Every so often, we get an email from a former intern, "Cindy, Angela, I just graduated from college and am moving to LA next month. I'm thinking I want to apply for an internship when I get out there, can you help me find one?" Well, yeah, we can help you get one if that's what you really want, but you were a rockstar intern, so why do you want another internship?
If you've done at least one solid entertainment industry internship, you should be able to get an assistant position. Leverage the contacts you made while you were an intern, and see if someone can help refer you somewhere. Don't put your career on pause just because you don't have the confidence that you're ready to be an assistant or that you won't find a job. Have a little faith in yourself, and leave those internship opportunities open for the people who really need them.
Cover letters, unlike resumes, give you the opportunity to show a little bit of your personality as you try to make a (concise!) case that you’re a good fit for the job. In addition to highlighting a few key points that prove your skills align with the requested qualifications, you can take a sentence or two to explain why you’re interested in the job. Hiring managers want employees that are excited about the company or position, and a brief sentence indicating that there’s a personal reason you're applying for the job will go a long way.
But be careful not to go overboard, as you risk coming across as inauthentic or downright creepy. Keep it short -- it’s great to say you’re “passionate about scripted comedy” or “a long-time watcher of ABC's TGIT block.” If your fandom goes deeper -- let’s say you blog about every detail of the cast members’ personal lives or spend your weekends cosplaying as Olivia Pope -- leave it out of your cover letter!
You're entitled to have whatever strange hobbies you choose, but if you include them in your cover letters, you’ll come across as a complete weirdo, because there's not enough context for the employer to know that you're not some maniac Kerry Washington stalker. Save the details of your passion for your interview, when you have the opportunity to express yourself face-to-face and share your story in a less overwhelming way. As long as you’re not staring your interviewers down like a serial killer while you tell your story (if this is a problem for you, please take advantage of our mock interview services!), they’ll see your superfandom as an interesting and unique part of your personality and will understand how much this job means to you. But tone it down for cover letters -- it doesn’t take much to prove you’re enthusiastic, and you don’t want to risk sounding like a creep.
Exciting news! Hollywood Resumes is now blogging for About.com through a partnership with The Intern Queen. Check out our article on resume best practices!
We often see resumes that are completely covered in text, where each job description is a paragraph long, and the applicant has listed every. single. thing. he did at each job. Resumes like this make our heads spin; there’s no way you can expect a hiring manager to read all that text. In fact, recruiters may just glance at the companies and job titles you’ve listed without even looking at the detailed description, especially when the resume is too wordy.
If you want to give your resume the best shot at actually getting read, you need to keep it clean and concise. Recruiters are like script readers -- they're more receptive when there's more white space. And if you're worried that you can't cover all your responsibilities without resorting to writing a paragraph, remember that you only need to include your most important and relevant skills and experience. A few short bullet points will do the trick.