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Two Resumes

Scott writes in:

The NBC Universal Careers twitter tweeted this link about the automated systems that scan resumes for keywords.

I’ve applied to a lot of jobs through these horrible portals such as Brassring and I’ve never gotten a call back. This infographic is interesting, but whenever I see these types of tips I always think they never really apply to TV/film industry type jobs. They aren’t traditional in that sense. A good 85% of my resume is simply position, show title, production company. No dates, explanation or keywords. One thing I did take from this infographic is to spell out Bachelor of Arts instead of B.A. Although the part about not submitting it in PDF form is a bit puzzling. I know when I upload my PDF resume it shows it after it’s done uploading and it looks fine.

So my question is what is your take on this? Should I create a new resume just for these portal job pages geared towards getting the attention of the robot? What do I add/change? Should I add a 2nd page (since it says it’s ok to have a resume longer than 1 page…contradictory to everything I’ve heard) to my current resume and fill it with keywords in size 1 font in white text?

If you’re applying for both PA and assistant jobs, you should definitely have two different resumes.

The reason I offer my resume editing service is that many people don’t know how to properly format a production resume. Like Scott said, it should be in three columns, with position, title, and company. That’s because, on most shows, the job is largely the same.1

For a corporate job,2 the situation is totally different. They expect you to have a traditional resume, where you list your responsibilities and accomplishments, the dates you worked, stuff like that. Hell, they want to know the address of the place.

So, yes, if you want to be a suit, by all means, game the system as much as possible. Add key words and phrases, write an “objective” section, all that nonsense. There’s a million examples out there. Just make sure it’s clear and easy to read.

Footnotes    (↩ returns to text)

  1. Well, the responsibilities are the same. No two shows are exactly the same.
  2. Studio, network, agency.
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4 Responses

  1. I think it is always best to have 2 different resumes when applying for different jobs. It’s best to create these to specifically target each different position you are applying for. It may take a little while, but it will be worth it in the long run.

  2. would you consider a career in any form of screen writing a “suit” if you’re not entirely a PA or an assistant?

    1. No, screenwriters are still crew, in the sense that I’m speaking. Extremely well-paid crew, but still not a suit. Actors, too.

      But, for the most part, writers don’t have “resumes” as such. Not physical, paper resumes, anyway. Their agents just talk them up, I gather.

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