Do you feel like your boss is constantly breathing down your neck and that everything you do is being scrutinized? Sounds like your boss is a micromanager. Working for a micromanager can be extremely stressful and annoying, but sadly, many bosses share this trait. Here are three things you can try to keep your boss out of your hair:
There’s something about the word “cover letter” that strikes fear into the hearts of many job applicants. College career centers tend to put a huge emphasis on creativity and flowery wording when teaching cover letter writing, and this can be daunting -- who wants to write a college essay every time they see an interesting job posting? To make things worse, that advice is usually wrong, so applicants spent a ton of time writing a cover letter that bares their soul only to get ghosted. Who wouldn't want to avoid writing one at all?
We don't know why this scary, bad advice persists, but once you tune it out, you'll realize that cover letters are actually very simple to write. The art of cover letter writing will really click for you once you start to hire candidates of your own, but until then, we can demystify the process.
First, remember your target audience when writing a cover letter. A hiring manager is a busy person with a full-time job, so you don’t want to waste her time. Keep your cover letter SHORT! She is also not an English teacher, college admissions representative, or AP essay grader. There’s no need to include some extravagant backstory that shows how you’ve overcome challenges or how your childhood impacted your decision to apply for this job. No one cares.
Second, think about why you’re applying for this position. Is it something you feel you’d be good at? Why? What have you done in previous positions that can prove to the hiring manager that you have the right skills? Do you enjoy the type of work that’s being produced or the tasks that will be required? All you need to do is explain why you want to work for this company and why it makes sense for the company to hire you. And if you’re having a hard time with these questions, maybe you should reconsider your application.
Ultimately, all you really need to do is think about how you would explain your reasoning behind applying for a specific job to a friend and write it down in a few short, professional sentences. You can convey your passion for the job by stating it simply and reinforce the skills listed on your resume with a few key highlights. Don’t overthink it. And certainly don't let a cover letter scare you away from a potential opportunity.
When applying for Hollywood jobs, there are two categories of resumes you could consider using. The first is a traditional resume that lists your experience and education chronologically and includes bullet points that describe your responsibilities at each of your previous positions. The second is a credits list that simply lists out the projects you’ve worked on and your title/role on each. Most of the time, a traditional resume will serve you best during your job search, but there are certain cases when a credits list will actually be a lot more useful to a hiring manager.
A credits list is typically most helpful for those looking for jobs in production or writing. In these fields, job titles are pretty standardized, so a hiring manager (often a line producer) won’t need a detailed description of a role -- he’ll just want to see how much experience you’ve had in a particular type of position. A credits list makes it easy to lay out each show you’ve worked on in chronological order, and the hiring manager will have a pretty good idea if you’d be a fit for an open role after a quick glance. If you choose this format for your job applications, just be sure you have enough credits to fill the page. If you’re early in your career and looking for your 3rd PA opportunity, you’d do better to use a traditional resume format.
For most other positions (both in and outside of entertainment), a more traditional resume is the way to go. This format will allow you to tailor your resume to a specific job posting by using your bullet points to mimic the language used in the job description. That said, it can sometimes be challenging to fit all of the correct info onto one or two pages, especially for those a little further along in their careers. In those cases, consider using a combo format. For example, if you’ve spent several years working on freelance projects in various roles but also have experience in full-time positions, you could group your freelance experience into one section on your traditional resume and then add a credits list as a second page. Or maybe you figure out a single page format that is half credits and half job descriptions. Get creative if necessary, and remember to keep it concise.
At the end of the day, you should choose the format that is going to be most useful to the hiring manager. As we always say, your resume should tell a story, so if a credits list is the best way to tell the story the hiring manager wants to hear, that’s the format you should use.
Thank you notes are essential as a follow up to any job or informational interview -- they allow you to solidify that great first impression you’ve made during the meeting. But thankyou notes are about much more than gratitude and well wishes -- if you really want to make the most of your thank you note, the most important thing you can do is to include actionable next steps.
"Actionable next steps" depend on the situation -- informational interview next steps are very different than job interview next steps, but generally, the idea is to create an email thread of follow ups.
For instance, if you’ve just gone on an informational interview, perhaps you heard about a department at your new contact’s company that you’d like to learn more about. Maybe the person even offered to make an introduction during the meeting. If so, take him up on the offer! A thank you note is your time to remind your contact to actually follow through on the promises he made in person. If you forget to add a reminder, the other person will likely forget about the request entirely -- or worse, remember and decide that if it's not important enough for you to remember, it's not important enough for him to waste his time and social capital.
But maybe an intro or favor isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, and you're simply hoping to grow the relationship. You can still create a thread that warrants a response by calling back to information discussed in the meeting. For example, you could send a link to an interesting article that had been mentioned or watch a show/read a script the person recommended and offer your insights. This may not earn you an immediate result, but in the long term, it will help you build a rapport with the person you met with and encourage a lasting connection.
After an actual job interview, your actionable next steps will be to offer to send referencesor any other material the person needs. You also have an additional opportunity to ask about the hiring timeline if it didn’t come up during the meeting. Ultimately, the idea is to keep the conversation going and show that you are not only interested in the position, but are willing to be proactive to obtain it.
Thank you notes are great for opening up lines of email communication that will help a person remember you and allow for regular follow ups. Make sure you take advantage of this opportunity!