impresses, they can easily get a snapshot into your media work all thanks to one compact URL.

3. Be concise

Despite my CV being packed full of relevant information, it was highly recommended to me to shorten the descriptions of my work experience and extracurricular activities. If employers are reading potentially hundreds of CVs for a role, they want to quickly be able to skim read and find your key strengths and experience. I altered my CV from including large chunks of text describing my interests and experience, to short bullet points which highlighted the skills and responsibilities each role offered.

4. Be creative

Being creative with what you include in the work experience section was the final takeaway point from the CV review. Work experience does not have to be limited to simply paid jobs, but can include volunteering, university society work or any freelance jobs you may do that highlight certain skills. For instance, it was suggested that my involvement in University Radio Nottingham should be emphasised within the first few points of my CV, as this demonstrates a greater amount of radio related work than any part time paid shop work or babysitting could!

Taking on this advice and restructuring my CV led me to realise that when applying for jobs and work experience within the media industry, I need to provide a more tailored account of my work and volunteering experience, and emphasis roles which directly connect to the world of radio and journalism. Therefore I decided to create two different CVs, both following a similar template but focusing on different things. I made a ‘generic CV’ and a ‘media CV’, which allows me to choose the most suitable one when applying for jobs. Due to having worked a variety of jobs since high school, and partaken in a plethora of extra-curricular activities and societies, there was no way I could talk about every single piece of experience in just two A4 sides! Creating two separate CVs allowed me to categorise my experience and select those jobs which were most appropriate for the media world to ‘wow’ potential employers, even if these may not have been the most recent jobs I completed.

I highly encourage you to think about your target employer when editing your CV ready for job applications. What’s the company’s main goals and who is their target audience? How can you prioritise which work experience and skills you include to show how you are best suited to the field of work you’re applying for? What makes you stand out from the crowd – make the potential employer want to invite you to interview to hear more about you!

Think your CV is word perfect? Why not book a CV review with the Careers team to make sure!

Posted in CVs and Cover LettersStudent Bloggers