Jobless Turn To Radio To Get Noticed

Since the recession began last year, millions of people have become unemployed. Competition for landing a job is more difficult. A few job-seekers have found a creative way to try to get noticed: They are airing resumes on the radio, courtesy of Clear Channel Communications.

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NOAH ADAMS, host:

Many Americans are out of work, of course, and looking for creative ways to find employment. Enter Clear Channel Radio. Its 850 stations are letting people who are unemployed market their skills on the air.

From NPR member station WKYU in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Lisa Autry reports.

(Soundbite of radio program, "The Joe B and Denny Show")

Unidentified Man: Final couple of minutes of the week of "The Joe B and Denny Show…"

LISA AUTRY: Football season generates plenty of banter about flags and fumbles on WKRD's Real Sports Radio in Louisville.

(Soundbite of radio program, "The Joe B and Denny Show")

Unidentified Man: Are they're talking about position switches for some of these guys are red shirts? I mean seven backs is a lot to have.

AUTRY: But in between those segments, the station dedicates airtime to the unemployed.

(Soundbite of radio program)

Unidentified Announcer: Here's another radio resume.

Ms. CASSIE(ph): My name is Cassie. I recently relocated to the Louisville area. I've been working in health care for the past 11 years.

Mr. ADAM(ph): Hi, my name's Adam. I have a bachelor's degree in business management with a minor on entrepreneurship. I have years of experience in retail and currently serves as an assistant manager in the retail industry.

Unidentified Woman: I worked in the hospitality industry for two years, as well as other customer service jobs. To see my resume, visit this station's Web site or see ccwildon.com(ph).

AUTRY: Texas-based Clear Channel has launched an effort called Radio Resume, which connects job seekers and employers via the airwaves. Every week, Clear Channel stations pick a number of unemployed people to record 30-second spots. Interested employers can get job seekers' resumes on the station's Web site. Bill Gentry is president of Clear Channel's Louisville market.

Mr. BILL GENTRY (President, Louisville Market, Clear Channel Communications): Obviously, we want to get the best candidates on the air who are very articulate and have a real need and have great experiences and have been laid off or just new folks coming out of college looking for their first job.

AUTRY: Kevin Burroughs(ph) has been out of work for three months. He was driving down the road, listening to country music, when he heard the Radio Resume, and that was his aha moment.

Mr. KEVIN BURROUGHS: That'd be kind of interesting. It'd be different. And different people listen to the radio than watching TV or sit in front of the computer. I thought it'd be a good chance.

AUTRY: So Burroughs applied and was chosen to record his resume. Inside the Louisville station studio, Burroughs gets help from assistant operations manager Dave Jennings.

Mr. DAVE JENNINGS (Assistant Operations Manager, WKRD): So I would start off with the degrees and then go into experience and, you know, because you've had a couple of fairly lengthy management jobs.

Mr. BURROUGHS: Really over 25 years of health care.

Mr. JENNINGS: I wouldn't say 25 years.

Mr. BURROUGHS: No because that kind of dates you.

AUTRY: Once his script is written, Burroughs takes his first crack at the mic.

Mr. JENNINGS: Be slow and conversational.

Mr. BURROUGHS: Hey, my name is Kevin, and I have a bachelor of administration and an associate in computer programming, and I have worked in the medical field, and I have worked in restaurants and retail.

Mr. JENNINGS: Okay, going to start one more time. You're just about there.

Mr. BURROUGHS: It sounded halfway decent.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. JENNINGS: It's getting there. It's getting there.

AUTRY: Many takes later, Kevin Burroughs leaves with a polished radio resume, a little optimism and a lot of hope. Again, assistant operations manager Dave Jennings.

Mr. JENNINGS: You know, sometimes they'll think man, I'm going to be on the radio, and I'm going to be heard by so many people, and this, you know, this is going to guarantee it, and so I hope we haven't given false hope, either. I know we've helped some and gotten the hopes up of so many more, but, you know, the economy is tough.

AUTRY: Jennings points out the Radio Resume allows job seekers to get their name and experience out there for free and is an unconventional way that shows aggressiveness.

Mr. JENNINGS: That takes a certain, you know, level of, you know, humility to get out there and say your name, and I'm looking for work. You know, that just shows you how tough it is and what people are willing to do to help themselves and their families.

AUTRY: Nationwide, 4,000 radio resumes are broadcast each week. At least 100 people have been hired.

For NPR News, I'm Lisa Autry in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

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