Thursday, July 31, 2014

Advice from an OWN Recruiter: Get an HR Approved Resume

The first in a 3-part series, a recruiter from cable channel OWN and Discovery Communications, tells us all of her secret advice for how to score internship and entry level jobs in the entertainment industry.



Your Resume

Resumes are you first impression, tagline, elevator speech, and food in the door. They are not a novel, cheer, artwork, or a rough draft.  


Recruiters take an average of 5 seconds to scan your resume to determine if you are qualified and relevant. Qualified means you are a college grad (or in college for internships) and  basic admin skills. To be relevant consider your location, company brand names, and your work history. Those are all things the recruiters at any many studio look for.


What Shouldn’t Be On Your Resume:

Resumes should not have any lies. In fact, you should be able to talk for 5 mins about EVERYTHING at your resume. Do no list irrelevant acronyms, don’t assume everyone knows what you’re talking about (especially in HR). Do not have narrative paragraphs, unless you are applying for a writing gig. She suggest using bullet points instead. [Note from Austin: I disagree, as long as it’s less than a sentence and using commas you should be good!]. Other no no’s: “references available upon request (duh)”, photographs, inappropriate info (birth date, religion, race, address), or typos.



The Should’s

Your resume must showcase a clean format (see our Etsy store for some cool examples), industry language, relevant work history (DON’T PUT EVERYTHING), and targeted qualifications for the job posting. You should tailor at least four things for every job posting, this can be skills, qualifications, or the creation of an “objective” section.

The Objective Section

The objection section can be called anything you want profile, summary, career goals, etc. It’s basically just 2 sentences at the top of your resume that tell recruiters why they should want to interview you. It’s an opening statement, basically. You can tell your relevant skills and strengths, just as long as you don’t rehash your already listed work history!

[Note from Austin: This is similar to what we do in our cover letter how-to, here. Just shorter]. To see which skills to highlight, you can use the venn diagram method- your skills against the job position requirements.


Applying for Internships and Jobs

It can be hard to tailor your resume for every position, therefore it’s best to apply for 10 you really care about! Kind of like college applications, a couple safeties (Conan), a couple reaches (ABC, CAA), and mid-range target companies (Maker).Throwing out 50 non-tailored resumes won’t do you any favors, especially if you apply to multiple positions at the same company.  It will also be very disheartening.


Accomplishments v.s. Duties

She also states to make sure you use bullets that illustrate your accomplishments, what you brought to the job, versus your standard admin duties (i.e. rolling calls, filing). For instance instead of “I answered phone calls” try “I created a new office-wide system for logging calls.” See! Doesn’t that just sound better!


Company First

Another amazing tip she had is to put your COMPANY NAME FIRST.  If you’re like me, you’re entire resume is “Intern, Intern, Intern, Intern” when you read it, since the position is listed first. However, switch it around, and my brand name companies are front and center! Perfect for entry level job searches.


For Those Lacking in Experience

She also has some tips for those that don’t have strong resumes: “If you can’t make it strong, don’t make it wrong.” She says it’s okay to have a list of core qualifications or a short list of classes (blendable with your IT skills). However, these things should disappear once you have real work experience!


Spice It Up With Personality

You can also add one or two personal things on your resume that set you apart (i.e. Ran a Triathlon). This gives the recruiter a sense of who you are. However, don’t use “Hiking” or stereotypical past times. You can also use humor! But keep it light, small, and depending on the job posting.


For business and legal, your summary is one of the only places you can be creative. However, the more creative the job and industry, the more creative your resume can be.[Note from Austin: I mean have you SEEN our Etsy shop!]. However, be sure you can read it across the room and that it’s clean. No graphic design resumes (i.e. Resume porn) needed!


Production Experience

If you are applying for a production-adjacent internship, production experience can go at the bottom of your work history or in it’s own separate section. Do not put them together! Like vinegar and water they don’t mix!


Finish Strong!

Always send as a PDF, not a word! Formatting changes, editing power, and you could accidentally send the red lined one! Ek! Your title should be FirstName_LastName_Resume_Year. Do not send as “Resume” or “AustinResumeUpdated382929292”.


And remember, always attach your resume on follow up emails.
Be on the look out for the second/ third installments in this series, cover letters and interviews!


Need a Resume? Check out our NEW Etsy store below. Get a new amazing resume instantly for only $10.

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© No Experience Required Maira Gall.