Sunday, April 5, 2009

When applying for jobs:

1. Follow instructions. People often have specifications about whether to attach or copy & paste your resume, what to put in the subject line, whether to include a cover letter, etc. If they say NO CALLS, don't call.

2. Pay attention. See if you can find out what company it's for. Tailor your letter to the job - if it's for an agency, don't write about how you can't wait to work in production. Same thing with "objective" on your resume - I actually think you can trash this section. But if you really want to have one, make sure it doesn't say "to get a job in development" when you're applying for a job at a management company or something. Don't go on and on about your writing and directing accomplishments if the job does not involve writing and directing. And if the posting says "send resumes to Sally Brown," don't address your email "Dear Sir or Madam" or "To Whom it May Concern." It concerns Sally Brown.

3. Don't make your resume more than a page long. Use smaller fonts and wider margins if you need to - but when you're applying for entry-level or nearly entry-level jobs, it's ridiculous to go onto a second page.

4. If you're not already in LA, you need to specify that. You probably shouldn't even be applying yet at all. There are sooo many people already here - the employers aren't going to wait for you.

5. Keep your cover letter short - and for Hollywood, I'd err on the side of not being super formal. Try to let a little bit of your personality show through rather than sounding like your letter was automatically generated from a Career Services website.

6. Check and double-check for grammar and spelling mistakes. Duh.

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The Hateful Writer said...

Nice tips. Here are three from "best of craigslist" that echo the same sentiments. These aren't really tailored to the entertainment industry but are useful none the less.

Dan Williams said...

Another good thing to do is to be aware of other persons in the office and to smile and make eye contact and to maybe say good-bye on the way out. It's almost a certainty that the interviewer will ask these persons what they thought of the candidate, and so it helps, naturally, if they have an image in their minds of the candidate smiling at them.

Sasha said...

I've only applied for legal and teaching positions, so I'm used to things being pretty formal.

What's normal dress for a Hollywood interview? Do you send a thank-you after? Are the questions about the job directly, or are they more about your personality?

fengfk2008 said...
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Amanda Mac and Nicole Leigh said...

I don't live in LA I live in San Francisco, but when applying to jobs in LA I use my friend's address in Hollywood because I can leave at a moments notice, if they say come in for an interview tomorrow, I can be there.

I was wondering if it's better to apply in May or June are there more jobs then right now?

What do you think about grad school? I'm taking some online classes through UCLA Extension, do you think this is worth it? I want to work in TV Development/Producing, start out at an agency or production company. But my logic with grad school is at least if I never get a job, I can teach with an MA. What do you think?