Saturday, December 21, 2013

Craft the Perfect Resume

I've hired interns before and you wouldn't believe how many resumes get tossed in the trash for the simplest of reasons.

Here is a couple things to keep in mind when crafting your interview-gaining resume:

1. DESIGN.
    Just think about it, the entertainment industry is based on creativity. Most interns should have some graphic design skills or at least know how to use Microsoft Publisher and create visual presentations. Therefore its not surprising that the truly creative resumes get thrown in the trash less frequently than those that use the same Word template. I can't stress enough, please DON'T USE A WORD TEMPLATE. Employers see these 85 times a day. Note: Unless you are applying to an agency where tradition and simplicity is preferred.

  Tips: Build it on Word (preferably Mac Publishing Layout) for easy changing, use color as an accent, the background should be white for easy printing, save as a PDF. Remember, design should enhance the requiters ability to READ and UNDERSTAND your resume. Not make it more difficult.

  Examples: 





2. PRODUCTION EXPERIENCE
Are you in film school? Have you worked on independent films or even studio films? Those should be on your resume, but where? A good rule of thumb is to put your production experience in its own little section as this person has done below. There are a couple exceptions to this rule. 1. If you were paid (such as a PA on a Feature Film) this can go under work experience. 2. If you are applying to be in an apprentice-type situation (ie. intern with a Cinematographer or Art Department), then they will want to see your experience front and center.
3. DON'T USE "FAKE EXPERIENCE." 
 I understand you were the on the journalism crew for the Girl Scout National Convention in 2008. However, that conference is 3 days long and they let anyone be on the journalism crew. High school club positions, camp counselor positions, and other jobs that aren't "really jobs" should NOT be on your resume. If you have no real experience instead focus on education (list college classes, honor societies) and positions with office experience. High school should have no place on your resume, assuming you are a sophomore in college or higher. I also shouldn't have to tell you not to lie on your resume.

BAD: Head Videographer at the World Affairs Seminar June 2009
GOOD:  Receptionist at London Law Firm (Your Dad's Company) June 2009

4. MODIFY FOR EVERY POSTING. 
If you don't change at least one part of your resume for every job, you're doing it wrong. You must modify the experience you list, your skills, or your production experience based on the requirements listed in the job posting. Although a lot of internship postings (especially Development internships) are the same, employers want to see if you fit the requirements in the first 10 seconds of looking at your resume.  You can at least change your Final Cut Pro skill to Avid based on the positing, assuming you know both.

5. 10 SECOND RULE. 
Its no secret that the people in the entertainment industry are busy. That means your resume has about ten seconds to impress them, likely less. Either they click it open in an email or they are presented about 20+ resumes at once. Keep this in mind. Use bulletin points, short sentences, and an easy design in order to succeed.

6. LINKEDIN MATCH.
Make sure your Linkedin matches your resume or improves on it with more general experience that did not fit on your targeted resume. If you are graduating early, make sure it reflects that. You don't need more than a Linkedin profile filled out as far as recommendations and such go. However, if you want to go all the way, go ahead! More power to you!

7. BONUS. WEBSITE. 
I must say that having a website that has my portfolio of writings, photography, and graphic design on it has greatly impressed employers and helped me get a lot of internships. You don't even need website design experience to make one. Wix.com is a great free website with no HTML. WordPress and even Tumblr are great too. Just add your own domain name and be sure to include links to your Linkedin.

If you have any more questions or tips email hollywoodinterndiaries@gmail.com or comment below.

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