Entertainment Jobs Q&A: When Should I Start Applying for Jobs?

entertainment jobs ellen degeneres

Is Ellen DeGeneres the new Larry King? (Photo by Andrew Eccles/ABC via Getty Images)

The Oscars are in the rear view mirror and there have already been countless reviews, analysis, dress critiques and sightings of Pharrell’s hat out on the town. So I’m going in a different direction.

Is Ellen DeGeneres this generations Larry King?

It’s not an apples to apples comparison because Larry King never hosted the Oscar’s, and lately has been starring in music videos with Billy Ray Cyrus, which I hope Ellen would never do, but there is a reason I picked this comparison.

Larry King ‘s show was always regarded as a safe haven for celebrities, especially those mired in controversy. He didn’t ask probing questions and frankly, he gave everyone at his desk a chance to make themselves look good. The guy nailed the psychology of interviewing, he stepped out of the way and let the stars talk. Genius in it’s simplicity, King rode ‘being safe’ to a long and productive career.

Ellen is more show-stopper than Larry King could ever be, but like Larry she is safe. She makes the stars feel comfortable and look good and that is a winning combination.

Chris Rock, Ricky Gervais…even Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin – were funnier and far edgier, but made the stars uncomfortable.  Ellen fits the rare mold of delivering what the celebs want while still entertaining an adoring audience.

Forget McConaughey, Ellen might be the big winner of the night.

Alright onto this weeks big question coming from Kimberly who posted her question in the comment section of this article (which is a great way to communicate with us). You can also post to our LinkedIn group or Tweet at us – it sounds creepy but we are always listening.

The Q:

Your blog has been extremely helpful to me. I am a senior in college graduating this May, and would love to know about when is the most appropriate time to start applying for jobs?

Kimberly (from the comments section)

The A:

Kimberly, what a great question. Timing is always important, but it’s also something you can easily over-analyze.

I remember continually putting off my job search during my senior year of college because it seemed easier to avoid it than face the fact my cush life on campus was nearing it’s end. I mean, does it get any better than having easy access to food just about anytime of day, without having to cook, shop or clean up?

(Just like me to relate college to food – you’d think I’d weigh 300lbs considering how much I think about eating)

Back to the question and away from my food addiction.

I think you should start three to four months prior to graduation, but lets look at this from both sides of the equation.

1: As a job seeker the general rule of thumb is that it will take 1 month to find a job for every $10,000 of salary you expect to make. So if you expect to make 40k, expect your job search to last at least 4 months.

entertainment jobs

As a job seeker finding a job takes time, so get started now even if you don’t graduate until May

I honestly have no idea how someone figured this out and it seems a little generalized for my taste, but if it was published on the internet in hundreds of places it must be a fact, right?

Sarcasm aside, it’s going to take a few months to find jobs, apply for jobs, interview for positions, consider relocation, etc etc. so get started now.

2: As an employer, whenever I had an open position to fill, I assumed it would take at least 3-4 months. If it was an entry level job, it would probably be less, if it was a mid-level or executive position it could sometimes take 6 months to a year.

Again, the point is, this process takes time for everyone – employers don’t want to rush and make a bad choice and seekers may have to search for a while just to start getting interviews, no less offers.

I’d hypothesis there are less employers for entertainment jobs out there that would look at your resume and say “she hasn’t even graduated yet…next!”, than those that would say, “she’s graduating in May, she’s a match for what we want…May is just around the corner, lets bring her in.”

Get started now! And  skip spring break this year, you have a career to start.

If you have other thoughts for Kimberly please add them to the comments and if you have a question you’d like answered for our weekly entertainment jobs Q&A column, well, you can add it to the comments too. And if you’d like to mention how much you love our blog, that will fit in the comments. Or you could email my boss – that works too.

I think I’m done here.

About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the broadcast media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for WorkinSports.com & WorkinEntertainment.com.

Recently Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. No seriously, you should.


  1. Birgit Sandoval says:

    Trying to get a job in the media business will be extremely difficult for new graduates. Most entry level positions are already filled with unpaid interns and “volunteers.” Unless you can afford to work another year or two for free, new grads will either have to settle for very remedial or clerical type positions that offer little or no pay. I returned to school and received a BS degree in video production and am still looking for work 6 months later. I am now looking at other industries and corporate jobs where I can utilize some of my media skills together with my prior work/education experience in other fields. I believe this is the key to becoming more marketable in an extremely competitive media business. Keep learning and getting experience after graduation. Learn other industries, business, politics, science, education etc. that can be merged with a media education. Media, whether it is social media or entertainment, is only a vehicle to express a message or tell a story. Without a strong foundation in developing the message or story, the media and it’s creators become ineffective and non-marketable.

  2. Kimberly says:

    Thanks Brian! I started applying in February and haven’t heard much back, and if I did it was that it was too early. 🙁 I am looking to relocate to New York, but I feel as though that is another headache in its own.

    • Kimberly, the process takes time, that’s why I think it’s ok to start early – you are getting your name out there and establishing a presence, lets say one of those companies that said “you’re too early” has an opening come up in May…now you’ll already have some level of establishment with them, which works to your benefit. I just don’t think there is a downside to starting early – you may not get an offer now, but you start the process. As for New York… it’s the heart of the industry! – Brian