Media Parents

Monthly Archives: October 2010

media parents CV event wisdom


Hat Trick’s Joint Director of Production, Jessica Sharkey, and Director of Operations, Kate Wilson,  hosted the Media Parents CV Event in October.  They were joined by Helen Matthews, HR Director at Tiger Aspect, David Postlethwaite, Head of Production at Touch Productions, Vikki Barron, Talent Manager from ITV Productions, Steve Wynne, Joint MD of Rival Media, and Amy Walker, Director of Media Parents, who all shared opinions and advice on best CV practice.  Here are some highlights, please also see Helen Matthews’ other posting for tips.

“Talent managers are more helpful than I’d thought!” Adelle

David Postlethwaite, HoP Touch Productions, and Laura Abrahams get down to business

David Postlethwaite’s top tip was to SELL YOURSELF. The talent on is fantastic but the majority of people are extremely modest about their achievements and credits, and we all know that confidence can drain away with a period of little work, so David picked up on that.

In addition to CLARITY in CVs, David also wanted to see TAILORED CVs for particular jobs. There are a lot of multi-skilled and flexible workers on so separate your job roles into sections on a CV, with the most relevant jobs at the top.

David’s last request was for HONESTY.  So what to do if you have a large gap in employment, to have a baby, or for other reasons?

“I was told not to panic and take the first job that came my way but to think about the skillsbase I want to build.  It’s so hard to have the self-belief to turn down work but I’ll give it some thought.” Donna

Helen Matthews, HR Director at Tiger Aspect, and Evy Barry (right) talk CVs

Helen Matthews advised DON’T TAKE THE DATES OFF YOUR CV as it could look shifty – instead OUTLINE OTHER SKILLS YOU HAVE PICKED UP if you’ve had a break in work.   Still keep the most relevant jobs at the top of your CV though as YOU NEED YOUR BEST ASSETS UP FRONT.

You can see more tips from Helen Matthews here:

“Helen told me to use Linked-In for contacts – I would never have thought of that.” Sarah

Kate Wilson, Director of Operations at Hat Trick, takes CVs very seriously

Kate Wilson’s top tip for ways back into work after a break was to approach a smaller company and OFFER TO DO DEVELOPMENT WORK.  Some companies welcome JVs (Joint Ventures) because they can’t sustain large development teams so it can be worthwhile to suss out companies whose output is similar to your ideas.  Kate mentioned that a successful part-time stint in development can often lead to bigger things.

“I was advised to list celebrities that I’d interviewed, as many of them were Hollywood A-listers.”  Sheila

Jessica Sharkey, Joint Director of Production at Hat Trick, (left) keeps it simple

Jessica Sharkey’s advice was to KEEP IT SIMPLE.  A clear bold design will make your CV stand out to someone who is scanning lots of CVs quickly. Stick to TWO PAGES and don’t overload your CV with information. Don’t repeat things in your CV either – every word is vital.

“I was using too big a font and going on to three pages.  To be honest there’s stuff in there I now realise I don’t need – I find it hard to let go of my A-Levels!!” Joe

Amy Walker asked people to TITLE CVs WITH FULL NAME AND JOB TITLE.  Also TITLE YOUR EMAIL with your full name and job title, so the employer can find your talent quickly in a bursting inbox.

If you’re using a married name and a maiden name make it clear which name you want to be known by, and if you can, change the email account name that appears in inboxes to be your professional name so you can be found. DON’T MAKE ANYONE WORK TO FIND YOUR TALENTS OR YOUR CV – let it all sing out for you!

“The font on my CV is way too small – I can see that now!” Clare

Eyes down – Vikki Barron, Talent Manager at ITV Productions, and Emma Cotton (right) discuss

Vikki Barron’s top tip was to WRITE YOUR AVAILABILITY in your email.  Your CV shouldn’t just be what you’ve worked on, but should clearly SPECIFY YOUR SKILLS at the top of the first page.  This should include the particular cameras you shoot on, or other technical equipment or programs you are trained to use.

Another tip from the floor was to INCLUDE THE NAMES OF SPs or EXECS AGAINST CREDITS.

“I am going to put the names of my referees on my CV from now on.” Matt

Steve Wynne, MD Rival Media, gave Ann Marie Goodwin plenty of tips to smile about

Steve Wynne also picked up on covering letters. SPELLING MISTAKES and WRONG ADDRESSEES ARE AN INSTANT FAIL. Accuracy is important because it reflects your precision in your work.

Likewise be accurate in your CV.  GIVE A FRIEND YOUR CV TO LOOK OVER – if there’s a mistake in there and you add your credits as you gain them you could potentially have a blunder in your CV for years!

“It’s been brilliant to actually meet people face to face – I am going to keep in touch now by email.”  Several Talent Managers and Media Parents!

some of the Media Parents crowd swap tips

we had a full house, and the Hat Trick coffee bar was lovely, thanks to everyone who came along

Crikey, hope this is useful reading, it’s taken years to write – anyone want to give me a lesson in how to lay out a blog?!  Get in touch if you’d like to write for the blog too:

October 28, 2010 @ 11:07 pm Posted in Events, News Leave a comment

media parents cv event – tips from the director of HR at tiger aspect


Tonight’s Media Parents CV Event was a great success – the overwhelming response was delight from the talent managers at the level of talent, and the freelancers were delighted by how approachable the talent managers were, and how useful the advice and contacts were.  Huge thanks to everyone for giving up their time to come, and to Hat Trick for hosting in their lovely coffee bar.  I’ll be writing soon with tips from the talent managers, but first, here’s something Helen Matthews, Director of HR at Tiger Aspect, prepared earlier… but first Helen’s response to tonight:

“Met some lovely hugely talented people tonight. Huge congrats on what’s becoming such a success.”


About You

Identify your transferable skills – remember to think about what you have achieved in your “gap”

For example: writing a blog/ doing accounts for your partner/ helping in your local community

Use positive language and action verbs (for example…)

Transforming Motivating Persuading
Flexible Imaginative Tenacious

Targeting your perfect job – prioritise what’s important to you for example:

Networking – think about your last position, your personal contacts & your professional network

Network in a way which works for you

Be clear about what you want

Look for people you click with

Always follow up & keep in touch (but don’t over do it)

Use online networking for eg  media parents, Linked in

Keep informed and be up to date – websites, broadcast, media guardian etc

Action Plan

Who is my network?

What are my first steps?

When will I do this by?

How can I make sure people know who I am and what I’m about?

How am I going to meet with and catch up with these people?

Applying for Jobs

  • Target your CV.
  • Use key words from the person spec/job description/advert.
  • Give clear examples of achievements and actions which can always be backed up.
  • Be confident and sell yourself but be honest about your role and contribution, it doesn’t take long to find out who actually did what, integrity is everything.
  • Attention to detail! Nothing screams out more than a spelling error.
  • Do keep it to 2 sheets of A4.
  • Don’t use colour and fonts thinking it will make yours stand out – it’s the content that is key.
  • No photos! We’ve seen many strange and wonderful pictures, they’re just not appropriate. (but it’s great to see you on!)


October 8, 2010 @ 12:04 am Posted in Events, News Comments Off

media parents cv event – who was there from media parents


Amy Walker long before she tried to set up Media Parents and produce a new series simultaneously.

Media Parents is the brainchild of Amy Walker, a Series Producer with more than 13 years international experience in television.   Her work includes output for the major UK networks – BBC, Channel4, and ITV – across a variety of genres.

Since her first TV job as Peter Bazalgette’s PA, Amy has read a million CVs.  Since setting up Media Parents she has read a hell of a lot more – generally really good ones.

Work on high volume, fast-turnaround series has made Amy adept at choosing excellent production talent with targeted skills for high pressure jobs.  She is well-connected amongst freelancers and at senior management level within the UK TV industry.

Before working in TV Amy worked in theatre, and as a print journalist / editor, so she has first-hand experience of flexible working across media.  She believes passionately in transferrable skills, flexible working, and that Media Parents can help to facilitate a happier work / life balance for many people in media.

Amy will be at the Media Parents CV Event on Thursday 7th October and would love to hear the pieces of CV advice that were your lightbulb moments so they can be posted here.

October 6, 2010 @ 11:34 pm Posted in Events, News Comments Off

media parents cv event – who was there from tiger aspect



Helen Matthews is HR Director at Tiger Aspect

Helen Matthews joined Tiger Aspect as HR Director in September 2007, with overall responsibility for Tiger Aspect HR.

Helen had previously worked at the BBC in various HR roles, leading the HR recruitment and freelance contracting teams across London programme making departments, including Drama, Entertainment, Children’s, Radio & Music, Television and Sport.

Prior to the BBC, Helen had worked at various independent companies and broadcasters, including Planet 24 and ITN, as well as heading up the HR strategy for in early 2000. She is currently qualifying as an accredited coach in career and management coaching.  Please come and meet her at the Media Parents CV Event on Thursday October 7th.  Places can be reserved through contact us.

Helen attended and spoke up for flexible work practices at the Media Parents Flexible Working Meeting earlier this year, and has been actively supporting Media Parents from the outset.

October 5, 2010 @ 4:39 pm Posted in Events, News Leave a comment

media parents cv event : Hat Trick who’s who


Jessica Sharkey is Joint Director of Production at Hat Trick Productions

Jessica Sharkey and Laura Djanogly both spoke at the Media Parents Flexible Working Meeting and it’s great to be welcoming Jessica back to host the Media Parents Event, along with Kate Wilson.

Jessica and Laura oversee the whole range of programme output from the Hat Trick Group from initial development and budget negotiations, through production to delivery.

Jessica joined Hat Trick as Joint Head of Production in 2004.  Prior to this she was Production Executive at Alomo Productions, a role which followed 14 years in the freelance production world working in Drama, Comedy, Children’s and Documentary.

Kate Wilson is Director of Operations at Hat Trick Productions

Kate Wilson is Director of Operations at Hat Trick.  She is focused on ensuring Hat Trick has the right people and skills across the business, and the companies in the group offer the best possible environment for profitable creative activities.

Kate joined Hat Trick in 2005 having previously been Head of Human Resources (Commercial) at a group of museums including London’s Science Museum.  She has also worked in HR at Breakthrough Breast Cancer and as a pedagogical researcher in Liverpool and India.

The Media Parents CV Event is a great opportunity for CV advice and networking. If you are thinking of moving from production to office-based TV, if you are coming back into work after a while, or if you just thinks your CV should be selling your skills more effectively, then this is the event for you.  Places are strictly by reservation only.  Contact us through

October 4, 2010 @ 11:29 pm Posted in Events, News Leave a comment

media parents cv event – vikki barron itv



Vikki Barron is a Talent Manager at ITV

The Media Parents CV Event is a great opportunity to get CV advice and network. If you’re coming back to work after a career break, thinking of moving from production to office-based TV, or if you are just think your CV could do with a revamp, then this is the event for you.

After taking a 6 month career break to travel, Vikki Barron returned to ITV earlier this year  to work with Sally Saunders in ITV’s newly structured talent and training team.

Prior to joining ITV’s Talent Team Vikki spent 10 years working in TV production, mainly in Production Management, at Carlton TV and ITV.  Vikki has worked on smaller documentaries, formatted series and larger reality shows including Airline, Come Dine with Me, Hells Kitchen and I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.

On the larger reality shows Vikki found herself drawn towards staffing and crew management which led to an opportunity to cover a maternity leave when she joined ITV Factual’s Unit Management team for 18 months before her last production managing stint on the US version of I’m A Celebrity in Costa Rica.

ITV’s Talent and Training Team has been actively supporting Media Parents from its research and development stage, and has advertised several jobs through us.  Ex-ITV staffers also spoke at the Media Parents Flexible Working meeting detailing job share and flexibility within ITV.

@ 10:46 pm Posted in Events, News Comments Off

media parents cv event – david postlethwaite



David Postlethwaite is Head of Production at Touch Productions

Overseeing the smooth running of all of Touch Productions’ output, David is responsible for everything from budgeting to crewing, HR to contract negotiations, post-production to delivery.

Having previously worked with the BBC and other major broadcasters and production companies, David has a comprehensive knowledge of the television industry and international co-production.

David ensures the Touch team functions safely, effectively and happily in Bath and on location.

‘Pos’ as we like to call him has been encouraging Media Parents from idea stage, works flexibly with talent when he can at Touch, and is keen to hear from people new to the company who are happy to work in the South West.

To sign up for the Media Parents CV Event on October 7th from 5 – 7pm in North London please click here

October 1, 2010 @ 6:13 pm Posted in Events, News Leave a comment

media parents cv event – steve wynne


Steve Wynne is Joint MD at Rival Media

Also coming to the Media Parents CV Event on October 7th is Steve Wynne, Joint MD of Rival Media.

Steve Wynne is an award winning executive producer with over 15 years of production experience in television, radio and emerging technologies.

Steve’s career in the media started at the age of 15, when he became a presenter for his local ILR station in Wrexham, UK. His move from radio to television came in 1994 when he joined Orbit in Italy – the world’s first digital international television network broadcasting to over 30 countries across the Middle East, Africa & Europe. During his three years at Orbit he produced over 200 hours of original music, kids and entertainment programming.

On return to the UK, Steve worked at Channel 5 and Buena Vista Television. In 1999 he became a producer of the phenomenally successful series SMTVand CD:UK, hosted by Ant & Dec and Cat Deeley. That year, the show won a RTS Award & two BAFTAs, setting a new standard for Saturday morning television.

In 2000 Steve was appointed Executive Producer at The Disney Channel where he led a team of 40, producing factual, entertainment, sports, music and live programming for a variety of broadcasters including Sky One, Five and the international Walt Disney Television network.

During his time at Disney, Steve produced the BAFTA Award winning show The Disney Channel Kids Awards 2000 and the BAFTA Award winning series Star Ticket Active in 2003. In 2004 he was executive producer of another BAFTA nominated show, Madabout. He also notched up three further New York Festival Finalist Awards and was named a Broadcast ‘Hot Shot’.

In 2005, Steve joined Warner Brothers International Television as Director of Production. Whilst at Warner Brothers, he was responsible for the development, production and supervision of all Warner television formats created outside the US. Genres ranged from sitcoms to reality, from factual to entertainment. He rolled out ABC’s The Bachelor internationally and was at the forefront of WB’s move into scripted formats such as Perfect Strangers, Suddenly Susan and Full House.

Steve has been a vocal supporter of Media Parents since its inception, and spoke up for parents and flexible working at our first ever meeting at BAFTA in June.  Rival Media works flexibly with freelancers and parents where it can, so please do approach Steve. With some caution.

The Media Parents CV Event is in north London on October 7th from 5 – 7pm.  Please contact us at to reserve your place.

@ 5:37 pm Posted in Events, News Leave a comment

Media Parents CV Event – jo taylor



Jo Taylor is Head of Learning and 4Talent at Channel 4

4Talent’s aim is to develop and support creative talent at different stages of their careers, reflecting multicultural Britain and a multi-platform industry. Jo is responsible for C4 talent management strategy which includes developing and delivering their recruitment strategy, learning & development, succession and retention strategies. She also leads on internal diversity for her organisation.

Jo joined Channel 4 in 2007 having worked previously in a variety of roles at the BBC and in the Independent production sector. Most recently as Head of Production Talent at Optomen Television, Jo was responsible for recruiting and head hunting talent for the portfolio of productions.

Prior to these roles Jo’s experience has mainly been in the genre of Factual Television and has worked a Managing Editor of the Documentaries and Contemporary Factual dept at the BBC which involved the management and career development of the 500 staff employed ranging from Exec Producers to researchers. She started her career as a Production Manager and Production Executive of the Consumers and Investigations unit which produced programmes such as Watchdog, Rogue Traders, Rough Justice.

Jo has been supportive of Media Parents from the get go, and has invited Media Parents members along to the C4 Editorial Ethics Masterclasses, as well as attending the Media Parents CV Event to offer advice to people who might be thinking of transferring from production to other TV jobs.  If you are interested in the Media Parents CV Event please contact us through

@ 3:43 pm Posted in Events, News Leave a comment

media parents CV EVENT 7th October


The Media Parents CV Event is happening on Thursday October 7th, in North London from 5 – 7pm. If you would like to reserve a place then please email us through

The Media Parents CV Event is a great opportunity to get CV advice and network. If you are thinking of moving from production to office-based TV, if you are a parent coming back into work after a while, or if you are just someone who thinks their CV could do with a revamp but don’t know what works most effectively, then this is the event for you.

The event will start at 5pm with a welcome to everyone, introductions and top CV tips.  Freelancers are then welcome to bring along copies of their CVs to discuss with our experts below – so get there early!  Details of the location will be emailed to you when you contact us through

Media Parents is really grateful to the following people for their help and advice:

Jessica Sharkey, Director of Production, Hat Trick Productions

Kate Wilson, Director of Operations, Hat Trick Productions

David Postlethwaite, Head of Production, Touch Productions

Helen Matthews, HR Director, Tiger Aspect

Vikki Barron, Talent Manager, ITV Studios

Julia Waring, Head of Production Talent, RDF


Jo Taylor, Head of Learning and 4Talent

Steve Wynne, MD, Rival Media

Rebecca Mulraine, Head of Production, Factual & Features, Tiger Aspect 


This event is FREE and you don’t even need to be a subscribing member (although it would be great if you were! ) just bring a pen and several copies of your CV so that you can get different comments from different people and also hand some out if you want to.

See you there!

@ 12:15 pm Posted in Events, News Leave a comment