The end of March Madness means sportscasting job season is upon us. The big dominoes this year include Duke University and Mississippi State. While those are not realistic options for most of us, they do lead to a domino effect that can lead to new opportunities for sportscasters at all levels.
If you are looking for a new gig you have to be on your A game. To help out readers all across the country I reached out to several prominent decision makers and asked them to answer five key questions about what makes people attractive hiring options. This week features Tom Boman, the Vice President of Broadcasting Operations at Learfield Sports.
How much time do you give to each resume on average and what percentage of applicants have their demo heard?
I look at every resume that I get while doing a search. That really helps me see if they have the experience we’re looking for. Your actual demo is only a small part of the process. How you fit with the school and other skills you bring to the table have a large impact. I usually listen to a couple of minutes of each submission.
What catches your attention on resume’s, cover letters, and demos?
I don’t really look at/or need cover letters. On a resume I look for experience as well as where you’ve been geographically. In a demo I want to hear your best stuff first. Give me your best drive in football and a solid 5-6 minutes of hoops.
Do you have any turn offs or pet peeves that automatically take an applicant out of contention?
Honestly, the thing that really drives me crazy is when I get an email or note from a candidate and they’ve spelled my last name wrong (BTW, there is NO “W” in my name). If you can’t pay attention to that detail then what else are you not paying attention to? I’m not a huge fan of blanketing our ADs with calls on your behalf. Save your silver bullet when you know you’re in contention, and even then do it with quality NOT quantity.
How much follow up is too much?
See above! In Learfield searches you’ll know thru the process where you are. When we get to the Top 20 I send out an email to congratulate and let them all know the remaining process. They get a “congrats” or an “I’m sorry” email the rest of the way. For those not making the 20 they’ll see a posting on STAA.com. Those of us that do this for a living have a lot of other things on our plate besides the hiring of talent. The more we can get done in a day the happier we are.
How do you feel about the idea that you should apply for big time jobs even if you aren’t particularly qualified because A) you get your material in front of decision makers? and B) You never know what could happen?
I think anyone who feels confident in their abilities should apply. What do you have to lose. At worst you’ll likely get your materials heard. That being said, you also have to be realistic. If you’ve only been calling PxP for a year or two, you need to understand that a Power 5 job might be a bit out of your reach.
Thanks to Tom Boman for taking his time during this busy time of year to share some insight into his hiring process. Next week will feature the answers to the same questions from Howard Deneroff, the Executive Vice President and Executive Producer at Westwood One Sports.