“But What I Really Want to Do is Direct” Or: How to Guarantee You Won’t Get the Job

Right now, on the TAPA job board, there is an opening for a Production Technical Assistant. A few hours after sharing that job post, I received this email from the employer–

We have been getting a bunch of resume’s from people who “want to direct” or are “really writers”. I’ve had a bunch of people with extensive editorial background, but don’t mention anything about experience with items in the job description.

It’s like they don’t read the job description at all.

I really want someone who is interested in managing/moving data, policing the tracking systems, troubleshooting, user support, and coding/debugging tools.

I’ve had exactly 1 guy who said he did some stuff with AppleScript.

If there’s any way to convey what I’m looking for in addition to the job description, let me know.


Guys. Guys guys guys. This is not how you apply for a job. In fact, it’s a pretty good example of How Not To Apply for a Job.

Your first goal, when applying for a job, is setting yourself apart from the competition. Do you know who else wants to direct?

Producers, writers, DP, editors, the guy you’re interviewing with, the security guard, literally everyone. Saying you want to direct doesn’t make you ambitious; it makes you a cliché.

There’s nothing wrong with a little ambition, but now isn’t the time. Now is the time to convince the employer you want this job, right here and now. Moreover, convince them that you’re qualified (and not by lying, either). If you’re not qualified, well… sorry. Don’t just blast your resume out to an email address you happen to find.

Actually look at the job description. Is it a job you want? Is it a job you can do? Be honest with yourself. Don’t waste everyone’s time.

That includes your own time, by the way. Look for jobs you can do. After you’ve done all the applying you can do, do something creative with your free time. Writer a short story, paint a landscape, or… you know, direct something. Just don’t put it on your resume.

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