The podcast industry continues to grow at a slow and steady pace. Despite recent patterns of layoffs in tech and media companies, the demand for good podcasts is still expanding. If you’ve been podcasting for even a little while, you may want to get a job in the podcast industry. To do this, you’ll need to focus on strengthening your podcasting skills, keeping up with industry news, and making yourself as hireable as possible.
Skill Building: Show How You’re Good at Podcasting
When I first started podcasting, I made a multi-layered show with a big cast. I put everything I knew about dramatic writing into it, along with all my interests and questions about the world. I hoped that podcast would get me a job writing for a television drama like Deadwood or Game of Thrones. As you can see, that didn’t happen. Producing a podcast taught me a lot about project management, though. Clarifying “how to make a podcast” for myself helped me to get the job I have today.
Your podcast can be a great work sample. It can show potential employers your skills and interests. Hitting a consistent production schedule shows you can meet deadlines and deliver what you promise. If you’re already making a podcast, don’t stop! But, keep it simple. Find the middle ground between your dream podcast and the most sustainable show you can imagine.
Your podcast makes an excellent place for you to practice the skills employers want for podcast jobs. If you take classes to build your podcasting skills (like our Academy) or join a mastermind, your podcast can be the proving ground for your lessons. By producing a sustainable podcast on a predictable schedule, you show employers you can do the podcast job they need.
Podcast Industry Fluency, or Know Your Stuff
Companies that hire podcasters depend on their employees to know what’s happening in the podcast industry. For example, most podcasters know that audiences want transcripts, whether they’ve gotten audience feedback requesting it or they wished they had one while enjoying a host’s mumbling. The people managing podcast jobs care that their company’s podcast is accessible, but they leave the details to those doing the tasks. If you’re up to date on podcasting news, details like creating and editing transcripts will be something you add to your workflow as second nature.
Most of the major podcast news sources are free. Some industry news sources, such as The Verge’s HotPod or Bloomberg’s Soundbite, require a paid subscription. Check your local library’s databases to find what technology and business periodicals you can access.
If it seems as though nobody’s writing about a particular podcasting topic that sparks your curiosity, set up a Google Alert. I have them for “audio drama” and “fiction podcasts,” and they help me gather news for The Fiction Podcast Weekly newsletter.
Podcasting organizations of all kinds can help you stay current, too. Whether it’s a paid group like ShePodcasts or WOC Podcasters, or a free group like our Indiepod Community, paying attention to the discussions podcasters have will help you stay fluent in industry issues.
Make Yourself Hireable for Podcast Jobs
Pick out the set of podcasting skills you enjoy most and focus on that. There’s no point in getting a job as the art director for Wondery if what really interests you is sound design.
Social media can be exhausting, but the image you present there affects your chances of getting hired. I’m less worried about the pictures on Facebook from your best friend’s bachelorette party, and more focused on what you do with LinkedIn or Podchaser.
When you have a significant update from your podcast, post it on LinkedIn. If there’s a skill you need to help your job search, LinkedInLearning has courses on everything from resume writing to building a personal brand. If funds are tight, you can access LinkedIn learning from your local library.
Podchaser’s Creator Profiles can act as a calling card for podcast industry jobs. If you’ve been a guest on other podcasts, you can link that information right on your Creator Profile page.
When your social media profiles are all consistent, people will feel like they know who you are. It’s too easy for hiring managers to run your name through a search engine to find your latest projects and activities. Make sure what shows up is impressive.
Podcast Job Hunting
You’ll see job listings on some of the podcasting newsletters you follow, such as Podjobs on Podnews, or in the email newsletter for Sounds Profitable. However, it helps to search with a legacy media perspective and not just a podcast industry point of view.
For example, if you want to work in podcast public relations, look where any PR jobs are listed, not only podcast employment boards. Want to work for a particular company? Follow their social media, company blog, and check their career boards periodically. If the job you want has a labor union, follow their social media updates and pay attention to their news.
Be The Podcaster You’d Want To Hire
Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech at the University of the Arts went viral and was published as a book. In it, he provided a vital paragraph for anyone who wants to work in a creative industry.
“People keep working… because their work is good, and because they are easy to get along with, and because they deliver the work on time. And you don’t even need all three. Two out of three is fine. People will tolerate how unpleasant you are if your work is good and you deliver it on time. They’ll forgive the lateness of the work if it’s good, and if they like you. And you don’t have to be as good as the others if you’re on time and it’s always a pleasure to hear from you.”Neil Gaiman, Make Good Art, University of the Arts 134th Commencement, May 17, 2012
Over the past five years, the podcast industry has been a roller coaster. That doesn’t mean you can’t take the ride, as long as your seatbelt’s fastened. Ultimately, getting podcasting jobs is just like any other employment search: be the person you’d want to hire.
Be sure to keep up with the podcasting news if you’d like to work in the podcasting industry. Our handy guide will show you the best sources for keeping you up-to-speed.