1. Most of the time, it IS who you know.
From my experience, we easily hire more people from referrals than we do with resumes. When you think about it, Resumes are just words that can be written by anyone. If an employee is willing to put their name on the line for you, at the very least you should get a courtesy Interview. Also, PLEASE don’t be ashamed to name drop at an interview. For example, if you want a job at MLB headquarters and your uncle is Matt Kemp, by all means, use it to your advantage. The way you get the job doesn’t matter. It’s what happens when you’re IN the job that counts.
2. Make your resume specific to the company.
For those whose Uncle isn’t a household name: Keep your resume specific! If you can add in the exact systems that prospective company uses, that’s a big plus! For example, when I’m hiring a crew for our shows, the candidates who use keywords like “Dreamcatcher” or “Playout” (Broadcast TV mumbo-jumbo) stand out way more than one that says “I assist in the studio.”
3. Think of your job performance as a Credit Score.
When you finally get that job you start building “job credit” the moment you walk in the door. So start strong, check grammar twice before sending that email, seek guidance when making out of the ordinary decisions. Check your grammar again! If you do the little things right, your job credit grows over time. The higher your credit is, the easier it is to bounce back when you DO make mistakes, and yes, you will make mistakes.
4. MYTH BUSTER: Arriving 15 minutes before a meeting is not on-time…You’re too early.
One thing I immediately had to throw out the window in corporate land was the notion that if you’re on time, you’re late. When you have meetings back-to-back-to-back, being on time literally means to be there when the meeting is scheduled to start. Sometimes that’s even too early.
5. Don’t make the same mistake twice.
But if you do, don’t dwell on it. Your job credit just dropped a few points so just focus on building it up again. Time heals all.
6. Always take the high-road. Even when thrown under the bus.
This is what I live by and it’s always prevailed in the long-term. For example, if a contractor blames me for a scheduling error and it clearly wasn’t my fault, I don’t reply with a rude email. I bite my tongue and try to find a solution, politely. A dispute over something that affects one day at work is not worth tarnishing a long-term working relationship.
7. Don’t embarrass your colleague.
If you do have a bone to pick with a colleague, discuss it one on one. Don’t call them out in a meeting or at a shoot. They’ll never forget it and it can cause more harm than good in the long-term.
8. LEARN THIS PHRASE: “I don’t like when you _______ because it makes me feel like ________.”
Instead of saying “I hate when you’re an irresponsible a**hole.”, try to settle disputes using the above formula. I won’t get into the sociology of it all (because I’m no expert) but I think everyone should have that phrase in their back pocket.
9. Less is more! Don’t make it complicated.
I’ve never had to write an essay of words for colleagues/bosses to take me seriously (but keep in mind I work in the TV industry). I think if you can complete your goal with a simple email, minimal chart, or short conversation then I call it a win.