How to get a trainee job at... the BBC: The most important thing is to get work experience

The BBC takes on 12 people a year from up to 3,000 applicants for its Journalism Trainee Scheme.

The application process usually begins in September, and trainees will be expected to start a year later.

Claire Prosser, head of the journalism trainee scheme and talent pool, shares her tips for getting onto the scheme and succeeding in journalism.

What does the BBC look for in trainee recruits?

The bottom line is a good writing ability. You’ve got to be able to write well – there’s no way around that.

You’ve got to be curious about the world around you and find stories. You need a lot of energy.

You need to be resilient and flexible because it can be a very difficult job with hard hours.

You need to be quite analytical when writing stories, and you need to be a team-player in a huge organisation like the BBC.

What tips would you give to aspiring journalists?

The most important thing is to be getting work experience.

That could be when you’re at college (joining radio, TV stations or working for the paper), you could join a charity and do some press releases or you could be in a club writing stuff for them.

There aren’t many local papers about but if there are in your area, volunteer and get in wherever you can.

It’s really important to be practising your craft.

Social media is a really good way to get into journalism.

You could be blogging, tweeting, establish your own site. You really need to start developing a presence in the world of journalism.

It’s more important than studying say media studies or something like that. You really need to be getting out there.

If you have a specialism in any kind of area then you need to use it.

Social media does allow people the opportunity for people to shine in journalism.

In the past, you started off in local newspapers or magazines and progressed into broadcast if you wanted.

I went to Harlow College and did an NCTJ and I trained on newspapers and I think the training I had there was invaluable.

I think it’s a terrible shame that option isn’t there so much any more.

Traditionally, a lot of our online journalists come from local newspapers.

Also it’s absolutely vital to show an interest in a variety of media types – you’ve got to really consider yourself a multimedia journalist that can get stories across on a number of platforms.

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