Author Topic: Job Applying Words of Wisdom to College Graduates  (Read 4969 times)

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EFMcMullen

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Job Applying Words of Wisdom to College Graduates
« on: Mar 16, 2012, 11:59 am »
(This is in response to going through my SM Intern applicants for a LORT theater)

For all of you getting ready to graduate from college, a few words of wisdom on applying for jobs. 

First of all, in this tough job market, please help me help you get a job.  I want to have the problem of having too many good candidates.  I want to get past your resume and talk to you in person. There is more to your resume than just your 20 shows that you have managed to work on in college.

Double check, double check, double check.  If you are applying to Theater A, it doesn't look good when half way through your cover letter you say something like "I really think I would be a great asset to Theater B".  We all know that everybody is applying for many jobs at once, but as a stage management candidate, it says to me you are not paying attention to details.  Also, take a moment to print out your resume to proof.  You might be surprised at the number of errors you catch having it physically in front of you.  Just because you e-mail it, doesn't mean the person on the other end isn't going to print it.

Please read and re-read the job notice carefully.  If the dates listed are September to May, please don't apply for a summer internship.  If it asks for references vs letter of recommendation, please send the appropriate piece of information.  Please apply to the correct person.

Please make sure if you use a template, you have replaced all the appropriate information with your information. In this day and age of the internet, there are many great resume examples out there and templates to choose from if you don't know where to start.   "Lorem ipsum dolor" is a dead giveaway.  So is [Street Address].  Make me think you have spent hours creating this fabulous resume, that I will want to pick up the phone and talk to you.

Remember you are applying for a JOB.  As much as theater is a passion, it is also work.  Those of us receiving your resumes are professionals.  We want to work with those who want to be professionals.  Please keep the information of a professional nature.  It is okay that it has been "a dream of yours to work at a professional theatre" or you "love being part of the creative process", but leave it at that.  Anything more esoteric makes you look silly and not to be taken seriously.

It can be hard to remain at the top of the pile, but it is super easy to end up in the trash can.  Help me keep you out of the trash can!

I wish everybody luck in their job searches!


MatthewShiner

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Re: Job Applying Words of Wisdom to College Graduates
« Reply #1 on: Mar 16, 2012, 12:51 pm »
Great advice!!!!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

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dallas10086

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Re: Job Applying Words of Wisdom to College Graduates
« Reply #2 on: Mar 16, 2012, 02:05 pm »
All excellent advice. I would add spell-check with a human being, not the computer, and look online at experienced stage managers' resumes. Feel free to steal format and style, just not their experience. I heard once that an applicant falsified his experience, and the hiring stage manager caught it because it was his experience the applicant stole. It's never worth it.

jpwdw

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Re: Job Applying Words of Wisdom to College Graduates
« Reply #3 on: Mar 30, 2012, 06:38 pm »
Thank you very much for the advice! I am a current student and still have some years to graduate but this can help me with my current resumé.
« Last Edit: Mar 30, 2012, 06:58 pm by jpwdw »

Amie

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Re: Job Applying Words of Wisdom to College Graduates
« Reply #4 on: Mar 31, 2012, 10:49 am »
Great words of wisdom for college graduates and...well, everyone!

I would also add (as a reminder), that applying for stage management jobs takes TIME:

- Time to find the appropriate jobs
- Time to read each job posting carefully
- Time to carefully and appropriately write/revise/edit/proof your resume and cover letter to suit the needs of the job.
- Time to gather letters of recommendation (if needed).  (I find this always takes a little longer...)
- Time to maintain a current resume (not a lot of time, but it is something to think about)

And be mindful of deadlines.

I find pacing myself and keeping up to date on my resume, searching daily for job postings (as to not wait until the last minute and be on top of the application process) a much better way to operate.

Basically, though job postings are time sensitive, don't rush through the critical steps (as listed by EFMcMullen) and send out the resume/cover letter/etc without giving yourself the time to provide sharp, professional documents.  This is often your first impression on a prospective employer. Make it count!

I find something new to improve upon each time I apply for a job and consider the ability to apply for a job, and do so well, another skill to add to the Stage Management ToolBelt of Life.  It's an important skill to know how to do well, especially in our industry.
~ Amie ~

“This whole creation is essentially subjective, and the dream is the theater where the dreamer is at once: scene, actor, prompter, stage manager, author, audience, and critic.”

EFMcMullen

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Re: Job Applying Words of Wisdom to College Graduates
« Reply #5 on: Mar 02, 2013, 08:33 am »
(Bumping this back up to the top of the list....)

Also to add:
Cover Letter: The Cover letter is not an option.  It is the chance for the employer to learn something about you.  Why you are interested in said job.  Further explain work you have been or not been doing on your resume.  Your cover letter also reveals a little about your personality.  Ideally the cover letter is not in the body of your e-mail but also a separate document like your resume.  (However, in this day an age as long as it is a full length cover letter in the e-mail I'm not as bothered.  Others might have a different opinion)  You cover letter should not be: "Dear So and So, I would like to apply for XYZ position at ABC Theater.  Attached is my resume.  I look forward to hearing from you."  That tells me nothing.  And I begin to assume you are lazy.  You can in an e-mail be that short and say: "Dear So and So, I would like to apply for XYZ position at ABC Theater.  Attached is my cover letter and resume.  I look forward to hearing from you."  This lets the receiver know what job you are interested in and proceed accordingly with your letter and resume.

And as been mentioned many times before, it is far smarter to send out your information as a PDF.  Different computers/programs/operating systems will interpret a .doc differently - move tabs, go onto a second page.  A PDF pretty much guarantees that the receiver gets your resume & cover letter exactly as you intend them to be seen.

Happy job search 2013!

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VEsherry

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Re: Job Applying Words of Wisdom to College Graduates
« Reply #6 on: Mar 04, 2013, 08:42 pm »
This is really helpful
I started theater/stage managment in college and feared that my lack of experiance would be my downfall, but reading this has made me a bit less scared.

brettnexx

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Re: Job Applying Words of Wisdom to College Graduates
« Reply #7 on: Mar 05, 2013, 07:54 pm »
One question that I have. I know a lot of people don't like having to open multiple attachments if necessary.

Would you rather receive the Cover Letter and Resume as a single document, or separate documents?

EFMcMullen

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Re: Job Applying Words of Wisdom to College Graduates
« Reply #8 on: Mar 05, 2013, 09:55 pm »
All in one attachment is definitely more convenient.  I guess I would say I prefer it that way, but I don't count it against the applicant if they attach them as separate documents.

Bwoodbury

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Re: Job Applying Words of Wisdom to College Graduates
« Reply #9 on: Mar 06, 2013, 12:06 am »
My cover letter is usually the body of the email unless a posting specifically asks for an attached cover letter. I only hear good things back about doing it this way. Anyone have a different experience?

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Maribeth

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Re: Job Applying Words of Wisdom to College Graduates
« Reply #10 on: Mar 06, 2013, 12:11 am »
My cover letter is usually the body of the email unless a posting specifically asks for an attached cover letter. I only hear good things back about doing it this way. Anyone have a different experience?

I've never had a problem with this method.

KMC

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Re: Job Applying Words of Wisdom to College Graduates
« Reply #11 on: Mar 06, 2013, 09:02 am »
My cover letter is usually the body of the email unless a posting specifically asks for an attached cover letter. I only hear good things back about doing it this way. Anyone have a different experience?

I have always operated on the method that the goal of the cover letter is to pique interest, get them to read your resume, and add an informal, human touch to contrast the formality of the resume.  If you're operating on those same assumptions, I see no issues with putting it as the body of an email.  If anything, I think they're more likely to read it in the body of an email than in an attachment.

 
Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

On_Headset

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Re: Job Applying Words of Wisdom to College Graduates
« Reply #12 on: Mar 07, 2013, 08:03 pm »
Speaking as someone with HR responsibilities, putting it in your e-mail also means that, even if--for whatever reason--your attachment is unusable, I can still get at your documents. This sort of problem happens often enough that it's worth doing, and this also protects you from looking like an idiot by accidentally sending an e-mail without attachments. (Forget your attachments? The text is in the body of the e-mail, so you're golden.)

Incidentally, I much prefer a PDF to a DOC for resume and cover letter. Unless you're absolutely sure the recipients of your documents have the same versions of the software, same fonts installed, same printer settings, etc., your carefully-formatted CV is going to get mangled on my end. Sending it as a PDF protects your font and format.
« Last Edit: Mar 07, 2013, 08:07 pm by On_Headset »

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