‘Tis the season…for maintaining your network! If you’ve been an avid Hollywood Resumes newsletter reader, you know that we’re big fans of taking time during the holiday season to send a quick note to your contacts to let them know you’re thinking of them and update them on anything that’s happening on your end, whether that’s embarking on the job search, starting a new job, or having one of your pet projects get the green light.
But how exactly do you conduct this holiday outreach?
Some people opt for a newsletter-style update, where they send one long update email to all their contacts. This approach is certainly easier than writing individual notes, and it can even feel a little less daunting – but most people won’t respond. If you just want to share news to stay on people’s radars and are okay with a handful of generic responses, you can go this route.
However, if you’re hoping to turn your outreach into more meaningful conversations, and potentially even catch-ups in the new year or referrals during your job search, sending individual notes is the way to go. These don’t have to be long or complicated, but they should be specific.
Happy holidays! I hope you’ve been well since we last saw each other at the HRTS mixer in March. I recently watched the Iliza Shlesinger comedy special you worked on and absolutely loved it! Do you have anything else coming down the pike you’re excited about? As for me, I’m headed back to Des Moines to spend the holidays with my family, and I’m hoping to start searching for my next role in January. I’ve learned a lot about indie film during my time at Indian Paintbrush, but I’m ready to take on a new challenge. I’m targeting roles on the buyer side, ideally in TV drama development. If you can think of anyone I should meet with in that world or hear of any job openings, please let me know -- I'd really appreciate your help! Best wishes to you and yours during this holiday season, and happy new year!
The key is to keep your outreach genuine but simple, and make it easy for the person to respond. There are likely some contacts you’ll want to be a bit more formal with, but still cordial and meaningful. A generic “Happy holidays! How are you? I’m looking for new jobs in the new year, so let me know if you hear of anything!” isn’t going to get much of a response.
Know that you might not be able to reach everyone you know this way, but do your best to organize your contacts and triage who to reach out to, when, and for what. And you can always save some outreach for a new year’s greeting in a few weeks!
-- Angela Silak & Cindy Kaplan
Your resume is certainly an important part of your job application, but you’ll need more than a great resume to get your dream job. Many of our clients come to us frustrated because they’ve applied for tons of jobs and haven’t heard back. Often, their resume needs work, but sometimes, their job search strategy does, too.
The first key to a successful job search strategy is having a target. What kinds of roles are you looking for? What companies or projects are hiring for those roles? Why would the hiring managers for those roles be interested in your candidacy? Answering these questions will help you narrow your search to jobs that you’re interested in and qualified for, thereby increasing the odds that you’ll get an interview.
Then, you’ll want to make sure your materials are tailored to the specific job. Pay attention to keywords in the job posting and make sure you use the right verbiage in your resume. If the posting asks for a cover letter, write a fresh, clear cover letter indicating why you’d be a fit for the role. This seems simple, but plenty of candidates send in generic materials, and hiring managers can tell who put in the extra effort with their application; that’s the candidate they want to meet.
Next, you’ll have to do the legwork to get a referral. Hundreds of applications come in for most Hollywood jobs, and you don't want your resume to lost in the shuffle. A pop of color or a fancy format on your document won’t do the trick, but an email from someone the hiring manager trusts might! Take the extra time to see who in your network can pass your information along to the hiring team.
Once you start approaching your job search strategically, you’ll see better results. You may not submit to nearly as many jobs, but you’ll be submitting to the right roles for you and increase your chances of getting called in for an interview. Better yet, you’ll know the jobs you’re applying for are aligned with your vision for your career, and that’s perhaps most important of all.
-- Angela Silak & Cindy Kaplan