Whether for film, music or any of the communications professions, the resume is a crucial piece of info that a prospective employer will use as a serious gauge of talent.
Although you may think it important to write down everything you can possibly think of in order to prove your worthiness, understand that how you write your resume and what you state on your resume should be very focused.
Most entertainment industry employers take little to no time to sit and read a resume. Therefore, you should use very descriptive words that explain broad areas of expertise while targeting the exact qualifications you have, based on the job you are applying for. Some of the more descriptive experiences you can save for the interview if asked. The point is to get someone interested enough in you so that they take it to the next step. Always remember the ultimate goal of the resume is to get the interview…not to land a job.
Check Spelling. The cardinal sin on resumes is misspelled words. Whatever you do, do not misspell the company name or the person whom you are directing the resume to. Triple-check this. If you can’t get the spelling right, expect your resume to visit the circular file! Of course, it also reflects un-professionalism. No company wants this.
One Page Only. No matter how much information you’ve put down on your draft, you must chisel away at the content in order to make it one page. Look at your sentences very closely to see if you can replace long phrases with single words. Whatever it takes to narrow it down.
Do Not Use Slang. Always use proper written English. Even if you are applying for a very up and coming, cutting edge company, resist the temptation to ‘talk’ to them on paper. You will be seen as a professional not only by your writing sample, but also by your decision not to “go street.”
Exhaust Your Possibilities. Often we take things for granted that we know. When writing a rough draft, before you commit to anything, make sure you write down everything you possibly can think of such as relevant experience you have achieved in life or you’ve done at another non-related field position. You may have very important skills that will translate well to the position you are seeking. For example, you may be a great scuba diver but are looking to work as an audio recording engineer for an on-location film crew. It very well may be that a scene in the future will involve ocean or water work and you may be the exact match for that need.
As well, think of topics such as Awards, Certifications, Education, and Student Projects. Many times these may carry more weight when they are making final decisions.
The Truth Shall Set You Free! Do not exaggerate. Remember knowing about something does not make you an expert. Many professionals spend a lifetime of years perfecting a craft. Savvy employers can see right through this. As a result they will assume your entire resume is invalid.
Reflect Your Experience. If you are just starting out or are a student, your resume should reflect that. Use your cover letter to explain your aspirations in order to win them over.
Define Sections. Topics such as Experience, Awards, Education, Skills, Software, and Interests are quite common. You must decide which ones and how many are appropriate. As your experience grows, you can adjust these one by one to improve on the information.
Always List Valid Credible Experience First! Although education is important, in the entertainment world, experience is king. If you currently are doing or have done the job you are seeking next, it will typically outweigh any formal education. An exception to this would be if you were applying for a corporate position or as an Educational Teacher with a State College. For these, your educational degree and schooling will be of extreme importance. For this situation, you would have to submit a Curriculum Vitae (In-Depth Resume) including all formal training. In addition, many of them will only accept degrees from specific educational accreditation committees. Therefore, examine your school or college before applying.
Always Have an Updated Resume Ready. You never know when you will find out about the perfect position. If it takes you days to locate your original resume, rewrite, and update, the job you are excited about may have already vanished. As well, it will be important to have multiple versions of your resume that feature different areas of your expertise.