Most experts will tell you that including measurable achievements is the key to a great resume. And it’s true...but not all measurable achievements make sense for entertainment jobs, and including a ton of metrics can be counterproductive, as it could come off as phony.
Entertainment is a very specialized field, compared to other lines of business. For instance, a job in B2B software sales isn’t terribly different from a job in medical supply sales, and most hiring managers for those roles would be primarily assessing how good of a salesperson the candidate is -- that’s why it would be beneficial to include metrics that show how much you sold or how many new clients you retained.
But in entertainment, the KPIs are different. The biggest “measure” of your achievement is what projects you worked on. If you’re in development, how many projects did you successfully sell or shepherd through from idea to greenlight? Are any of them blockbusters, award winners, or ratings juggernauts? If you’re in production, did you work on top-rated projects? Do you have a niche that you’re really well-versed in, or experience across a variety of genres? If you’re in talent representation, do you have a roster of impressive clients or major deals you’ve closed? Some roles in marketing or corporate strategy may benefit from including growth numbers, but your success is generally going to be measured based on what you worked on and with whom.
That’s not to say that if you don’t have an impressive list of credits, you’re unhireable. In those instances, focus on creating context for your work. Maybe you worked on a bunch of indie features no one has heard of -- but did they make it into film festivals? Did you have to book hard-to-secure locations, wear a lot of hats during all phases of the creative process, and negotiate with vendors to reduce costs? If you work at a small company that’s just getting its feet wet in development, contextualize the scope of your slate, even if you haven’t sold anything. Consider including achievements like streamlining workflows, trimming overhead, launching an internship program...there are plenty of valuable achievements that go along with building a start-up!
Think about it as if you were a hiring manager. Would you rather see a resume that says, “Managed production logistics on set of major blockbuster that yielded $2.8B in global revenue, an increase of 26% from previous film in franchise” or one that says, “Managed production logistics for AVENGERS: END GAME; hired crew, secured locations, and allocated department budgets?” Remember, we work in Hollywood; most of us don’t like math. So put away your calculator, think about what you bring to the table, and write it in plain English!
-- Angela Silak & Cindy Kaplan
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