Thursday, February 9, 2012

Resume Template - Follow at your own risk

Not a good resume
I frequently get emails from people asking me to read and critique their resumes.  As much as I'd love to help with this, I decline.  My rationale - look at how well things are going for me.  So by turning these requests down, technically I'm doing you a favor.

But I was bored, restless and a little drunk last night, so I figured I'd do a resume template for everyone to follow.


[If you need help with either of these two parts, you're in serious trouble...or you already work for NBC]

Harvard or USC [If you went to any other school, move the eduction section to below the 'Experience' section.  And then hide your face in shame.]

Bachelor of Arts in Film and TV Production [Any other major pushes you well down on the list of prospective candidates.  Try to avoid listing a major that makes you look smart like Econ or Physics.  And for heaven's sake, never list a graduate degree.  If you do that, you might as well walk around wearing a sandwich board that reads "I'm too intelligent and have too much student loan debt to make your lunch reservations."]


Company (Preferably CAA)                            Hollywood, CA
Assistant                                                       Dates of Employment

[For 'Dates of Employment,' make sure it's between two and three years. If it's less, they'll think you're a job hopper. If it's more, they'll think you're too dumb to get promoted.]

  • Considering all assistant job descriptions are exactly the same, you might as well parrot back to them exactly what they're asking for.  So say something like, "Experience in rolling calls, scheduling appointments, filing, faxing, creating booking slips, tracking client payments and office administrative work."  You know, the usual bullshit you're hoping to avoid doing at $11/hr. 
  • Now if you haven't done these things, it's perfectly acceptable to lie.  Why do I say this?  Because all the stuff they're asking for can be accomplished by your average high school sophomore with little difficulty.  And considering you're college grad, you can probably handle this too.
  • Add something impressive, but not too impressive so as to scare them off.  Feel free to name drop a famous client or project you had even the most remote association with.  For example, if you were a PA, even for a day, on the ill-fated Wonder Woman pilot, write something like, "Provided production support to Emmy- and Peabody-winning producer David E. Kelly for a Warner Bros TV pilot."  There is no need to mention that the show was so bad that even NBC, which will air just about anything, decided against it.

Then simply repeat/embellish/lie until you fill about 80 percent of the page. As for for temp gigs, I prefer listing the company you temped for (e.g., Paramount) versus the one you temped through (e.g., Star Staffing), especially for long-term assignments.  Remember, name drop as much as is tasteful.

List all the usual suspects like Macintosh/PC literate, Microsoft Word and Excel, Filemaker Pro, Entourage, Studio Systems, InEntertainment, Final Draft, and Adobe Acrobat.  You may also want to demonstrate your deftness at using the phone by saying fancy things like "multi-line phones," although doing so may crush your fragile spirit.  Feel free to add social media skills like Twitter and Facebook, although we all know there's not much too it.  While I think it's funny to say things like "extremely thick skin" and "enjoy being browbeaten," doing so may not advance your cause.

Here's my rule: If you have at least two names that are impressive as references, put them on your resume.  If you have references, but their names no one has ever heard of, just say "Available Upon Request."  It's an association thing.  If they see a good name on your resume, it should help.  But also remember how far this approach has gotten me.

Good Luck.


Anonymous said...

Very helpful with just a touch of snark, just what I like! Thank you.

jaylen watkins said...
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Anonymous said...

they're names -it should have been "their names"...hope it was just a mistake, smarty pants!

Hakan said...
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Jay Ray said...

looking so innocent...just i like that.thankss

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