The Film and TV industry is a world of its own and if you are coming from the corporate world you will be surprised at how little translates between the two. Creating a resume for film and TV can be tricky when first getting into the industry and applying for your first few jobs. There are a few guidelines you should follow that will help your transition. First off, start fresh. Trying to tailor your corporate resume will only hinder you up because honestly,
what you did before working in the film industry does not really matter. Also, your resume should be one page only. As you start working and your resume fills up you will start removing old projects to keep your resume to one page, or you can include a “complete work history” resume, but that will come when you have settled into your desired role and are not looking to move up any further.
Things to keep in mind: Keeping your resume easily readable is better than cramming information on it to look impressive. It is a natural tendency to put a lot of information on your resume to fill space, but please try and focus on what really matter-your experience in the industry. If you are just starting out and working on landing your first job, focus on the skills you have that will translate rather than how many non-industry jobs you have had. It may feel odd to not put an objective or your education status on your resume but very rarely will either of those assist you in getting a job.
Tip 1: State your name, contact information and position clearly on top. The person looking to hire you needs to be able to find your resume in a sea of papers on their desk, with your name and position jumping out at them.
Tip 2: Keep your resume focused. In the beginning of your career in film you may be landing jobs in other departments while you wait to get into the one you want. Example: You may be an office PA, locations PA, art department PA before you become an accounting clerk. If that is the case, once you start getting accounting clerk jobs, state those on your resume. When a Department head sees that you are jumping around departments it may come across as unfocused. Having variety in your work history with different departments will aid you but you don’t want to be labeled a “Jack of all trades, master of none.”
Tip 3: Watch how much detail you put. For the most part, positions have the same duties, so adding too much detail of your responsibilities is an unnecessary way of filling space. However, if you were responsible for items that are above and beyond what is “the norm” for a position it is good to showcase that.
Adding whom you directly worked with can aid you as the industry is small and you do not know whom has worked with who in the past or who is friends with whom.
Below is an example of a person breaking into the industry, specifically the accounting department.