Part 2: Resumes And Entry-Level Work

Part 2: Resumes And Entry-Level Work

Distant photo featuring the Hollywood sign with greenery in closer focus

Resumes and entry-level work.

I’ve been there. Resume requirements have changed as of late, so it’s been great to visit the Career Development Center (CDC). Below are some aspects I learned and some I remember that still ring true regarding that one piece of paper that can make or break an opportunity.

Breathe!

And also some tips on that first gig.

Here we go…

Keep your cover letter simple. When I applied to Script Coordinating positions, my intro was very basic, a paragraph at most, and in the body of the email. It also focused on what I could do for them.

Regarding resumes: one page… for real. I remember in undergrad an alum named Dan came to speak to us. He worked for NBC at the time In New York City and he said, “The president of NBC only has one page and you’ve done far less than the president of NBC.”

Noted.

Now there are some exceptions in that this is entertainment, I know as one gets into academia more (which some of us masters students will go into), the more the better and I also know it depends upon your job. If you’re going to be an editor, you may want to show all the shows you worked on. For corporate positions and internships as most of us will be going into at the start of our career, the ideal is one page.

Keep the font simple and your name not too overbearing. Use one email and not your syr.edu email. That one will be good to keep for future correspondence with alumni, but for now, the main one you use is best.

Do not put your address on your resume. At CBS I was told when going through resumes that it can be considered a safety issue because it’s passed along through many hands sometimes. Most online resumes go into what I call the black hole, like where your socks go in the dryer and god only knows who sees it (or eventually finds your socks.) Therefore, it’s good to keep that personal information personal. You also don’t want it to deter you from a position. Being on the east coast, if you’re applying for a job in Los Angeles, they’re more apt to pick a local applicant if they see that address front and center. Luckily with most everyone using their cell phone now, no one truly knows your location that way, which is good. Be aware though if you have to be in L.A. for an interview make your way there with little fuss. Simply a “Sure, I’ll see you on Tuesday at 11:00 a.m.”

Put your education at the bottom. It’s tough. This is a good school (the top school, in fact) so it’s understandable that one would want to highlight it. But let your experience show who you are and when HR gets to the bottom they’ll go, “Ahhh, okay. That makes sense.”

Tailor your resume accordingly. If you’re going for an editing position, highlight those projects and technical skills. Most of us will be assisting creative executives right out of the gate so showing communication, reading, writing and interpersonal skills is important. Honestly if you haven’t yet, learn how to use one of those monster copiers. For real, a copier and Outlook, especially for the calendar because you’ll be scheduling lots of lunches. Also, become familiar with a multi-line phone. There’s power in the ‘hold’ button. You’ll understand what I mean about mid-June.

Finally, use lots of white space. It makes it easier to read and bullet points are also beneficial. Depending on your experience level, talk to the CDC about how to organize your bullet points.

That’s about it.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

 

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Hollie Perry
Hollie Perry is a grad student in the TRF program at Newhouse. After having worked in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles behind the scenes, she traveled the world and got to take the stage in front. She has a love of both, but at her heart is writing and helping others tell their stories. She does this here between papers and well… more papers. She is also a yoga instructor, painter and has a love for comedy, photography and vintage anything.

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