One of the most common questions1 I get asked is, “Where do I look for jobs?”
The first and best option is: people you know.
Every week or two that you’re out of work, you should email (or text, as appropriate) people you’ve worked with, and let them know you’re available. That’s not just former employers, either. You should be telling your friends and co-workers, too. Just because they’re not in a position to hire you, doesn’t mean they don’t know that person.
There is a Google group for coordinators, called the Coordinator’s 911. (It used to be the Coordinator’s 411, but the organizers of that group shut it down in order to create Production Yak; the less said of that, the better.) Members will often ask each other for PA recommendations. If you’re friends with someone in that group, they just might recommend you.
And don’t forget about the power of social media. If someone notices you’re “looking for work” status update, they might contact you, instead of the other way around.
Of course, this isn’t always effective. Sometimes your friends are just as jobless as you, and your old boss has a full staff. That’s where the Internet comes in.
If you’re looking for crew jobs, the best sites of found are Mandy.com and StaffMeUp.com. A newer resource is the I Need a PA Facebook page. I personally have not gotten a job off of it, yet, but it seems fairly active.
At the bottom of this list is Craigslist. Almost everything on there is low (or no) budget, which means the pay and professionalism will be equally low (or no). Still, if you’re new in town, experience is what you need, so that’s where you go.
If, on the other hand, your goal is to be an agent, or studio executive, or some other suit job, you have more options. First there’s the UTA Joblist, available right here on the TAPA website. Another useful site is EntertainmentCareers.net.
Also, most studios and networks post job listings on their websites. The problem here is, because of corporate rules, all jobs must be posted publicly, even if the person offering the job already knows who they want to hire. They have to make a show of considering other candidates.
What this means for you is, while you might see dozens of job openings, only a fraction of them are legitimately open. And, of course, you’re competing with the hundreds of people who are also applying via the website. I’m not saying you shouldn’t apply, but don’t feel bad if you don’t get a call back.
Do you have any other resources that I missed? Share them in the comments below!