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How Much is Too Much on a Resume?

Dylan writes in with two questions:

I’ve read how you recommend listing out EVERY paying non-student film job you’ve ever worked on to start the ball rolling on the resume. But how many items realistically should make it? I see you recommend 1 page, so what is that, 15 jobs? 30?

Secondly, my highest credit to date is a 2nd AD on an Indy film with real Talent, some big named Keys, and budget. However, I began as the Key PA, and got promoted twice. I am proud of this fact, but should I indicate it somehow on the resume? Or do I just list it as 2nd AD with no other aspects?

The first question is easy. I can fit about 30 items on my resume. If you find your credits spilling onto the next page, just cut out the ones that are least impressive, least relevant, or really, really old. It’s great if you worked on a show as recognizable as Will & Grace, but it was cancelled almost ten years ago. Get over it.

As far as the second question, that’s a big ol’ “It depends.” You want to be honest on your resume, but you also want to impress people with it. If you were the 2nd for, like, a day, then no, it’s not right to put that on your resume. But if you spent more than half your time doing that job, then that’s the credit you deserve.

Don’t add an addendum, in any case. It clutters up the resume, and makes people think you’re hedging, rather than being truthful.

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