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What Kind of PA Was I?

Jo asks:

Does one usually specify the department they PA’ed in? For example, I just PA’ed on a TV show pilot, but it was in the costume department. Do I need to specify that in my resume? Or just list it as PA?

The great thing about sending your resume electronically is, you can change it literally every time you send it to someone.

You should always move the most relevant positions to the top of your resume, regardless of the date. The more prominently it’s placed, the more likely your potential employer will see it.

You can also change the titles (as long as you’re being relatively honest). If you’re applying for a job in the wardrobe department, and you’ve done that before, by all means, write down that you were a costume PA.

But if you’re applying to be an office PA, and your resume lists six costume PA gigs, they’re going to wonder, “Does Jo really want to work in the office? Is she going to jump ship the moment there’s an opening in wardrobe?” In cases like that, it’s safe to just write “production assistant.”

What about the reverse? You’ve worked as an office PA, but want to be a costume PA. That’s not as much of a problem, because everybody starts as an office or set PA. Those credits don’t look weird to the costume supervisor.

Granted, more experience in the department of your choice is better, but you gotta stick with what you have. Never outright lie. That can bite you on the ass later.

Stick with the truth, but also present the truth in the best possible light.

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