Sarah sent me a question about job hunting:
I just want to say I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog and have found your tips on cracking into the business very wise. I have a couple of questions if you don’t mind. I’m a recent college graduate and received my B.A. in TV Production this May. I have been an intern for different companies for over a year and have a decent amount of office experience and on-set experience thanks to my school projects. However, I have been sending out plenty of applications online through entertainmentcareers.net and have only had a few interviews but no luck yet on snagging a job. I have a couple of contacts from my previous interning, but definitely not alot. I’m feeling somewhat concerned that perhaps my cover letter or resume might be an issue. Any help or advice would help so much. Thank you for your help!
¬† Fellow job hunter,
Well first congrats on graduating in May!¬† Welcome to the real world
Finding your first production or entertainment job after college can be very difficult, especially depending on what type of jobs you are looking for.¬† To find an assistant job you would go a completely different route than if you are looking to work on set as a production assistant.¬† I’ll explain both ways you can go, and then try to help you figure out why you aren’t hearing anything back after you apply.
The assistant route is a good one to take if you are looking to be a talent agent, studio executive and sometimes a producer.¬†¬† Assistant jobs, especially for big studios or producers are very cut throat and hard to get.¬† These are not easy jobs by any means think of The Devil Wears Prada.¬† However, if you stick with it and work your butt off it could get you to where you want to be.
Now how to find these jobs.¬† There are several websites you can go to which I mentioned before but you have to keep in mind that hundreds of people are applying to the same jobs that you are so you need to stand out (more on that in a minute).
Another good way to go is to also take a look at the websites of the studio or production company you want to work at and see if there are job listings on there or if you can find an HR contact.¬† For these jobs it is better to find out who exactly is hiring and get your resume to them rather than the random gmail account (for example firstname.lastname@example.org) where your email will get lost with the hundreds of others.
The best way I think to get jobs though is through referrals and networking.¬† Contact anyone and everyone that you know in the industry and let them know that you are looking for work.¬† If you don’t really know anyone then go to networking parties/events, which you can find information about online.
The production route is good to take if you want to become a director, producer, editor, director of photography or any other production position.
These jobs you can also find online on those websites however it is the same as assistant jobs where hundreds of people are applying to the same four jobs.¬† I certainly would say to continue to apply to these jobs online but do not let this be your only avenue of finding work.
Networking I think is even more important for people looking for production jobs rather than those looking for assistant jobs, because most production jobs are not posted online.¬† You have to know someone that knows someone to send your resume to.¬† So again contact anyone and everyone you know and go to networking events.
Now back to your question as to why you might not be hearing anything back.
There are three reasons why people don’t hear back from jobs posted on entertainmentcareers.net or other websites.
First, your resume got lost in the hundreds of other resumes that got sent in.¬† The only way to help yourself in that situation is to send your resume in first.¬† That means you need to stay on top of the job websites and as soon as you see a job or a gig you want apply for it.¬† I actually have a saved draft of my resume/cover letter in my email so I can just add the email of who I need to send it to right away.¬† That way I can get an alert on my phone while I am away from home and still be able to apply to that position.
Second, you don’t have the qualifications that are needed for that job.¬† Are you applying to producer jobs when you have barely been a PA on set?¬† Or are you applying for assistant jobs that require 3 years experience?¬† Make sure you take a look at the qualifications before you apply, that way you will have a better chance.
Lastly, the reason why you might not be hearing back is because your resume sucks.¬† I don’t say that to be mean.¬† I just can’t tell you how many resumes that I have seen that are absolutely terrible.¬† Check out my other post about resumes and that should help you out.
If you still have questions about your resume after you re-worked it or if you just want another set of eyes on it I can take a look at it for you.¬† Email me at email@example.com
Hope this helps with your job hunt!¬† If you have anymore questions let me know.