Social media month is coming to a close! We hope you've found our series on social media mistakes helpful, and if there's a topic we haven't covered or a question you'd like answered, email us and we'll cover it in a future post. But now, for our grand finale, we'll cover why it's essential for you to participate in social media.
It’s no surprise that potential employers are going to look up your social media profile before they make a hiring decision, and it’s important that they are able to find you! Not having a social media presence is a red flag -- if you’re unsearchable, recruiters may think you have something to hide or that you aren’t who you say you are. More importantly, social media gives you a chance to prove that you’re a real person with a unique personality and interests that go beyond your resume. When you’ve got an extra opportunity to present yourself in a positive light, you should always take advantage of it.
Furthermore, you really don't want your potential employer to think you live under a rock. In Hollywood, you'll make yourself invaluable by being the person who always knows what celebs are popping or what YouTube videos are trending. Lots of this information comes from social media, and your presence on these sites will indicate that you're in tune with what's going on in the world. So embrace social media! When used correctly, it can benefit you tremendously during the job hunt.
-- Angela Silak & Cindy Kaplan
Social media slipups: One bad habit you should break...especially when applying for entry-level Hollywood jobs
Social media month continues! This week's topic: Why you should pay attention to how often you post online.
If you’re unemployed and want to spend all day sharing links and videos, go for it. But if your resume says you’re currently employed, and your Twitter and Facebook are being updated all day with non-work related posts, your future employer (who, like we’ve said before, can absolutely find your feed regardless of how private you think it is) might wonder how you’re getting your work done. It’s so tempting to take a social media break every now and then, and giving your brain a break can be good for productivity, but there’s a difference between scrolling through news articles and funny pictures for a few minutes here and there and constantly posting.
Limit your social media activity to in the morning before work, during lunch from 1-2, and after the workday ends at 7pm. If you see a link you absolutely must share immediately, do so in a non-public way. That’s what Gchat is for.
-- Angela Silak & Cindy Kaplan
This is a guest blog post written by Samantha Wilson of Any Possibility.
Hollywood runs off of script coverage -- agencies, management offices, production companies, studios, networks, you name it. It’s one of the first skills an intern or assistant will learn in order to evaluate anything from a new submission to a hot spec. Coverage generally includes a script breakdown with a summary and comments. Think of it like a book report for a screenplay. As simple as that sounds, the industry has a standard that you should learn, and for a good reason.
Understand How a Reader Thinks
Learning how to do script coverage is essential if a) you want to work in the industry, and/or b) you want to write in the industry. When you have to summarize material in a concise way, it forces you to think of the key moments and turning points in a script so that the synopsis is clear. When formulating your comments, it’s crucial to have detailed assertions. You can’t just say, “It was bad. I didn’t like the main character, and the plot was stupid.” No. This is vague and unhelpful. If someone gave you this kind of feedback, it would probably land you in that sweet spot between rage and depression. Be constructive, and back up your opinion with details and the proper terminology.
Once you understand how to evaluate and effectively critique a story, you’ll have the necessary insight to look at your own writing with an objective eye. This means that it will be easier to incorporate other people’s notes, cut out superfluous characters or scenes, and concisely communicate your idea to your audience.
Learn the Language of Script Analysis
There’s an entire vocabulary dedicated to evaluating screenplays. It will help you articulate why something does or does not work in a script. Doing coverage will teach you how to phrase your praise and criticisms. You’ll being to understand how to point out the problems and strengths of a script, while being able to pinpoint where they occur.
It’s one thing to read a list of screenwriting terms, but to gain a deeper understanding of it requires application and evaluation. It’s like learning another language. At first you have to translate everything in your head and keep looking at a reference guide or dictionary, but eventually you will do it without a second thought.
Prepare Yourself as an Industry Professional
You will encounter notes at some point in your career, maybe as an assistant, from your agent, in the form of feedback from a studio, or even a competition. The most important part of entering Hollywood is being prepared. It minimizes mistakes, and it makes you look competent.
Prepare yourself to be a better reader in order to open yourself up to opportunity. Learning how script coverage works is one skill out of many that will help you advance your career. It will service your sense of self-awareness in your own writing and in the writing of every script you read -- the good, the bad and the ugly.
--Sam Wilson, Any Possibility
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Social media slipups: If you're looking for a Hollywood job, don't air your grievances to the town square!
July is social media month! During this four-week series, we're covering common social media mistakes that could cost you the job. This week's topic covers the risks of posting in public forums.
It’s really tempting to commiserate about the less glamorous side of assistant work with your peers online or to crowd-source for advice. But keep in mind that your social media exchanges aren’t as private as you think they are. Often, assistants are the ones vetting resumes before their boss sees them, and those same assistants most likely have mutual Facebook friends with you or are part of the same “closed” Facebook groups and tracking boards. So when they do a quick search to vet you before passing your stellar resume along and see something like, “Today, my boss asked me to track down crackers that are hand-baked by children in Kuwait, what a psycho, I hate my job,” they’re not going to be too keen on bringing you in for an interview, even if the cracker thing is pretty insane. It’s not classy to bash your boss in public, and it shows you lack basic discretion, which is one of the most important qualities an assistant can have. Tell your mom or your best friend about your gripes with your boss. In person. Remember the Sony email scandal? Don’t let that be you.
-- Angela Silak & Cindy Kaplan