Here’s a real entry-level resume that landed my mentee a job at ICM,
plus the top 5 elements recruiters look for in your resume…
by Kate Lupo, Founder of EntryLevelHollywood.com
Having a great resume is the first step towards breaking into the business side of Hollywood. So today I’d like to first, show you an example of a great entry-level resume that landed my mentee a job at ICM, and second, explain the top 5 elements entertainment recruiters will look for in your resume.
First, please take a look at this sample resume.
With the sample resume in mind, here are the fundamentals of formatting your resume, as well as answers to some common questions I receive:
- Use a classic font like Times New Roman font (do not use any silly looking fonts like Comic Sans).
- Please don’t use colors. Hollywood HR recruiters don’t have time to admire colors – they just want the information. 🙂
- Please include a link to your LinkedIn profile ONLY if you have a good, well-lit, professional photo. Click here for some great examples of good LinkedIn profile pics.
- Your LinkedIn profile URL should have your name at the end and not just a random chain of numbers and letters. Click here for instructions on how to create a custom LinkedIn URL.
- You’ll notice that each line of experience is formatted like so (and ideally is only 1 line):
o Title in italics • NAME OF COMPANY IN CAPS • Location • June – September 2014
- If you are a recent grad (last 2 years), then put your Education at the top of the resume.
- If you graduated more than 2 years ago, put your Education in the bottom portion of your resume below Experience but above Technical Skills.
- If you are a recent grad (last 2 years), and your GPA was above a 3.7, you can add it. If it was below a 3.7, do not add it.
- If you graduated more than 2 years ago, don’t include your GPA. It’s not necessary.
- In your Education section, be sure to include any academic honors or prizes (including athletic prizes).
- Never include information about your high school – it’s unnecessary.
- Don’t include your street address (just keep Los Angeles, CA + zip). Why? Because if you live far away from the company you’re applying to, HR can hold that against you (I’ve overheard this happen). Even if you don’t live in LA (yet), write “Los Angeles, CA” and then write out a generic zip code. I give you permission to do this.
- Your resume should always end with Technical Skills.
- Your resume MUST be 1 page for entry-level positions. Why? Because it’s a standard in the industry.
Now let’s discuss the content of your resume.
The most important thing you must do when revamping your resume is quantify, quantify, quantify.
Because quantifying your achievements shows that you’ve added measurable value to each company you’ve worked for. Quantifying also makes your resume specific. You can’t be vague on your resume. A vague resume is a boring resume. You need to show measurable results of your impressive experiences and actions.
On that note, when I recruit for positions, I want to see lots of numbers on the resume. Please note: when adding numbers to your resume, don’t write the word ‘five’ for example, please type the number ‘5’. Always use the actual numbers.
Here are examples of items you should add to your resume to show your quantifiable results:
● # of participants in events you’ve organized
● # of volunteers at an event you organized
● add percentages (ex: increased social media engagement by 150% from 500 followers to 750 followers in 2 weeks)
● add dollar signs ($$) on your resume (ex: due to success of marketing campaign, increased sales by $500 a week)
Additionally, your resume should emphasize 5 important skills that entertainment recruiters look for:
- Phone skills
a. A huge part of your life as a Hollywood Assistant will be connecting calls for your boss, and a big pain point in Hollywood is training new assistants on the phones (it takes time). So if you already have this experience, it will be very helpful to your boss and will save everyone time and energy.
b. PLEASE NOTE: Phone skills are so important in Hollywood that a candidate with excellent phone experience will be given preference over other candidates.
- Customer service skills
a. A huge part of your life as a Hollywood Assistant will be assisting clients and making them happy – as well as your boss.
b. PLEASE NOTE: If you have service industry experience (waitress, retail, etc.), add it to your resume! Do not be ashamed of this experience. When I interviewed at ICM, my boss was most interested in my retail experience, and he hired me because he knew I would provide great customer service to his clients.
- Event planning skills
a. Event planning skills show that you are able to multitask and be a leader – and you need to be a multitasking ninja as a Hollywood Assistant.
- Fundraising skills and/or Money Management skills
a. A huge part of your life (especially if you work at an agency) as a Hollywood Assistant may be tracking client payments and organizing financial records.
b. PLEASE NOTE: If you are particularly great with Excel, please highlight this on your resume by writing out the types of databases you’ve created for past jobs. Excel skills are highly sought after.
- Public Speaking skills
a. If you are a clear and positive communicator, you will do well in all of your endeavors in life. Period.
Additionally, if there are no confidentiality concerns, please feel free to name drop and include the names and titles of important people you have worked for on your resume. If you’ve organized events with high-level public figures or celebrities, please also add those names to your resume. Showing this information on your resume demonstrates to the recruiter that you won’t get star struck when faced with the possibility of working with celebrities, and that you remain focused and professional around high-level people.
Apply these tips and your resume will look fantastic in no time. Happy resume revamping!
Kate Lupo is a speaker and career coach who helps college students and recent grads land entry-level jobs and internships in the business and development side of Hollywood. She is a guest lecturer for Women in Film and also lectures on entry-level Hollywood careers as an instructor for UCLA Extension’s Entertainment Studies program. For more information, please visit www.EntryLevelHollywood.com.