5 Top Tips for applying for a work placement!

Sammi & Carol Bellyflop TV

Are you a student looking for work placement in the video production industry?

Here are Bellyflop TV’s Sammi and Carol’s 5 Top Tips to applying for work placement opportunities!


S: Hi, I’m Sammi

C: and I’m Carol and we’re here to talk to you about our Top 5 tips on how to apply for a work placement in a video production company.

S: So, we’ve had a few emails to date asking if we have any placements going. Unfortunately we don’t at the moment.

C: But being the kind of people that we are, we have decided to make this small video for you with our tips on how to apply properly to actually be successful.

S: Okay, so number 1… Treat it as though you’re actually applying for a real job.

C: So, CV and cover letter that is your top priority. Because obviously we would like to know more about you and the background you have got. Maybe you’ve used cameras…

S: Or you’re experienced on Avid or Premiere Pro, something like that. As well, a few of them at the moment have been – the first sentence, literally has been, “ I’m applying for work experience because it is part of my module at university.”  That’s not something that we want to hear.

C: Don’t say that because it makes us feel like you’ve been made to make contact with us. You don’t want to do it but you have to, and that never works well because then at the end we have to give you an opinion. If we say ‘they haven’t been interested’ then obviously you’re mark is going down.

S: Okay. As well, I think one thing we like to see is examples of your work. So if you’ve made your own videos at home or as part of university – we’d like to see them. That’d show us how interested in it you are, how passionate you are about it as well.

C: Yes, and if you’re using an example of work that we have done, like we had a person actually say, “Oh yeah, we really like this video,” then tell us why, because that will let us know in a way what kind of work you would like to do. Are you interested in more pre-production, organising it writing the full schedule and the script or in a post-production, do you like the special graphics, effects or maybe the camera movement and you want to be a camera operator then we can actually give you the work that you will be enjoying during the work placement instead of sitting here crying silently on the inside.

S: As well, we’ve had a few emails where they’ve not really specified what part of the job they really want to do. There’s one email where she said, “I really like your website, can I have a job?” That’s not something that we want to hear either. Yes, it’s nice that we’ve got a nice website but that doesn’t tell us anything about what you want to do in the industry if you get into the industry after you’ve been with us.

C: Yes, it’s like you’re mum asking you, “What would you like to do in the future?” – “I want work on the telly.”

S: That’s not really specific enough.

C: Yeah, like do you want to get inside of the telly? Be a person waving? You have to be clear about the positions.

S: Okay, so number 2…

C: Do some background research! Just like at uni or college – you’re doing research for your projects. Do a project when you’re applying a for a job, because you might end up in a situation where you’re looking for a job in a video company but you’re actually applying for an accountants company because you haven’t done the research, because the names of the companies are really similar.

S: I think as well, looking at who actually works there at the moment – say that you wanted to be an editor then you might as well do some research on me (its a bit selfish I know). If there’s a specific job that you want and you aspire to do that in the future, look for someone who already does it and maybe contact them about it.

I was talking to Jonathan yesterday and he was saying that his advice would be to… if you wanted to work on say The Great British Bake-off and you wanted to be a camera-person on The Great British Bake-off then watch the programme, see who comes up as a cameraman on the credits – or a camera person I should say on the credits – and then see if they can be contacted and ask them, how did they start out? What kind of tech do they use? Just ask them for general advice as well. Kind of compliment them as well, that always works, say,  “I love the work you did” with the camera movements and all that. I think thats really good advice from Jonathan and I think you should definitely take that to heart.

C: Especially when we’ve been getting emails. Jonathan is very often giving speeches at the colleges to try and encourage people to actually make the step into the industry – because its very enjoyable, trust us. Then we’ve gotten emails saying, “I don’t remember you’re name but you’re pretty cool and I really enjoyed that, can I have a work placement?” That kind of makes us feel like you haven’t been listening fully. You’ve done no research. How can we take this person seriously?

S: Make it personal and find out their name.

C: Number 3… Find them and follow them on Twitter!

S: Or any social media!

C: Yes, we have Facebook as well and we have YouTube too.

S: Us especially, whenever we get an application or an email saying, “Have you got any work experience for us?” We’ve actually gone onto Twitter and Facebook and looked you up. If we find anything that’s slightly a bit ‘not so sure’ most likely we’re not even gonna…

C: It’s more about people being reliable, so if you have got pictures on Facebook of you drunk in Ibiza with your friends and doing weird stuff. Just make sure you’re profile is private and no one else can see your speeches, only the people you have got as friends.

S: I think one piece of advice I will give you – it’s what we’ve done as well, we’ve created our own professional Twitter and Facebook and stuff. Short and short I would say keep your personal and professional profiles separate, that’s the best way to go about it rather than combining the two.

So, Number 4!

C: Very important one…

S: Do it yourself. This is not the type of thing where you can say to your teacher, “Find me a placement.” We’ve had a couple of people that have come to us through work experience that have been given to them through their teachers and they really haven’t been suited for the job. They were lovely people, don’t get me wrong but they weren’t interested in what we were doing. If you want a specific job then get it yourself. Do your research because otherwise you might not get the benefit from it, you might not like it that much and then in the end we might just get a bit fed up with you.

C: Well if there’s a company that you aspire to work with in the future then obviously you should be applying for a work placement over there. Like if you would like to work for the BBC you will not go to a cake shop to apply for a work placement that will not get you a job on The Great British Bake-off – well, that’s going to be on Channel 4 now…

S: It’s the same principle…

C: Don’t go in two different directions because that will not get you at the point you would like to be at. The thing that is probably worse than asking your teacher to get you the work placement is asking your parents who then are chasing up and messaging us, “Can you get us a placement for my kid?” That makes us feel like you don’t actually care about it and we would like to enjoy this whole opportunity as well because we might just learn something from you. Maybe you know a special trick in AfterEffects or Premiere and we can learn it too and sell it on our video and make our customers happy. It’s a both ways thing. All of us can achieve plenty.

S: I think my final point on this would be no one know you better than you know yourself – so if you think this is the best job for you, do it yourself, don’t get anyone else to do it because ti might not work out in the end.

C: Point number 5 – probably the most important of them all – don not ask them to contact you. I’s the thing that drives me crazy. Honestly it’s because I’m dealing mostly with the emails and with all of our customers and it just makes me feel like you don’t care and obviously we would like to spend the time with you, teach you, learn from you so you’ve got the best work placement ever because then you would say, “yeah I had a work placement with Bellyflop TV, it was great” and that make us feel really good about the things we do. So if you say, “If you have any work placements, let me know – contact me” It just feels like you don’t care, and it’s pretty sad.

S: I think the main point we’re trying to say is if you end your application email whatever with “let me know when there is one” when really it’d be best when they’re advertising or when we’re advertising then that’s the time really to say, “I’m interested in the role.”

C: Yes, if you want to get a job, anywhere, let’s say a cake shop, and you put in your application they’re hiring and you didn’t get it, okay maybe next time I will, so you go in and you hand in your application again and you have to keep on track with it. That’s our thing to do. If you haven’t been successful, don’t leave messages like, “oh I haven’t been successful.” Maybe the other person was slightly better, or had bigger experience, it’s not personal. It’s not that we didn’t like your application because maybe in the future we will give you the opportunity. It’s not like we’re bias or anything – we’re getting girls, boys, all nationalities, ages. As long as you have the experience and you can benefit from the placement then we’re going to get in touch with you.

S: I think a good tip as well, going back to the whole Twitter thing, is – say the company you want to apply to is on Twitter or Facebook then I would like their page, I would follow them and keep tabs on what they’re doing – react, if you like, retweet, and when they search for you when you’ve applied for this job and they see that you’ve been interacting with them, or us, then it might make you a little bit higher on the spectrum.

C: Yeah, because then we feel like you’re on the tip of your toes trying to get this job. You care, you want it and you might get it. All you have to do is to apply in the correct way.

S: We hope that this helps you,

C: And we hope to hear back from you

S: Let us know if anything that we have told you in this little video blog has helped you. Let us know as well if you’re ever successful.

C: Definitely and then if you liked it then maybe we’ll make another vlog for you with more tips on how to apply for a current job or what to do when you hear back from them and you’ve got an interview because that’s very important as well.

You can follow us on Twitter @bellyfloptv,

S: and @BellyflopSammi

C: and @BellyflopCarol

S: So from myself, Carol and Jonathan, we hope to hear from you soon!

Both: Bye!




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