For this reflection, I will be reflecting on my professional website, which include my video portfolio and resume reel. I compiled my best work from my internships and two years as Sports Director for MC-TV to create a resume reel and professional website to present to employers for job opportunities. The thesis of this website is to showcase my best work as a sports anchor/reporter while making it easily accessible for viewers. The overarching purpose of this website is simple: to land a job as a sports anchor/reporter at a TV station. In this reflection, I will show how I used my skills as an anchor/reporter to create the resume reel and how I used my skills in web design to create a website that will set me apart from other applicants that may be applying to similar jobs.
The audience for this message was News Directors at middle to small market television stations. I chose this audience because News Directors are in charge of hiring and firing at television stations. I wanted my website and resume reel to be geared to what they are looking for specifically. I changed my resume reel several times because every news director is different. They look for specific things that pertain to the station they oversee. It is virtually impossible to be able to create one resume reel that suits all News Directors. For my reel, I started with the one thing I knew News Directors wanted to see in any resume reel: how I looked/handled myself on camera. To do this, I started with one minute of what is called a stand-up montage. A stand-up is a term that is used in television to describe when a reporter is in front of the camera, usually “on the scene,” delivering parts of his/her report. News Directors look for demonstrative stand-ups; stand-ups that involve movement or in unique situations. For my reel, I used three stand-ups that included movement with a purpose. The first stand-up is in the Monmouth College Hall of Fame. The story is about the new inductees and their plaques were put on the recently added wall. To show exactly how many Hall of Famers there are in MC’s history, I walked across to the other side while saying the total amount of Hall of Famers. This gives the audience a visual to what I am describing, which is very important to television reporting. One major rule that reporters live by is if you talk about something, show it. I was able to do that with that stand-up by showing the wall with all of the Hall of Famers on it. Another important thing that I changed to my resume reel is the use of local content. Local content is a crucial part of any mid to small market station. Knowing this, I added two minutes worth of highlights that were all local sports teams. This segment starts at the 1:03 mark in my reel, and it show cases two important things. First, it shows my anchoring abilities, and second, it shows how I do highlights on set. This is important because News Directors look for excitement and energy in sports anchors. I accomplish this through my fluctuation in my voice and emphasis on key moments in the games. Lines like “that was the final blow,” or “Mt. Zion poured it on” helped illustrate my style of writing and anchoring. Throughout my whole resume reel, there are no national stories, which is important when I am trying to sell myself as a locally focused sports anchor/reporter. By including demonstrative stand-ups and local sports highlights, I changed my resume reel to fit my audience of News Directors.
For my website, ill also centered the design on what News Directors would be looking for in potential sports anchor candidates. When looking through hundreds of candidates, News Directors don’t want to take a lot of time on one candidate. The simpler I can make it for them, the better. My website is very simple, but gives the News Director more options to look at my work if they feel inclined to do so. My website is simple by having clean lines and colors, only three tabs, and minimum amount of words on each page. The home page has only the essentials on it including: my contact information, my resume reel and a short section about who I am that acts like a mini cover letter. This way, the News Directors can look with one glance and see everything they require of applicants. To add to the ease of use, I created a page just for my resume. The only thing on this page is a picture of my resume so they can look at it quickly, and if they want to keep it for later, there is a clear download button that will automatically download my resume to their computer.
Both the website and the resume reel work together to showcase my best work as a anchor/reporter. Take for example the Illini preseason training with Navy Seals story. This is one of my better packages because it shows how I tell a story. Every reporter tells a story in a different way. For this story, I used a lot of natural sound and interviews to allow the players and coaches to tell the story rather than doing it myself. Nat sound is often used in packages to transition into different parts. I used it as both transition and story teller. The beginning of the package starts with nat sound of the players repeating the values of good teamwork. I used this as the lead of the package because it was the reason the Illinois basketball team did Seal Team training. I used nat sound as a transition from talking about the team did during training, to how the coaches also get involved with the training. Before I talk about the coaches, there is natural sound of the team cheering on their head coach as he does a training exercise. These nat sounds keep the audience interested while also allowing for smooth transitions that may otherwise be hard to comprehend as a normal viewer.
Overall both my professional website and resume reel demonstrate my skills as a sports anchor/reporter. Together they show my skills on camera, writing style, editing abilities, passion for sports, storytelling abilities and my experience through internships.