resume? say wha?
I am looking to put together my first resume. I've never done this before and am intersted if anyone could point me to some sample resumes that I could look at and give me a feel for how to put together a video production type resume.
There was a book called "resumes that knock em dead". It helped me out tremendously. Having said that, it really depends on what you are looking to do.If you are just looking to be a freelance editor, I would think your years of experience and different types of projects and clients you have worked for should be highlighted.
If you are looking to land a full time job with a video production company, then you will probably want to show your work history doesn't just include one or two skills(i.e. I edit in avid and FCP), but rather that you have a variety things to offer, both technical and professional. Most video companies are small and need people that are willing to jump in at various levels of the company to help it grow.
Finally if you haven't worked at any video-production companies before, you may want to focus your resume more on a summary of experience rather than your work history...just leave your sandwich shop job at the end of the resume under a heading called "non-related experience" or something like that, but still even at a fast food restaraunt if you think hard enough you can demonstrate basic problem solving skills that you performed.
Oh yeah and one more thing...this is the most important. DONT JUST MAKE ONE RESUME AND STICK WITH IT!! Examine the company you are applying to and customize a resume based on what they specialize in. I have at least four resumes that I keep on hand that cover general types of business, but I tweak them accordingly.
First, let me say that J's points are right on target. It's good to find sample resumes when you are trying to create one of your own.
The information included in the resume is very important. It
There are two basic types of C.V. the chronologocal and the functional. For what you want to do, a functional one is better, it concentrates on describing the skills and talents you picked up and applied at each job. You describe your title and what you did, and a very short one or two-sentence story of how the wonderful way you did so-and-so led to this-and-such increased revenue or whatever.
Example entry: "Intern at Average Pictures inc. In charge of overnight tape digitizing and prep for day editors. Improved tape logging by applying database techniques which made searching footage easier and more accurate. Saved our clients an average of two hours per editing job over old methods. (dates of work)"
In the left margin across from this entry, there's a short slug that describes the talent, like: "Improved efficiency and productivity".
The sample entry and any others that fit the category all go together in this section, regardless of chronology.
So, your res has a main goal statement at the top, with a description of your biggest asset, then the list down the left margin of main areas, with detail sections centered just across from the listings.
opening blah blah blahxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
intro intro intro stuff:
Contact hhhhhhhhh h h hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
If you're clever, you will write these so they match closely some of the requirements listed in the job opening listing. This also helps overcome or obscure gaps or short stints in your work history.
I have to disagree with the notion about visually punching up your resume. Not that I don't like to see good layout, but times have changed and dramatic changes in H.R. procedures have affected resumes too, mostly in the larger companies and the search firms that are often hired by smaller companies.
You see, most cover letters and resumes are not read by humans any more, they are first read by machines. They come in, and are run thru an OCR scanner in the HR department, then a very simplistic program sifts the OCR files and counts keywords assigned by the HR department. The number of times the keywords appear then generates a machine-scored value to the resume that's supposed to pre-screen for the candidates that make the best fit for the requirements. It also is supposed to eliminate human psychological biases and predjudices from the process, besides making it way faster and cheaper to plow thru a pile of applications.
What this means for your resume is that all the work you put into the layout, the selection of type face and paper, etc is for naught. Indeed, anything that's hard for the OCR scanner to decipher is just ignored, or scored as a typo (with a negative score value assigned to it). The process is very much like the trick webmasters do to drive search engines to a site: planting a thousand invisible keywords in the opening source code of the site artificially improves the sites relevance ranking to search engines.
If your very nicely worded text lacks the precise keywords, you flunk the gatekeeper test. Say you're an editor. If you say you have 15 years experience in developing and using multiple NLE platforms, you score lower on the machine than a guy that says: "I am proficient in Avid Express, Avid Media Composer, have seen an Avid Symphony, and read Avid web sites". That guy gets scored as "knowing" 4 "avids", though he admits to "knowing" only 2, and you my friend, scored zero, you'll never get your resume in front of the person in charge of editing, who KNOWS the difference, because you didn't get past the HR department's gatekeeping OCR scanner. Likewise, multi-page resumes may lose all the info from the second page in places where the OCR process is sloppy, so put your best stuff on page one. The functional resume format is also good for this.
At some point, if your salmon of a resume manages to swim up this stream of machine-sorting, it only *then* gets read and evaluated by a human being, and at that point, yes, those intangibles regarding layout and design sense and reading between the lines to assess your character may have a positive effect. But to my way of thinking, you'd do better closely analyzing the wording of the job ad, and make sure you use the exact keywords as often as possible, to "beat the machine" doorkeeper first.
Mark makes a great point about resume scanners. That's why it's important to find out who will be reading the resume and target it to that person ...or that computer ;-)
The key is putting yourself in the shoes of the so called "gatekeeper" and figure out what they need to see to forward your resume onward.
If it's the type of person that wouldn't go for anything other than a "traditional" format, a traditional one is what you need to send. If it's an ascii reader, then you need to account for the keywords Mark spoke about.
Keep in mind that if you sprinkle your resume with keywords, the human that eventually reads it will be able to know you did that. That's not necessarily a bad thing as long as you are honest about your skills. I've actually sent both formats to the same potential employer with one labeled "for your database" and the other to the attention of the person who was conducting the interviews. They understood why I did this and were glad that I was up with technology to know enough to do that. (This was about 7 years ago, so ascii readers were pretty much only at the large companies back then.)The interviewers were glad to see that I made it easy for them to get their jobs done even before the interview was granted.
I should mention that when I talk about the layout of the resume, I'm not talking about any thing truly wild. I'm simply talking about finding ways to draw human eyes to certain parts of the document. (Not unlike you would do when shooting or editing.) That doesn't mean adding things like graphics that a computer wouldbn't understand. It means making use of white space, choosing your order of items carefully, and some other simple design elements that wouldn't fool today's text readers anyway. Just like with video design... a little modification goes a long way.
(... and yes... I was offered the job.)