It’s around this time we start telling ourselves that we’re going to get off our backsides and start looking for that new job. And as we know, this year will be as tough if not tougher than last year so it’s essential to market yourself, your skills and experience as effectively as possible.
Following a few simple steps can make the difference in your CV standing out from the crowd and putting you in pole position to be called for that all important interview.
I’ve read many a CV over the years and it still comes as a surprise at how careless people can be with their most valuable document, the ‘passport’ to that job.
Here are some key pointers in knocking that CV into shape:
- Keep it to a maximum of 2 pages – with good editing you’ll surprised how much you can get in, even for seasoned veterans.
- The font size should be 11 or 12 point in Arial or Calibri as these are easy to read.
- No photos of yourself please – you may be gorgeous but if it’s a role behind the camera you want, then it’s simply not necessary.
- Lay it out in chronological order with your credits listed in reverse order.
- Be concise – write short sentences and avoid paragraphs.
- Target your CV to the job you’re applying for – don’t take a scattergun approach.
- List additional skills such as editing, driving licence, foreign language, scuba diving qualification – it could tip the balance in your favour over someone without these.
- Bad spelling and grammar stands out a mile and will immediately go to the reject pile. Re-read it dozens of times and always use spell-check.
- Don’t fib. It’s an incestuous place in telly land – lots of people know lots of people and in turn know lots of people…so you’ll be found out.
Is your CV sending potential employers the desired message? What’s your sales pitch? It’s the New Year so how about a new CV to match? Elsa Sharp, author of How to Get A Job in Television is on-hand to remind you of all the do’s and don’ts of CV engineering.
A New Year is usually a time for new resolutions and optimism but 2011 is going to be a tough year as the cuts bite with increased competition for jobs. It’s now even more essential to market yourself, your skills and experience as effectively as possible so your CV will be read, stand out and get you an interview.
I am constantly amazed at how so many people fail to present their CV properly – by over writing, cluttering the layout and sometimes omitting key information. As a former TV series producer and now talent manager I’ve seen hundreds of CVs. Far too many are difficult to read, badly written and poorly laid out – even at senior level.
This week Optomen TV’s Nicky Searle talks us through the trials and tribulations of being a newcomer to ‘The Industry’ and gives some sound advice on how you can stand out from the crowd.
So you think you would like to make a career in television? Where do you start? How do you get noticed from the many thousands of people trying to get into this industry? It’s a good question. As one of the many CVs that arrive in my email inbox every day, how do you get yours on my radar?
A well written cover letter is a great start, and of course making sure it’s addressed to the right individual, and also the correct company! You will be surprised how many emails I get at Optomen addressed to Objective or Endemol. It’s clear that spelling is an issue, spelling names of our key talent or the titles of our programmes incorrectly, is an instant faux pas. A badly laid out email just makes me think that you have no attention to detail, and haven’t thought through your application properly. The best cover letters are a couple of paragraphs, telling me a little bit about you, and why you think you could be a good fit for our company, and why I should meet you?