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Fitting a freelance SM career into an application form


I'm currently applying for a staff SM position at a university events venue. In addition to submitting a resume and cover letter I also have to do an online application which requires filling in work history.

I have 8 years of experience as a freelance SM. I have no problem expressing the job duties in a way that will look good to a hiring manager, but there are mandatory questions in the application such as supervisor name, title, and contact info, and non-mandatory questions including hours per work week and number/titles of employees you supervised. I feel like it would be best to just list all my SM experience as one job, rather than including separate entries for the 50 or so productions I've done in that time (nobody wants to slog through that application), but I can't really answer any of those questions because I haven't had just one supervisor or just one team that I've managed.

How do I answer these impossible questions? Can I just say "varies"? Any other advice for wedging a freelance career into a form that is clearly tailored for more traditional jobs?

Are there any companies that you have gone back to a number of times? If so, you could include your supervisors/etc from those positions, and then have the more complete list on your resume. If you have those as several examples from your career experience, and more details in your cover letter/resume/interview to flesh things out, that should give them a good idea of what your experience is without listing 50 shows.

I had to do the same thing when applying for my current position- fitting a theatrical-style resume into a traditional work history web form is a pain! I chose a couple of examples, and then included freelance PM work and events work as different positions, since they use different skills. I really tried to tailor my experience to the job posting, so if you have any experience that really lines up with what they are looking for, those might also be good shows to use for this web form.

Good luck!

I just have to say that I hate the online forms that don't really fit us - and I imagine that most of the people receiving them understand that we don't fit them either. I usually fill in my three to five most recent jobs (though I'd have to think if it really said "in the last ten years" or something and would be more vague), and for various reasons (including filing unemployment), I do keep track of how many hours per week it officially was, etc.


--- Quote from: smejs on Apr 24, 2019, 03:26 am ---I just have to say that I hate the online forms that don't really fit us - and I imagine that most of the people receiving them understand that we don't fit them either.

--- End quote ---

This is true, provided your resume makes it through to a human.  All too often now, these automated systems will screen candidates and only send "qualified" folks through.  Which means if your qualifications don't fit into their pre-defined boxes you may be screened out by a computer irrespective of your actual qualifications. 

It's a real bummer, and a big problem with these automated systems. 

My advice to the OP would be - in addition to the required HR portion of the application currently under discussion - find the actual human responsible for filling this position and send the resume and cover letter in via email and/or post to ensure they get to the right person. 


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