If you’re waiting for that big break that will result in a job in the entertainment business, you may be waiting for a long time.
“You have to break yourself into the entertainment business,” says Christine Osazuwa, Chief Strategy Officer at Shoobs and founder of Measure of Music. Osazuwa says, “To break into the industry, you just have to do the work. The music industry doesn’t care about what you know or your fancy degrees. What they care about is what you’ve done, and only that.”
Mark Williamson, Co-Founder/CEO of ROSTR and Jobs by ROSTR believes it’s critical to be clear on what you want to be doing so that you are targeted in your approach to finding that opportunity. “Saying I love music doesn’t show anything to a recruiter. Showing that you’re actively participating in the industry is much more likely to land you a role.” Participation may include freelance work, a job in a record store, or blogging on topics related to the industry you’re seeking to enter.
Tami Shelly, Owner of Greenlight Creative, one of the first and only women-owned creative agencies in the entertainment industry, believes it’s important to think creatively. “Be imaginative! Do more than other applicants.” Shelly cites a friend she referred for a position at Sony, who, after submitting her application, had a few colleagues who worked for various companies in the entertainment industry send recommendation letters to HR about her. Shelly believes this contributed to her resume being pushed to the top since, when her friend was called in for the interview, they were well acquainted with her. Her friend got the job!
Standing Out in an Industry that’s Oversaturated with Candidates
“The entertainment business has a never-ending stream of young people who want to work in this industry,” says Williamson. “The majority never do or don’t last.”
Here’s how to land one of those coveted roles.
Follow the rules. “If an application asks for a cover letter, you’ve got to include one. The letter should be clear and concise and demonstrate why you fit the role,” says Williamson. “Tell me how hiring you will make my life easier.”
Demonstrate who you are. When applying for a role, don’t be who you’re not. If you happen to get hired and you’re not yourself, there’s a good chance you won’t last in this role.
Put in the extra effort to stand out. “Job hunting takes a lot of time,” notes Shelly. “It is mentally draining to believe that more work might be needed. The majority of people won’t put in the extra effort to make themselves stand out, which will allow another applicant the opportunity to do so.” That may be good news if you’re willing to exert the extra effort needed to stand out.
Do your homework. “Research the company and the role you’re applying for,” states Osazuwa. By doing so, you’ll be able to present relevant examples to demonstrate why you’re the perfect candidate for the position.
Determine what makes you uniquely qualified for the role. You need to position yourself in a way that says, “I’m the right pick for this job.” Osazuwa calls this your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). In her case, she has experience in the music industry, an MBA, and a Masters in Data Science. How many people do you know that can say the same? Her USP makes it a no-brainer for someone to say, “Cool. I want to talk to this person, who looks like they could be the perfect fit.”
Mistakes to Avoid When Seeking a Position in the Entertainment Industry
The entertainment business is not too dissimilar to other businesses. “Everyone thinks this industry is really sexy and all fun and games,” states Williamson. “It isn’t that. This is, by and large, a job that’s really hard and often underpaid.
Consider the following:
Take your blinders off. Ask yourself, what is the job I want to do? In most professions, you wouldn’t say, I want to do X in Y industry. You’d say, I want to do X and then look at all industries. You’re looking for a job and a specific role, and it may not be in the entertainment industry.
Messaging the most senior people in a company. These people are busy and most likely won’t respond. Instead, Osazuwa suggests emailing an assistant or coordinator or messaging them on LinkedIn. They may be looking at the resume first. You may also have some people in common with them, which makes it easier to connect.
Failure to leverage your network. If you’re starting out, you may not have much of a network. However, you do know people. Some of these people may be in a band or have a side hustle that could benefit from your expertise. Let everyone in your network know the kind of role you’re specifically looking to land, and don’t forget to let them know how things turn out.
Not making your resume machine-readable. Use brief phrases and keywords that match the job descriptions of the positions you are applying for.
Not being specific when asking for help. When asking for help, be specific. Shelly advises people to avoid making a blind inquiry like, “Hey, can you introduce me to someone in production?” Put in the effort and locate the person or people you wish to meet. Then, ask your contact if they know Jane Smith and if they can provide an intro.
Failure to regularly monitor social media and job boards. Both Shelly and Osazuwa compile lists of industry jobs and regularly share these on their social media sites, and Jobs by ROSTR is listing new opportunities all the time. The early bird often does get the worm, which is why you should be scanning your social media and job boards daily.
Keep in mind that every gig is an opportunity to gain experience and build out your network in the entertainment business. Get out and attend conferences (many offer scholarships) and meetups—volunteer in your community. Take a position that will help you pay your bills while searching for your dream job. And remember, there’s no such thing as an overnight success, as success takes time and commitment.
Credit: Source link