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What’s the Secret to Comedy?

Melanie writes in:

I’m currently in a situation where I’ll need a new job in January. I can’t start any earlier because of prior commitments. I’m primarily looking for work at one of the networks. I know that it may be difficult to find PA jobs at this time, but if I find one is now a good time to apply? If I apply now, get an interview at the end of this month or beginning of December, and say I won’t be available until January will I disqualify myself?

The secret to applying for a job is the same as it is for comedtiming.1

You have to apply when they need a PA. Usually, that’s, like, the day before. Apply too late (i.e. a day or two after the job posting), and they’ll never even see your resume. Apply too early, and your resume will be filed in a binder, and will never be seen again.

Applying months ahead of time isn’t going to work. Even assuming you get an interview, they won’t hold the job for you. They need someone now.

However, something about the tone of your email implies to me that you’re new to the business. If that’s the case, you may actually get something out of applying for jobs that you know you can’t take.

First, you can try different looks for your resume, and see which ones get a response. If you do get an interview? Great! Time to practice. See what it’s like. The odds are still against you landing the job, but you now have a new contact and a new experience.

But don’t for a second hope that they’ll hold the PA job until January just for you. They’ve got a show to make.

Footnotes    (↩ returns to text)

  1. I can’t find video of this sketch online, but believe me, it’s hilarious.
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