I started in this industry long before things like LinkedIn, Facebook and employment forums were a thing. Jobs were posted in papers, notice boards or passed around by word-of-mouth. In some ways I’m glad about that, in other ways I’m sad. Things would have been easier to have just connected with a company or a person through social media but instead, I had to do the real legwork.
I remember one time going through a souvenir brochure from a concert to find out the name of the production company. I then sought out a contact for that production company and emailed them expressing an interest in working on rock and roll gigs. Luckily, chancing my arm paid off and I got myself a work experience place on a Bon Jovi gig but it was a long shot. These days, there are so many resources and opportunities for graduates and those just entering into the world of entertainment (as well as us seasoned folk too) to reach out and connect with our peers and companies that we aspire to work with.
I’ve had many people in the past approach me through these channels asking for advice or just general questions about companies, tours, and automation at large.
Whilst I don’t discourage this in the slightest, there are a few things you should bear in mind. These people that you reach out to are, more than likely, pretty busy (for instance even as I type this I’m moving headlong to opening a show). If they don’t respond straight away, give them time. Approach them again a good few weeks not hours or days after your first message.
Most people I know are happy to answer questions and guide those that may need help but at the end of the day, work comes first to the majority of them so don’t become a social nuisance.
A reason to be glad about starting out in the dark ages is that no one could snoop on all the stupid stuff I was doing when I was 20. I can see some of you frowning from here, so, I’m going to let you into a little secret.
Whenever your name pops up as a potential candidate or your resume lands on someone’s desk rest assured they are googling the living daylights out of you.
Everything attached to your name that is public on the Internet, they’ll find and believe me, they will look.
I’ll let that one sit with you for a while, I’m sure you know what to do next. I apologise to all my superiors who will now be left with significantly less character reference material.
While bringing up the subject of resumes, remember if you have a profile on multiple sites, make sure you keep them all up to date. When you send these out or when a potential employer is looking, this is going to be the first impression you make on them. Make sure it’s the right one. I’m not sure if it’s just something that happens in the UK or if it is common practice in other countries but there is a trend that I’ve encountered often that needs to be sorted. When I was at high school, in our senior year we had a class – I forget the name for it – that helped us “get ready” for going out into the professional world. Within that class, we were taught how to write a CV/Resume. I remember it had to have a mission statement, list all our exam marks, write a brief description of your responsibilities for jobs listed and at the bottom you could list your favourite hobbies. Please, if you were taught the same or have a resume that is structured like this, stop sending it out! I learned very early – on the Bon Jovi gig – if it’s more than one page long, it’s going to go in the bin. Fact. A resume should be something along the lines of;
- Your name and contact details
- Schools/colleges/universities attended
- Straight up list of the jobs you’ve worked on. Date, show/company, the position held. No description of what you did or anything else.
Your cover letter can contain all that other information. Equipment and systems you’ve worked with, skill sets, training and certifications and anything you may think relevant to the job you’re applying for. This way it makes an impact but isn’t going to take too much time for someone to get the gist of it.
With all this being said I am always happy to reply to any questions or requests for help with those pesky resumes. LinkedIn profile link can be found on my contributor page. Good luck out there 🙂
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