No Entertainment Industry Experience

Sally, one of my Patreon supporters, writes in about lacking entertainment industry experience:

Thank you again for this week’s list! If you don’t mind and have a minute, would you please comment on my question for you? I want to be in the office and I have administrative experience, however, about 95% of the positions listed on the UTA job list required desk experience at an agency or in entertainment in general.

I don’t have either, and I’m guessing that much of your recipients for this list don’t have the required experience either as the same positions seem to remain on the UTA list for a few weeks at a time. Might you have a recommendation for me in terms of if I should go ahead and apply anyway or not at all? (I don’t qualify for the internships either as I am not a full time undergraduate student.) I would very much appreciate your insight and am curious to know your thoughts on my predicament – if you care to answer that is ;).

One thing to keep in mind about entertainment industry experience is, the definition of who’s in the industry can be very broad.

You may not have worked on a film set or at a television network, but most companies have marketing and advertising departments. Most of those have divisions that create videos and commercials, or at least hire people who make those things.

Always modify your resume to match the job you’re applying for. If you want to be an agent’s assistant, highlight your experience dealing with clients; if you want to be a producer’s assistant, highlight all of your experience dealing with cost reports and budgets.

Setting all of that aside, yes, you should definitely apply for a job, even if you’re not sure that you have the right entertainment industry experience. You never know exactly what they’re looking for. Moreover, you never know what kind of applicants they’re getting. As Sally pointed out, if the job notice hangs around for a while, they’re obviously not liking the candidates. What you lack in experience, you may make up for in other ways.

The big caveat, of course, is don’t apply for a job that you’re wildly unqualified for. And don’t claim you’re qualified when you’re not. But an assistant position is something most competent people can handle, so long as they’re hard working and willing to learn.

Another person you should consult is Kate Lupo, founder of She’s a Hollywood recruiter and career mentor who assists college students and recent graduates in obtaining entry-level jobs and internships in the business side of the entertainment industry.

Kate offers a free1 online training course called Hired in Hollywood. The next one is December 15th. Click here to sign up.

Footnotes    (↩ returns to text)

  1. Very important to assistants looking for jobs.
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