Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thank you for applying for the position.....but.......


“We appreciate everything that you’ve done.”

We all know what’s coming next. It’s those words that everyone dreads to hear once they are called in to talk to the business manager and the operations manager of a radio station.

“But we’re going to be moving in a different direction.”

Of course what that REALLY means is “we’ve found a more efficient way to do things here without you.”

So, after that fateful talk, what comes next? Well there’s the time to take to yourself for a few days. Sitting around the house in your underwear, eating cookies and fixing things on your resume. Hopefully you were able to get an air check before you left the station. Brush up that reference sheet a little bit, make sure to take off the people that just fired you, because let’s face it… they fired you, what good could they have to say??

Now you get in touch with all the radio people you’ve developed relationships with over the years. You may get lucky and one of them tells you to start packing because they’ve got a job for you and you start tomorrow! Odds are though, their station is probably in the same boat as others all over the country and aren’t looking to add any new air talent at the moment. So you start scouring the internet, going to all the websites that you know that post job openings.

WANTED: Account Executive in Smalltown USA! Apply Now!!

Well, I’m not a sales person, let’s see what else is out there…

NEEDED: Join our sales team, make $$$

… Sales again? Let’s scroll down a little bit more.

OPENING: On-Air Superstar needed! Madeuptown, USA

Hey! That sounds right up my alley, what are the details?

Are you compelling? Understand social media? Do you love to make personal appearances and have a passion for radio? Great attitude and work well with others? APPLY TODAY!

Wow, that sounds amazing and it is totally for me! I have great content, I tweet and Facebook! Being in front of a crowd and playing music IS my passion! I’m a happy go lucky guy that gets along with everyone, of course I’ll apply!

You immediately send out an e-mail with all of your qualifications and your air check that you’ve made everyone you know listen to and get feedback from. It’s only a matter of time until the PD from Madeuptown, USA calls you and offers you the job, so no need to worry, go grab a bite to eat and by the time you are back at your computer, you’ll have that offer!

What? It’s been 2 hours you haven’t heard back? That’s okay, they probably just went to lunch.

Three days later? Maybe they went on vacation or something, it’s okay, they’ll get back to you.

A month later… okay, maybe that gig wasn’t for you…

Now you check your sent e-mails and see that you’ve sent off 78 e-mails to potential employers. Of that 78---only 5 have responded to you.

“We really love your stuff, but are going with someone who is familiar with the market.” “You’re air check was great, but it’s not what we are looking for at this time.” These are both valid responses that anyone can understand.

What about the 73 who didn’t respond back? Were they so busy that they couldn’t send a blanket “Thanks, but no thanks” e-mail?

Understandably there are a lot of people on the beach today. So with any job opening, there are literally hundreds of great jocks available and all sending in their resumes and air checks that are just as good as yours for the most part. Still, what’s the reason for such a poor response?

Now you start to question your career choice? Are you really good enough? Are you aiming too high? Are there some backroom dealings keeping you from getting a job?

The crazy thing is that two of the replies you heard back from, one is a top 10 market, and the other is a top 60 market, so you’ve got to be doing SOMETHING right… right?

Truth is, most of those would-be-employers do get in hundreds of applicants for their postings. However, I don’t see this as an excuse to not at least be able to send a blanket e-mail to all of those they aren’t considering.

I’ve talked with a number of PD’s…from small markets to major markets about what they do with all of their applicants and how they decide who to contact, and who not to contact.

A Top 40 PD from a small market recently had an opening and he told me that he received about 200 applicants and tried to get back to as many as he possibly could with a “Thanks for applying” response. He then took the 15-20 that were being seriously considered and told went a little more in depth with his responses to them.

In talking with a PD from a major market, he said that he’s received upwards of 300 for a single opening. Of those 300, he said he may have actually listened to and checked out 45% of what he received and responded back to only 25 applicants. He admitted to getting bored with hearing all of the air checks that they started to all sound the same. His reasoning for not getting back was he didn’t have time to get back to them.

“Thank you for applying for the position. After evaluating many applications, we have selected another candidate to fill the position. Thanks for your interest and good luck.”

That took me 20 seconds to type. To copy and paste into a reply to an e-mail takes another 15 seconds. To reply back to 275 applicants, that would take a little more than an hour. With all of the different hats people in radio wear these days, an hour might as well be a lifetime. At the same time though, what would it mean to the lives of those that are patiently waiting for their next opportunity?


  1. WOW! Jessica have you been reading my mind? I'm in the same boat hang check that life preserver you are. I finally said hey if you can't join beat them http://arizonasrealrockradio.com

  2. Thanks David...it was actually from a friend of mine who is frustrated.
    I like your site it looks great!

  3. Know what sucks the most about not getting the call backs? Listening to the station and KNOWING you're better than what is being offered there currently.

    Lots of good jocks are out of work and lots of bad jocks are still on the air for whatever reason. Naked pictures of the PD, nepotism, idiots running the asylum, whatever...

  4. Reconsidering career?! I have...but digging ditches is real work.

    I am almost at the point of my opening line being, " I will pay to move myself, Dear Mr. SuperPD."

    But the Summer off has been nice.

    I am 3 responses to 10 packages. So my average is up. Vigorously seeking employment in the Fall where my average may dip. But a personal website done correctly could help your chances. Make it as easy as pie to navigate and 2 seconds to load. PD's have 5 seconds of patience.