When you’re applying for jobs, your instinct is going to be to stand out from the crowd of resumes. How can you get the hiring manager to pay attention to your resume among the hundreds that rush in?
Contrary to what you may think, though, the trick isn’t to reinvent the resume format with crazy colors and kooky graphics (remember, hiring managers spend a very short amount of time with resumes and want a familiar looking document). Nor is it to stray from convention with your writing style -- cramming in a professional bio, mini-cover letter, or case study isn’t going to help your case. Rather, the trick is to simply tell YOUR story.
That’s right, you ARE enough. The work you’ve done, the perspective you’ve gained from your experience – that’s what the hiring manager wants to see! If you can clearly convey to the hiring manager that you have the requisite skills for the posting, that’s enough.
The keyword there is “clearly.” Make sure the hiring manager can draw a direct line from the posting to your resume. They’re looking for someone who has a robust network of contacts across the industry? Include a bullet that says, “Cultivated relationships with established and up-and-coming writers, directors, and showrunners to curate a slate of 10 projects” and highlight that you’re a member of HRTS. They want someone who can deliver projects across multiple formats? Include a bullet that says, “Supervised post-production process to deliver multimedia series SHOW X across multiple formats, including broadcast, digital, and social.” This will yield far stronger results than a resume that splashes company logos across the border or includes a mission statement that uses meaningless buzzwords.
Let your actual work product and achievements speak for themselves. Most candidates don’t do this, and many don’t even fully read the posting before submitting their applications. The biggest differentiator? Being someone who is focused, thorough, and thoughtful with their application.
-- Angela Silak & Cindy Kaplan
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