The Jobless Journalist: Week six – Trainee scheme application forms

This is the sixth post in a series from an anonymous UK-based journalist recently made redundant. To follow the series, you can subscribe to this feed.

You can also read posts by our previous ‘Redundant Journalist’ blogger at this link.

The reason this post is late is because I’ve just finished filling in the BBC’s trainee scheme application form.

As anyone out there who has ever applied for one of these schemes will know – the forms are monsters.

The BBC’s was particularly time consuming and took me the best part of a week to complete. It’s the application questions that ask you to explain why you want a place on the scheme or to review a news bulletin that take a lot of thought.

The reason these forms can take so long is because you know how many people you’ll be up against. There’s no point in doing them at the last minute as you won’t do a good job.

A former blogger on this site, Amy Oliver, recently started on the Daily Mail’s trainee scheme.

As someone who has cracked the application process, I thought it would be useful to get her advice on the subject.

She says: “I felt, with the trainee scheme I applied to, my CV was crucial. I’d honed it beforehand.

“My absolute top tip for applying to any scheme would be to check out journalism forums for posts by people who have applied before. There is usually a reply from a person who works at the group giving advice.

“Determination is the key to any application. I applied once and got turned down. I applied a second time and got turned down, but then had to re-interview for a different position.

“I didn’t give up and neither should you. Follow up your application even if you get fobbed off by an HR person. Try and speak to someone about it. Get their feedback.

“Phone up the relevant person to get an idea of what you’re up against before you start filling in the form. Ask how many people usually apply, ask who got on it last year and try to get their details to speak to them.”

Was it all worth it? Amy thinks so: “It is absolutely worth applying for every trainee scheme going – even if you want to kill yourself by the end of it.

“If you get onto it, it’s a fantastic way of getting onto the ladder. In my experience you are nurtured and supported and will learn so much in such a short period of time.

“Never think, ‘I won’t bother applying for this because I won’t get it’. That road literally leads to nowhere.”

1 thought on “The Jobless Journalist: Week six – Trainee scheme application forms

  1. Matt

    Have only read this entry but one thing struck me. If you are a journalist made redundant then you are not eligible for the BBC trainee scheme. The scheme is for non qualified or experienced applicants only. You can have no formal training or of held a job as a journalist. Surely you should be applying for reporter roles.

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