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Old February 7th, 2012, 01:02 AM   #1
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Can't really get a Job.. Help me out?

Hey guys,

I just graduated from college and am having trouble locating somebody who will hire me. I do some freelance here and there but no real jobs that I can go to and work at every day. Will you take a look at my resume and tell me why you personally would not hire me and what I'd have to change to get you to take a second look?

I'm looking for jobs at any kind of company large or small that does some kind of media production. I'm not a job snob and I apply to most positions although I'm trying to stay away from Production Assistant. I've been doing that since I was in high school and I'd prefer to think that I didn't just spend $250,000 on a education to be right back to where I was in high school.

Here's my resume: http://www.louismaddalena.com/resume.pdf
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Old February 7th, 2012, 06:10 AM   #2
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Re: Can't really get a Job.. Help me out?

Couple of suggestions. First, you start out pretty solid down through the education section. In the experience part you have a position that says working xxxx-Present, but everything is past tense. In your accomplishments, put accomplishments -> quantifiable things that made you an asset, e.g. "did x that saved y". Working with someone isn't an accomplishment. If they were important you can just say something in the header like "Reporting to Director, I ...."

I'm not sure how you're going about finding leads, but if there is an association group that meets to network every month go meet some people. That always works better than trying to get past the person roundfiling most of the resumes that come in for a job listing.

It usually pays to specialize in a particular niche, so if there is something you really want to excel at find whoever it is that could most use that skill and try to work your way in. E.g. if you want to be a Red DIT, then maybe find someone shooting a lot on that camera. Your stalking target.

Someone mentioned working for rental houses was a good way to make connections in LA, might work in your neck of the woods too. Good luck.
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Old February 7th, 2012, 03:07 PM   #3
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Re: Can't really get a Job.. Help me out?

First off, it's hard as heck finding a job in strictly video anymore, although you live in or near NYC which would help.

As for your resume, replace "Background" with "Objective" and what it is you'd like to do or line of work you're looking for. I don't like your Education section. Your college, Seton Hall, should be in larger font, and bold, not the other way around. Also too many subsections. Just state your major, what you learned (FCP, Dreamweaver, HTML). I'm willing to guess most HR people skim past all the "credits" and the fact your a poster on dvinfo.net. Just being brutally honest, it takes up alot of room on your page 1. Also I would incorporate "Freelancer" under Related activities rather than work history since it makes reading the chronological order of events confusing, and I would trim up some of your job descriptions. For example for Midnight media you describe the company, then describes your position in 2 sentences, then you list 6 bullet points related to the job.

Finally I would ditch the imdb credit at the end. Just post your company website there instead and state if you built/maintain it.

Again the biggest thing I would say is ANY job is hard to get right now, limiting yourself to strictly video is that much harder. For every job posted, they get 80+ resumes I bet. Some of it is luck, most often it's who you know & thru networking. Don't be afraid to start low or in marketing/advertising etc & moving elsewhere, it's good to be gainfully employed for a year or two. There's a site Talentaction.com that typically has alot of NY & LA jobs posted.


Edit: One more thing, always send the resume as an attachment, not just as a link. Alot of employers may not open emails if there's no attachment included. It typically shows as a paperclip in their Outlook next to receiver.

Last edited by David Barnett; February 7th, 2012 at 03:55 PM.
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Old February 7th, 2012, 03:55 PM   #4
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Re: Can't really get a Job.. Help me out?

Try sending your resume to a head hunter, they would "edit" your resume as they deem fit. I would also join linkedin to get your name out there and connect with peers.

My 2 cents
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Old February 7th, 2012, 07:18 PM   #5
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Re: Can't really get a Job.. Help me out?

Hi Louis,

This is going to be long so sorry in advance for the huge post. I'm coming from 20+ years in the corporate world so it may seem a little staunch but these are things that I look for when considering candidates.

First, your resume should be only one page. For a senior position I could see that a persons resume may take two pages but at your level a two page resume is not warranted and I know many managers who would not even look at a two page resume for an entry level position.

Everything in your "Background" heading belongs in your cover letter. It is a repeat or summary of information already contained in other parts of your resume and is not needed. What is your "Objective"? Every resume should contain a two to three line objective such as, "My objective is to obtain an entry level position working in the video production field which utilizes my experience and training; and allows me to advance to become a media content producer." You should replace the background with objective. Remember, that means you will be specializing every resume you send out for that particular company and job position.

I would not combine your education and professional development. At first glance it is confusing to know what you did as part of your education and your professional development. I.e. your Honors and Awards, did you do that while in school? What awards did you get from your college? I would not list the 48 Hour Film Festivals as those wouldn't impress me or stand out and it sounds like you're padding your resume because you don't have anything else to put in it. Under Recent Credits list the years of the projects. Remember, your resume is a chronological accounting of what you've been doing to prepare you for the specific job you are going for.

I would eliminate the Honors and Awards and Memberships. The memberships should be limited to professional organizations that are relevant to the job or company you are applying for.

For your experience don't waste space with a blurb on the company. Believe me, if you make it past the first two minutes of review and they are interested, they will check up on the companies you claim you worked for. I prefer to see the name of the company first, followed by your position(s) for work experience. Not as relevant for you but if you did stay with a company where you held different positions, it allows you to list them logically without having to repeat the name of the company. Instead of "Accomplishments" I would list duties. As has been already mentioned state specifics about your job duties. I.e. for the first bullet "Provided XXX to the Producer Director and Production Team." Remember, specific action words are always better to use on a resume. Also, this might be me nit-picking but I would consider changing "shot list" to "shot log". A shot list is produced prior to the the shoot. If I'm interpreting what you did correctly, you kept a log of each take during production. A small thing but that could be the difference in today's hyper-competitive job market. Drop the last bullet under Midnight Media. It is not needed and I'd expect that you would be responsible for duties assigned to you.

For JamieK Photography, you need to rewrite or eliminate the first bullet. It is grammatically incorrect and doesn't really say anything except that you were able to capture high quality video of live events. You need to ask yourself what quality or trait you are trying to convey that you posses with this statement. Is it that you are able to produce consistently high quality work even under the stressful conditions of live events? The second bullet would have more impact if it were rewritten to something like "Was responsible for representing the firm through client interactions." A couple of key things in that sentence, the word "responsible" shows that the company had trussed in your and it also says that you are a responsible person. Two very important qualities.

I would consider placing your education after your work experience. For me, work experience is the most important thing I look for. And, you've done enough that it is relevant to your preparation and training. The Related Activities doesn't say anything about what you did for LTV. Producer of what? Either list your job responsibilities or specific projects you were the producer on, or else eliminate it.

Personal Background, that is the one area where most people blow a great opportunity. This is where you need to do some research about the company you are sending your resume to and who might potentially review it. Under this section list things that are not necessarily related to the work you are trying to get, but will instead give you something to connect with. Say the company that you are applying to has a lot of sports fans and say they have a box at the local basketball teams arena, if you are into basketball list "playing basketball" in there. If the recruiting manager or CEO is a fishing fan and you enjoy fishing, make sure you list that. Believe it or not, you will edge out your competition based on some small obscure personal connection you make with the people who are interviewing you. In today's job market, there are 10 other people just as qualified as you on a technical level. You have to think about how you are gong to set yourself apart from them and show that you are a good fit in that company.

Go through your resume with a fine tooth comb. There are some spelling and grammar errors that need to be fixed. Those are the types of mistakes that are cause for an instant trip to the round file for some recruiters.

Finally, I would never email a resume unless it was specifically requested of me. Even then, I would send a hard copy of my resume with a well crafted cover letter. Then, a few days after you send it, follow up with a call to the person you sent it to. That also brings up a good point, who are you sending these resumes to? Are you getting a name prior to sending them out? If not, make the call to the company and get a name.

Those are the things about your resume that jumped out at me. As has been mentioned, it is a tough time to be looking for a job. Don't limit yourself to just video companies. All sorts of companies have communications departments where all they do is produce corporate videos.

Good luck,
Garrett
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Old February 8th, 2012, 08:52 AM   #6
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Re: Can't really get a Job.. Help me out?

There are a couple of type-o's in there.

I personally don't like "References available on request" - what is the opposite of this? "I don't give out references to people who request them"? Either list people who can vouch for you, or remove the line so a potential employer isn't wondering why you have references, but choose not to list them.

The 2 page thing doesn't really bother me, I skimmed through it in 30 seconds.

I would not advertise that you own a RED, to me it says "spoiled white kid".

Overall, a decent resume, and well written. Better than 90% I've seen.

I looked through your Vimeo, there is really nothing in there that would make me want to hire you. I would get rid of everything wedding related, and everything from high school.

When I started a production company, I went through an exercise where I wrote down principles that I would do business by. One of them is "working is better than not working". This means that if my price is $100/day, and somebody comes by and offers $50/day, and I'm not otherwise committed on that day, and it doesn't make me take a loss (and sometimes even if it does), I work. As I attain more success, I do less of this, but even today, I still do this. It keeps you busy, you might learn something, you meet fellow crew that might find you work elsewhere, you meet clients who might hire you, and you get demo tape fodder. In my day (hand me my cane, sonny), you got PA work after college as a right of passage. The idea that one might get a DP job straight out of college was laughable. This is not 100 or 200 years ago, but 5 or 10. Every day you're working as a PA is one more day you are waiting for the DP to be late from lunch or call in sick or to need to run 2 cameras to meet a timeframe. If you are standing there at that time, one pace behind the DP, you will be running a camera. The next gig, you now have paid DP experience.
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Old February 8th, 2012, 09:27 PM   #7
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Re: Can't really get a Job.. Help me out?

Mike: My question is does advertising my RED really make me look like a "spoiled white kid"? I really don't want to look spoiled as I worked for most of it and used inheritance from my aunts passing to be able to afford the rest of it. I thought that having a RED would help me if a project or a company wanted to shoot on RED but didn't have the money to do so it might help me edge out the competition.

Garrett: Thanks so much for all your advice, it was extremely helpful and I've already implemented much of it on a new resume I am now working on.


Jim, Noel, and David : Thank you guys for your advice, I found a lot of helpful things and I am going to implement them as soon as I can. I'm already on LinkedIN but I should become more active I admit.

Louis
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Old February 8th, 2012, 10:42 PM   #8
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Re: Can't really get a Job.. Help me out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Louis Maddalena View Post
I thought that having a RED would help me if a project or a company wanted to shoot on RED but didn't have the money to do so it might help me edge out the competition.
Hmmmm, so if you were offered a $13/hr entry level job doing more office work or so, then you brought it to their attention you had a Red camera you'd willingly allow them to use it? Not sure how I feel about that, tbh. Would you charge your employer a day rate for use?


Anyway, the biggest thing I'd want you to get out of my post (& all probably) is again it's tough out there. Real tough. It really always has been, All this talk about how it's so hard to find a job, and it is, but I'm 39, & I don't really recall in my years it ever being "easy"?! If anything it was probably easier to get a generic job (customer service, Ikea, marketing) in years past to at least get started & a paycheck for a year or two. Whereas now I think even those jobs are hard to get.
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Old February 8th, 2012, 10:45 PM   #9
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Re: Can't really get a Job.. Help me out?

I don't like to think that I'd give it away for free. I did a lot of research on reduser to see what the going rate for a camera package was and it was recommended that between 1-2% of the kit price per day was industry standard for gear rental when accompanied by the owner for another on set job such as DIT, DoP, etc.
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Old February 8th, 2012, 11:31 PM   #10
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Re: Can't really get a Job.. Help me out?

Even though I do plan on sending e-mails as attachments or on paper. I did update the resume at the link above with a template I found on google. I re filled in the information and changed the format to help position myself better.

I will change my vimeo page next and remove the weddings, I am going to create a demo reel and I'll actually add references to my resume when I get a chance. I changed that i owned a RED camera and just said that I had experience with it and I mentioned other cameras as well.

After I finish putting all your advice to action I'll apply for some jobs and I'll report back!

Thanks so much for your help!
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Old February 9th, 2012, 11:15 AM   #11
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Re: Can't really get a Job.. Help me out?

Louis, to me, your revised resume looks and reads much better. The only last little suggestion would be under Professional Video LLC, consider saying something like responsibilities also included editing and authoring DVDs. It reads stronger than using the word "occasionally". Also the occasionally and "when need" are redundant. If you do decide to keep the last sentence it should say "when needed."

As for listing equipment you own I would agree not to list it. One thing you might try to figure out how to squeeze in is the equipment you have experience running. Showing that you have RED experience would be a plus.

-Garrett
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Old February 10th, 2012, 11:31 PM   #12
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Re: Can't really get a Job.. Help me out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Louis Maddalena View Post
Mike: My question is does advertising my RED really make me look like a "spoiled white kid"? I really don't want to look spoiled as I worked for most of it and used inheritance from my aunts passing to be able to afford the rest of it. I thought that having a RED would help me if a project or a company wanted to shoot on RED but didn't have the money to do so it might help me edge out the competition.
Start your own production company, use the RED as leverage - that's a good use of both you and it. But I agree with others, if some company is paying you $10-$15/hr as a PA, do you want to rent them your RED for a low rate? If not, are they going to want to pay $500-$1000/day of gear rental to a guy who is otherwise making $10/hour?
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