- Referrals. Referrals are by far the best way to land jobs in Hollywood. Most positions are filled through word of mouth, so it’s essential to have a great network if you want to find out about open roles. Make a list of your top companies and start setting up informational interviews with people at those companies as quickly as you can. And don’t forget to network with people at your level! Assistants are often the first to hear about open positions.
- Company job portals. After you’ve made a list of your top companies, set up aschedule for checking their job portals every day. You can submit your resume through them, but you aren’t likely to hear back unless you’ve gotten your resume into the hands of the right person. This all goes back to networking, but the portals will help you identify open positions and know when to reach out.
- Trade publications. Stay up to date on the trades. Look out for announcements of new companies, new divisions, and new projects and try to figure out who’s leading the charge to fill out the new teams. You can always send a cold email with a congratulatory note to build a new relationship with someone whose latest endeavor interests you.
- Tracking boards. Tracking boards are email listservs or Facebook groups that facilitate communication within the industry. Lots of job postings are listed on tracking boards, so if you’re ever given the opportunity to join one, do it! The catch to tracking boards is that you need to be invited and accepted to join, so it may take some time to get on one. If you're not on any boards yet, ask your contacts about theirs. They may be able to add you to one or be willing to forward job postings.
- Paid subscription services. There are a couple of subscription services dedicated to publishing Hollywood job postings. Hollywood Job Opps and EntertainmentCareers.net are two popular ones that you could consider for entry-level positions. If you're looking for production jobs, Staff Me Up may be a good resource. Lots of people use these services, but paid members have access to postings first, so if you log in frequently, you could be ahead of the game. Even if you don't want to fork over the money, you'll still get access to valuable postings. Either way, you'll maximize your chances of landing an interview if you ping your contacts about any companies you apply to where they may be able to put in a good word.
- Entertainment-focused job lists. The UTA job list is probably the most well-known collection of Hollywood job postings that goes out every week. It used to be very exclusive, but now everyone gets it, so you’ll have to be smart about applying for jobs listed there and boost your applications with some networking follow ups. You should also look for lists that may go out through your university or any professional organizations you’re a member of.
You'll notice that each of these suggestions has something in common: networking. If you want to maximize the number of interviews you’re getting, you’ll need a few allies. The good news is, many people are willing to help! Don’t be shy about reaching out -- it will pay off in the long run, and then you’ll have the opportunity to pay it forward to others trying to break into the industry.