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.
--Angela Silak & Cindy Kaplan
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