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building a resume

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by jonhirsh, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. jonhirsh

    jonhirsh Active Member

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    edited: i removed my resume so i can continue to edit and change it and let others have there resumes picked over and have sugestions made.

    so keep this post alive.

    JH

    ps. if you would really badley like to see it just email me [email protected] and i will give it to you
     
  2. The_Guest

    The_Guest Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    All it tells me is your contact and the shows you've done. You didn't state anything about your education. Include more accomplishments rather than a list of just the shows you've done. So, you've done shows, but with who? For all I know you did them in your basement. It's good you have a lot of shows under your belt, but think about why would you want to hire you? Have you had any extra training or education? Are you up to date on the latest codes, policies, and regulations of the union? Are you apart of a union? How do I know that I'm going to be able to trust you to rig up stuff? How are you with power? Am I willing to trust you with my and staff's lives? How do I know you can handle programming? Do you have any names and contacts that'll tell me nice things about you? Have you worked under or with some respected members of the industry? Also include something about who you are or what you do?Previous employment? Previous employer contact info? Make sure you cut down on fluff and keep things concise. While still having some detail. It helps to keep it one page, because a lot of people don't have the time or money to check out the second page.

    BTW, Do you really want to through out all your contact info on the internet like that?
     
  3. jonhirsh

    jonhirsh Active Member

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    Thank you for the suggestion, theses are the things i need to know.
    I will added that information and yes i know its just a giant list of shows thats all i thought i needed. what would one want to know about each production ie (date, theatre, producer, designer...) what is crucial to pass on.


    as for contact info with every post i put up on any forum i always identify my self and put all my info with it so as to be as attached the post as possible. i feel that posting anonymously is wrong so i have already given away all this information anyway.

    Oh and education and certifications are at the bottom atleast i put them there.


    thanks so much if others have resumes they should post them so we can all have an understanding of a guideline of which we can creat these documents.

    JH
     
  4. Sombra2

    Sombra2 Active Member

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    i noticed one thing the email address isn't the same as your website. i would look into getting your email address to have the same domain as your website address, that way it easier for employers.
     
  5. Mayhem

    Mayhem Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    My suggestions are as follows:

    1. Contact details (as stated an email address that is part of you web looks a lot more professional). Also include the categories listed on your drivers licence.

    2. Employment (current and previous)

    3. Education (most recent listed first).

    4. List of skills (with examples). Include other skills that will be helpful such as computer and communication skills.

    5. Professional memberships

    6. References

    I would also then submit your portfolio of shows (similar to what you have now) but with a little more info.

    By submitting this as a separate list, you can keep your resume short and concise. The gig list shows that you have had experience over a number of years but most employers would probably prefer to see a list of skills and references that they can contact.

    Also - read the news post about not including personal interests, as this may work against you (I know that you have not done so - but this is a general comment for others reading this post).

    Where possible, I would aim for no more than 3 pages for your resume. Remember that it is a summary document that should provide enough information to attract the attention of the person looking at it. If you can attract their attention, you stand a better chance of gaining an interview and it is here that you can then expand.

    Good luck.
     
  6. mixsa

    mixsa Member

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    and also, double triple double check spelling!
    very important
     
  7. foeglass

    foeglass Member

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    put your education and skills at the top. As others have said, that is msot important usually. Also, depending on where yousend your resume you may want to keep your information to that of the job you are applying for. ex. If I were applying for Technical director, I don't know if my history of Acting would be needed. It would help to keep it shorter.
     
  8. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Hiya, Most have said the key things already...but a few obvious things have been overlooked. First--its too freekin long...and by being so detailed you have made it too too vague for a specific target because its over informative. The format is backwards--education goes first typically, then list your show credits but not so detailed in my opinion and not so over-completely. A few highlights here and there--done. Do some highlights only...on your work history, awards, training etc and leave your show credits last or as a second page, and also unless you have specific permission and have told your reference people to expect phone calls on your behalf for the next 5 years or whatever--just note that 'references are available upon request'. If they ask for references and letters of reccommendation in the original advertisement or posting, fine...but otherwise let them ask for them or present them a list upon an interview stage of the hiring process.. If you send out 50 resumes with the same references listed--those reference folks may get mad if they get 50 calls about you disrupting their work.. ;) Best to list references as an option to be submitted upon request...IMO...

    Also I see hundreds of resumes a year and most seem to miss this point...the KEY thing that should be the very first line in your resume after your contact info, is your GOAL or OBJECTIVE. Know what that is? WHY are you submitting your resume to this company in the first place--is it to get a job in audio, lights, TV or is it for secratary or just sweeping floors?? Or are you just hoping to fill ANY position available...? See the point here--the last option to fill any position available is not logical--because when you send in a resume to a Lighting company they don't care about your sound or TV background...and so on and vica versa. Tailor your resume for the company it is going to and for the position you are wanting with them--and then let your resume explain WHY you are best qualified for it in the factoids of education, work history and shows that follow. Or tailor a Lighting Resume, a Sound resume, a TV resume etc--but its a waste of paper and time to send sound info to a lighting company, and vica versa. Unless the company does both--and then again only keep it specific to the target and a small mention of your other abilities. OVER-qualification or a hugely wide variety of skills listed can make a company look at you and think you don't stay in one thing or do one thing well cause you hop from this to that..plus if they are a sound company and you send them a resume with 2 pages of lighting before the sound--they will put your resume in the "round file" and move on to the next person. Keep it short, sweet and to the point and directed at the company or position you wish to land.. 2pages, 3 MAX. My full resume is over 8 pages--but I typically send out tailored resumes professionally presented that are 2 or 3 pages MAX and leave everything else for the interview. During the interview process is when you can let things loose about all the other things you can do and give them more info and so forth...

    FWIW and not tryin to be harsh on ya--your resume would be "round-filed" by me (a.k.a. trash can) because of these omissions I mentioned and its sheer length. Sometimes an employer has 50 or more resumes to get thru-make the statements and impressions on teh first page. An employer does not, and will not, want to go looking thru your resume for information--he wants it presented to interest him to read more, on the first page with the WHO are you, WHY are you sending this, and WHAT are your qualifications... ;) Remember--an employer does not care who you are--they want the information upfront and something to MAKE them take more time to look over YOUR resume over the next one in more detail and depth...

    my two cents...and if anyone wants to see my resume for a format example, I'll gladly post an old one or PM it... Hope this helps...good luck...

    -w
     
  9. jonhirsh

    jonhirsh Active Member

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    Thank you all so much. and yes i would love if you could post an old one of your resumes.

    as for it being to long i do agree, this is a first draft with everything so now i can take things away but thank you for the comments. everything helps.


    as for the email not being the same they are actualy the same site the company just went under an name change and as you know its hard to weine people off your old adress. but the web adressess itsonlymagic.net and blackhorseproductions.ca both go to the same place.


    Do you think that affter takeing out the sections of useless information, putting in a equipment owended under the equipment used section would be usefull for freelance gigs?

    as well if you put education first do you keep it to just a few key clasess and certifications? or do you put all of your education down?



    thanks so much

    JH
     
  10. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Ok...I'll dig out an old resume when I get home tonite..

    On to your questions--putting in an Equipment Owned section can be a bonus or "filler", but IMO is not needed for full time work.. For full time work--that can say to an employer that you will want to spend time doing your own thing making money with your own gear on the side--and employers may shy away from you for fear you will take some of the smaller clientele from them or try and write in YOUR gear to suppliment to a show and charge them for using your gear--a conflict of interest--even tho you wouldn't, but it happens.. Most employers will want to have your dedication FIRST and foremost to them, with no distraction. So unless you are specifically looking for a freelance gig--don't bother with listing gear you own. A company won't want to be charged extra or take on the liability of you using YOUR gear on their shows and insurance. Now--if you have your own Hog or GrandMA or InnovaSunn console etc--that can be good to mention that as a freelance programmer or audio guy you carried your own high-tech in-demand console, as it can show a profeciency with some high tech equipment--and that could be of benefit to you to make note of...but saying you own 60 mic cables, a common lighting or sound console, 100 par cans and a ton of mic's or speaker cabinets--nahh..don't mention it IMO...

    As for education--thats a funny topic as it changes with your age... If you are older (say over 35 like me) then suddenly no one cares what high school you went to 15 or 20 years ago.. But under 35--list the high school & graduation still. Don';t bother with the awards or chess club president titles--keep it short, High school name, graduated 1999 or whenever, and move on. It shows you completed something. College and formal training/trade skills/certifications, and your experience is usually what is key most of the times to list IMO. Also keep in mind, there is General Education for a topic, and then there is Professional Training when putting together resumes...try not to mix the two or label them wrong. Same for Work History--there is casual and there is professional.. Keep it in order... Don't have to be specific with exact down-to-the-month dates--but years for a general timeline of what you have been doing, work well too... If you have HUGE gaps in your work history between jobs--be vague on dates.. Also use the "power words" in a resume like "Qualifications" and "Professional Experience" and "Objective" "Industry or Professional Certifications or Training" and so on....

    -w
     
  11. jonhirsh

    jonhirsh Active Member

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    Ok yah i do own some in demand gear for smaller frelance shows like protools, wysiwyg and some special effects gear but i dont think its in demand for larger shows where they get a dedicated person to fill these rolls.

    thanks very much for your comments.

    JH
     
  12. Andy_Leviss

    Andy_Leviss Active Member Premium Member

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    I keep a PDF of my current resume at http://ducksecho.com/leviss_resume.pdf

    It's generally gotten good feedback, including from a big name Broadway designer or two I've been talking with lately, so while it's not necessarily perfect, it's worked for me.

    Note that I've tried to give it a bit of design, helping to break up the format and make it look classy, but nothing too outlandish, just some varied line weights and putting things into tables instead of just lists.

    One of the more recent changes is the format of my skills listing, going to a more concise and easy-to-read two column bullet list instead of the run-on comma delineated list I used to use. It took a bit more tweaking and being selective to get that to work and keep it to one page, but it paid off in being a ton easier to read and looking so much more open.

    I just hope I can manage to fit in PM1D school next month in the education section without bumping to another page.

    My next project is to figure out what I want to keep and swap out as far as recent work, since I've been doing some more work as a FOH engineer and system tech, but for concerts. I will probably end up with two resumes, the current one, but with the design and engineer sections swapped, for design work, and one with the engineer section and then more emphasis on the concert tech work rather than play designs for engineer work on musicals and concerts.

    That's another point to keep in mind--you don't necessarily need (and probably shouldn't have) a single one-size-fits-all resume. Consider having different resumes tailored for different types of jobs.

    Also remember that an equal weight goes into a cover letter if you're not applying in person. There are certainly some shows listed on my resume, the EVVY Awards, for example, that from the resume sound like nothing more than a big awards banquet that every college in the world has annually. A cover letter or interview offers a chance to explain that it's actually a large multi-camera live broadcast television production for which I've designed and mixed both the broadcast truck system and the in-theatre FOH system on various of the three years I was on the design team for it.

    Let me throw in some other thoughts on presentation, while I'm thinking about it. Paper is important. I'm personally fond of using nice parchment papers, which stand out a bit from the standard resume paper, but are still very classy, weighty, and have a watermark. What's important in any paper is choosing one that will photocopy cleanly. I've found that parchments will photocopy fine, at the most leaving a light gray pattern in the background that's faint enough it doesn't detract from reading the text, and at best not copying at all. The last thing you want is for a potential employer to be unable to make a usable photocopy of your resume to pass on to others who need to sign off on you for a job.

    PDF is becoming a great way to distribute resumes, but there are a few things to beware of. First, make sure to save it in an older Acrobat format; I typically save them as Acrobat 3.0. You don't want somebody to have to download an update to read your resume.

    As for fonts, only use Type 1 fonts, don't use TrueType fonts (with the possible exception of the base fonts like Arial or Tiimes New Roman); TrueType fonts can't be embedded into the PDF, so if the person reading the file doesn't have the right font, it will substitute another font, which at best will just not have the look you want, and at worst can drastically affect formatting.

    Have a Word format copy handy to send off if somebody has trouble opening the PDF. Every once in a while, somebody will e-mail me that they haven't been able to get it to open properly, in which case I immediately send a Word formatted copy, or whatever other format they prefer.

    Hope this helps,
    Andy
     
  13. bdesmond

    bdesmond Active Member

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    You can look at mine if you want - www.briandesmond.com on the right.

    I don't have a stage resume. It doesn't even mention my experience doing onstage things beyond a glancing mention of video stuff. So, I can't really comment on how things should look in this specific vertical. It has gotten pretty good response from recruiters though.

    I agree with everything I've read here. You have not really made a resume so much as a short list of everything you've done. I don't read beyond the first page or two when I'm looking for candidates or even doing a phone screen. You should be giving me your highlights here. Things I can be wow'ed by, proof that I shouldn't put your resume in the trash pile. Its the first impression an employer will have of you usually.
     
  14. jonhirsh

    jonhirsh Active Member

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    great comments and great resumes you two thanks

    JH
     
  15. Mayhem

    Mayhem Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Hmmm - for some reason the system is not letting me log out! So I have only just read these posts (subsequent to mine).

    A couple of interesting points have highlighted the fact that there may be some significant differences between practices in the US and here.

    1. Here it is expected that you list actual references when submitting a resume or CV and it is also expected that you notify these references prior to submitting a CV. It is also common practice here for an employer not to contact the references UNTIL after the interview. No point wasting time talking to others if you have not met with the candidate and short listed them for the position.

    2. From reading the initial post by wolf, it sounded as if covering letters were not common place in the US, as this is where we would list the reason why we were applying for the job. In some cases, the covering letter may have just as much bearing on the result as the actual resume. I certainly wouldn’t read a resume if the covering letter wasn’t up to scratch (unless I was short on numbers or bored). However, I see that Andy mentioned it in his post, so probably a misunderstanding on my part.

    I would also agree in not listing personal gear but would include competencies in certain equipment if you felt that it would help your cause. As already suggested by others (and in my initial post) you need to keep your resume short and sweet. So only include it if it is necessary and will not force you onto another page.
     
  16. MSwan

    MSwan Member

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    As a quick note I counted 6 different typefaces, you should never go over 3. This means if you have 12 point Arial amd 12 point Arial bold it counts as 2. Same thing if you have 12 and 14 point Arial. Also too much negative space shrink the margins and make better use of the space. Andy's is a very good example of a format similiar to what I use:

    http://homepage.mac.com/michaelswan/MSwan.pdf

    It still needs a bit of work and updating but should give you a few more ideas.
     
  17. jonhirsh

    jonhirsh Active Member

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    Yah acctualy there is only one font but the pdf software i used to put it on line for you guys did some funky stuff. but i would never send it out that way.

    JH
     
  18. SuperCow

    SuperCow Active Member

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    If you're using a Mac, I can't recommend pickingup a copy of Apple's Pages software. It includes many resume teomplates that look really professional.

    In my opinion. A resume whould only be one page. Nobody wants to read three pages about you. Only list the makor shows, or the most recent, that you've done. If you're through university, nobody's going to care what you did in highschool.

    Formatting, formatting, formatting! If ti looks nice, people will be more inclined to read iot and look favorably on it. Also, it makes you look better if you turn in a good-lookign document.
     
  19. Radman

    Radman Well-Known Member

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    MSwan the listing of military acheivements is definitely looking like a good idea to put in. Thats something I wouldnt think of.
     
  20. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Interesting about the references where you are...in the US--people are stupid and rude and tend to call before they even grant an interview..and some folks are stupid and put their current employer down for reference and then create a tense situation for themselves that they are job hunting when the boss gets a call.. If we did it like they do where you are--then it would be understandable IMO to include them. When I have gotten references I usually never call until after an interview and permission is given either...but I was born in the wrong country and era.. ;) So the usual practice is to give references upon request, with respect to privacy and "name dropping" and to avoid those folks in HR who may just be putting in time and calling whomever so they look busy.....

    My bad for the miscommunication--probably had to do with the Objective comment.. Actually a cover letter is a common thing for most resumes..but I have seen so many resumes without cover letters either. Typically over here the cover letter is a very brief introduiction, a statement of the position you are applying for, and your availability to begin and enthusiasm to be further interviewed or be contacted etc. Thats about all that is included in a cover letter--no more then 6-8 sentances usually in my experience. Of course--this is a resume--opinions and ettiquittes vary and no one person is right or wrong--if it works for you then you have it right for you and your boss. What is stated in the OBJECTIVE listed on a resume is typically a generic one-sentance statement--like "Seeking long term position with (sound or lighting) Production company as a (insert position desired here) System Technician/designer/production manager/ Audio Engineer with room for advancement." and so on... Thats how it usually goes...

    Since this seems to be of interest, typical Resume format in my experience has been the following. Take it and the tips and make it your own as you find works for ya, and add a grain of salt to taste....


    Name, address, phone email or other contact info, Centered. or Left. NAME usually larger or in bold type.

    Objective: State the generic position desired in ONE sentance.

    Education: Schools and degree's earned, years listed.

    Professional Experience:
    List former or current employers, years there (if less than a year, just list the calander year you were there,) and a VERY brief list of job titles or responsibilities. Try to keep it relevant to the job you are applying for.. Again--keep it all relevant to the job...

    Tours: (if you're not touring--omit this topic)
    List any tours and positions held.

    Professional training or certifications:
    List any certs, or specialized training you have. Briefly list familiarities with any currently used or high tech equipment--Thomas roofs, Moving Light repair, StageLines, Line Arrays, ETC or Hog or GrandMA consoles, Midas or Digital consoles etc etc.. Don't list tons of lighting and a few bits of sound skills if you are applying for sound--it makes it look like you are too into Lights and not the Sound job you are applying for. Balance it all out...

    Recent productions/events or highlights:
    This is the area to give a few brief credits-- keep them within the past year if possible and relevant to the job you are targeting, and list no more then 4 or 5. Don't list 5 Lighting Design jobs if you are applying to a sound company...and don't list 5 monitor engineer jobs if you are applying to be a ME or LD to a lighting company... Don't list actor--no one in the tech world cares about the actors... :lol:

    Closing: Simple sentance that References, picture portfolio, other information or other show credits available upon request.

    Again, keep it simple--don't over-inform..save something for an interview. 2 or 3 pages max. Dont LIE--or "exaggerate the truth" ;) Just be real..never state you are an expert with something if you are not one or have only done something once or twice. Just cause you touched a Midas or GrandMA console once while you walked by the display does NOT make you experienced with one!! ;) Use key words--"professional", "profecient or experienced with", and use industry terms briefly when applicable, like FOH or System Tech or LD/A2/ME etc.. Use Boldface titles, indent and use one size and type of font--preferrably 12 point but no smaller then 10pt and no bigger then 14pt. Times Roman or Arial only, and don't go crazy with Underscoring or Italics. Margins should be 1.5inches max but not under 1inch, Left and/or Right--so the employer can make notes if they desire. Use SPOELLCYHECK ;) for everything and check industry names for spelling. Make it fit and LOOK ordered and EASY to read and follow on each page...if you have to list a title or topic on one page and then it continues to the next page-move the title if possible. Maybe offer your show credits or a sample portfolio picture on a separate attachment in with your resume--if so make note of that in the resume. I tytpically use VERY nice and expensive Linen or Parchment paper, White or CREAM in color, and a nice plain black folder/presentation cover which holds everything including a business-style contact card. Use a LASER printer--inkjects can smudge. The folders I choose are usually expensive report covers--they have a small corner window so the contact card can be seen and the folder identified when closed, but that is personal preference. Use Paperclips, not staples--I tend to pick as nifty paperclip--large gold or sometimes a cloth covered pinstripe if I think it will be attentive. Cover letter goes on top of the resume folder paperclipped to the outside of the folder or front of the resume. Make the cover letter specific to the person in charge if poissible. Lastly, I find that the older you get--the less Education comes first on the resume and more Professional experience & trainings should be listed first...

    Thats my two cents--opinions may vary and there is no right or wrong usually--check any resume writing book and you will get 50 different opinions.. Again--if it works for ya..thats all that matters. The resume is a reflection of who you are and what you wish to be seen as to an employer... Have a few friends look it over before sending it out...they may see something you have missed...

    -w
     

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