How to Break Into the Entertainment Industry

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The entertainment industry is a tricky industry to break into. In fact, there’s no one, sure-fire way to get your lucky break. While some become stars in childhood, others don’t begin acting until they’re in their 40’s. Whether you want to be a musician or the next great producer, achieving your dream of working in the industry can be difficult. Luckily, there are tons of career paths to choose from to help you get your foot in the door, no matter your hopes.

At the end of the day, it’s about who you know and how hard you work to get where you want to be. Here are a few tips to help you get hired in the entertainment industry.

Understand What to Expect for Recruiting

As far as recruiting and interviewing go, the entertainment industry is slightly different than any other industry. In most cases, you’ll start at the bottom. For example, if you want to write television shows, you might get hired as an assistant, no matter how great your scripts are. This means that just out of college, you’ll likely be making less than you would at a job outside the entertainment industry, for example at an accounting firm that would hire you based on your degree, not for a lowly role that forces you to pay your dues.

When you start job hunting, you should be available to start right away. Things move fast in Hollywood, and no one is going to wait for you when there are hundreds of applicants who want the same job. This means that if you have a regular 9-to-5, you may have to quit without giving notice.

Because there’s no time to wait, the interview process will likely be quick, if you land one in the first place. Employers will likely do a pre-employment background check, so be honest when answering all the questions during an interview.

Know About the Industry

Before you start looking for a job, you should know whether you want to work in television, film, or music. This will allow you to find the best positions that help you kick-start your career instead of getting stuck in a job that doesn’t allow you to grow.

Do your homework on the major companies in the industry and know who runs them. Read as much as you can about the industry and its giants, so that when you’re quizzed, you’ll know exactly what to say.

Even if you’re not applying for jobs yet, make sure to look at job descriptions for the types of positions you are interested in. It’s always useful to learn about all the different opportunities available in the entertainment industry. If you notice any job duties that you don’t understand, write them down and research them, because you never know when you’ll come across another position with similar requirements.


Much like other industries, becoming successful in entertainment is all about networking. Make a list of the people that you know personally who can help you start networking. The odds are that someone you know, knows someone in the entertainment industry.

Remember, those with reputations in the industry are often the least likely to help you get a job, because they have no idea about the jobs available for entry-level entertainment workers. That means that if your dad is friends with a director who has made a major film, they may not be your best resource starting out. Although, keep them in mind as you move up in your career.

Networking with people in your age group who are beginning to enter the industry can help you succeed. Many of them may not be going for the same types of jobs but may come across job postings that could benefit you. By staying in communication with them, you can send each other postings for openings to aid in landing a job.

Land Informational Interviews

Unfortunately, most people have no incentive to help you succeed in the entertainment industry, especially if you make big requests like helping you land a spot at a major television network. Try to keep your requests reasonable, and mention that you’re trying to break into the industry. You can ask contacts for their time to learn about their careers and experiences.

While you may not be able to land a job through this person, these informational interviews can help you create more realistic expectations and offer you tips and tricks for getting your first gig in the industry.

Make sure that the meeting isn’t just about you and asking them to help you get a job. Instead, try to learn from them as much as possible. You can, however, ask them what entry-level jobs you should be looking for if you want to be a director, actor, etc. Even if this person doesn’t know the answer, they might know someone who does.

Don’t Give Up

The entertainment industry is the hardest industry to break into; that’s why many actors and musicians refer to certain past opportunities as their “big break.” A vast majority of the people you network with won’t be able to help you, but you can learn from them. Just remember, while they may not be able to help you right now, you never know what could happen in the future.

Continuing to network and talk to as many people in the industry as possible can help you learn enough to make your dreams a reality. Landing a job in entertainment takes hard work and dedication. Make sure that you have a strong understanding of the industry and keep putting in the work until you get to where you want to be.

Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. He is currently a contributing editor for 365 Business Tips

5 Reasons LinkedIn Is Important For Executives

Social Marketing/Online Branding

LinkedIn for executives
If you are an executive, then you should be on LinkedIn. Don’t think of it as just another social media website because it is not. It is a networking site for business professionals, and simply having a presence can improve your visibility tremendously. Many executives are finding that out the easy way.
Here are 5 solid reasons you should be on LinkedIn right now:

  1. Many professionals find their next job through contacts they meet on LinkedIn. The social network used to be considered the place to go when you wanted to find a job. Today, it’s much broader than that, but the networking possibilities are endless. And they often lead to better employment prospects.
  2. It’s a great place to generate leads for your business.
  3. You have the ability to share your content with your target audience seamlessly. If you are a blogger or routinely craft content on third party websites, you can share it on LinkedIn and reach your professional audience easily. No fighting through the noise on Facebook and Twitter.
  4. You can publish your articles on LinkedIn and give them wider visibility. You own all your content and can take it with you when you leave–if you ever leave.
  5. LinkedIn profile page acts like a professional online CV. Every time you make a career move–whether you change jobs, receive a certification, take a career enhancement class, get published, or earn an award for your professional achievements–you can add that to your LinkedIn profile. People do read them, and they do take notice.

Every executive should have a presence on LinkedIn, from CEO down to the middle manager who wants to be CEO.

Dressing For Success: Yes it Still Matters

Career & WorkplaceInterviewing

Dressing For Success: Yes it Still Matters
It’s funny that this still has to be pointed out to people, but it does.
When you are interviewing for a job, you need to dress in a certain manner. Torn jeans, a dirty t-shirt, and uncombed hair will simply not cut it in the corporate world. Neither do gauges, visible tattoos, or  piercings. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with any of those things, but they may work against you. The arguments I most often hear are, “Things have changed,” and “It’s not my style.” Or more recently from some young, still-in-college, twenty-somethings I know, “But the company I want to work for will have a cool, hip culture and they won’t mind if I have gauges, tattoos, or piercings!” Be that as it may, certain standards are still expected. The best resumes, cover letters and recommendations will still only get you to the first interview. You have to take it from there.
Even in companies that at best could be called slacker style, expect those interviewing for a job to be dressed appropriately. Keep in mind that even if you are planning on working for a “hip” or “trendy” company, you still have to interview with the HR person who might be a forty- or fifty-something person that does not agree with that Coke can-sized hole in your ear. It also means men should wear, at the very least, trousers not made of denim, a pressed shirt with a tie and a jacket; a suit is better. For women, the same attire as for men, if you like, or a conservative skirt and pressed blouse; a suit would be better here as well. The attire should be conservative, clean and pressed. Your goal is to get through that first level of interviewing. Once you do that and you get to speak to the person you will directly report to, check out his/her style. If they seem like they encourage more of a unique style, then you are in luck. If not, you may either want to ask them, or look around at the other employees as you are walking through the office. What do they have on?
The point here isn’t as much about your clothing as the image that clothing presents to the employer. You can have the best resume in the world but if you look like a slob, or have too much (visible) body art, the company is going to think twice about hiring you. You want the company to see you as a serious candidate who takes care of himself and presents himself well. You put out the wrong image when you appear looking like you slept in your clothing, or forgot to wash your hands. If you look like that on the day you are trying to show them your best, what on earth are you going to wear on casual Friday?
Dressing the part is often the first step in getting the part. Look at it like this: If you dress well and everyone else dresses down for the interview, you will have set yourself apart in a good way.

What Are Your Salary Requirements?


What Are Your Salary Requirements?
It seems rather unfair that even after submitting a great resume and cover letter you still have to deal with tricky interview questions. The salary question is one of the most dreaded of all interview questions. It’s not surprising that few people are able to answer it in a professional manner beyond the standard “I expect to be paid what I’m worth” statement. For the job hunter, you need to understand what it is that your interviewer is really asking.
When the interviewer asks, “What are your salary requirements?,” what he or she is really asking is whether or not you have a realistic salary expectation and if you are flexible about the amount. This is also why the interviewer would like you to list an actual dollar amount.
Finding out what you are worth is easy enough. Visit one of the websites that offer salary ranges and see what you can expect. Be sure to account for your education and experience. Location is important as well; salaries in New York City are generally far higher than in Trenton, Tennessee. Once you have that information you are ready to respond.
How should you respond to that question? Don’t shout out a number, but state that based on your education, experience and responsibilities of the position that $60-65,000 (or whatever amount you found) would be reasonable. Mention that you are flexible and would certainly consider benefits.
While it is important to be seen as flexible and as someone who can be negotiated with, don’t settle for less than you can honestly afford. Most companies will be fair simply because if they aren’t you will move on to one that is and they have time invested in you. Still, find out what you are worth before your next interview and you will be prepared for this tricky question.

Defining Your Career Objective

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Defining Your Career Objective
One of the most often used phrases on a resume is usually found under the heading “Career Objective,”or “Career Summary” and the same phrase is used over and over without regard to profession. It’s a generic phrase that your career objective is to find a job somewhat related to the degree you studied for in college. The exact wording varies slightly, but it all means the same thing: you haven’t put much thought into your career.
It’s understandable when you are unemployed and willing to take basically any position offered that you might use a generic phrase. It’s still a mistake. You need to, at the very least, tailor it to match the specific job you are applying for and to be different enough from others applying for the job that you merit attention from the hiring manager. Better still is to spend the time thinking about your dream job and to state your actual career objective.
It doesn’t matter if your objective is above, or even skewed from, the position to which you are applying. You can address this, briefly, in your cover letter. As an example, if your career goal is to be a computer software designer but the position you are applying for is at the help desk, you can state that while your goal is to be a software designer you are willing to work as a tech at the help desk because it will enable you to better understand the components of software design from the perspective of the user. A hiring manager will likely appreciate your honesty as well as the way you think about those situations.
Remember, if you haven’t been able to define your career goals to yourself, then you will never be able to define them to someone else, and you will certainly never be able to meet them. So spend some time figuring this out and update your resume accordingly.

Should You Update Your Resume?
One frequent question I hear from my clients (even those who are happy in their jobs) is, “How often should I update my resume, or should I?” After all, they aren’t looking for a new job and are happy where they are in their careers. This is a stumbling block that people need to get over quickly; you should always have an updated resume.
From a practical standpoint, are you really completely content to remain in exactly the same position you are currently in for the rest of your career? Even movement within the same company can often come with a request for an updated resume. And isn’t movement the whole point? Keeping your resume updated for such occasions makes sense… especially if you are on a senior or executive track. Plus, you have most likely learned new skills, taken a few new classes or seminars, tucked some new accomplishments under your belt, and/or just generally changed since you took the position you are currently in, so your resume should reflect that.
There is also the reality of economics to consider. Companies shift focus, change and develop over time. People lose jobs and move on to other careers. All of these factors mean that you will likely be hunting for another job some time in the course of your career. Having a resume ready to go will allow you to quickly find a new job. It’s also far easier to keep a resume updated than to start over and try to fill in the missing pieces.
Keeping your resume updated makes sense, and is a practical way of handling your career. You will always be ready to hand over a current copy when the opportunity presents itself.

How To Get Help With Job Hunting

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When it comes to job hunting there are two ways that you can approach it. Most people assume that standard job hunting is the best way to find their perfect job. This means that a majority of people feel that simply checking job websites and classified ads a few times a week is enough to bag them the job position they’re dreaming of. Sadly, this isn’t usually the case.
The job market is tough and competition for the jobs that are available is fierce. If you truly want to be successful in your job hunt then you need to up your game and do everything you can to make it happen.
When you’re seeking help with your job search, it is important to do so  from every angle – getting help with writing your resume, distributing it to the right places, and soliciting advice on where to look for jobs in your industry. It is essential that you look for opportunities in industry specific job boards, as opposed to just generic job websites, so you’re not  wasting time going through job vacancies that aren’t suited to your qualifications. Contacting professional placement agencies or recruiters may also give you insight as to what openings are out there for a candidate with your skills and experience.
There are plenty of ways to get help with your job search. You just need to be diligent in pursuing the job services and/or recruiting firms that are the best match for your career objectives.

Job hunting with a conviction on your record

Career & WorkplaceJob SearchResume Writing

I recently had a client call to have his resume done, and in the course of our discussion, out popped a confession that he had two misdemeanors. They were five years old, but still, not good. He has faced many obstacles during the job search, even though his misdemeanors had nothing to do with a job or anything work-related.
Even if you have a conviction, or have served time, you still need money to survive. Typically, this means you need a job of some type. But, if you have tried to find a job with a conviction on your record, you will have noticed that it’s very hard to get employers to accept that you’ll be a great member of the team when you’ve broken the law. Here are a few tips to get you started in the right direction.
First, try consulting legal aid about getting your record expunged or sealed. This isn’t available for every case, but is worth looking into. Once a record is expunged, it can’t be opened again, and the matter is considered resolved.
You will need to take whatever job you can to begin rebuilding your credibility. It’s possible that you’ll have to accept employment below your previous standard of living – even working in fast food or service industries. Even small jobs like this can help lead you to bigger things later. You can see if any of your personal contacts are looking for people. Even with a record, it’s much more likely you can get a job through networking and friends than you will through replying to job ads.
There may be community programs that can assist you in finding employment. These are usually in cities and not often available in rural areas, and may have other stipulations attached to them. However, employers that agree to work with these programs won’t be “surprised” about your record. Also, these offices have a number of resources, and may be able to help you learn new skills.
Small and local companies are often better bets than huge corporations, for the simple fact that they lack the legal layers of bureaucracy that are designed to shield a company from any liability whatsoever. Another avenue for you to consider is self-employment. Skills such as construction, plumbing, or auto repair a record won’t come into play at all. If you have an entrepreneurial streak, you should consider these opportunities.
Regardless of what you do, it’s unlikely that a job is just going to fall into your lap. Don’t get discouraged, and know that there is a job out there for you somewhere. It will probably take you longer to find, but don’t harbor false hope. Rejection happens even to applicants who have sparkling records and job histories. Don’t be afraid to seek emotional support from friends or family.
Once you do land a job, be sure to prove to the employer that you are a good hire. It’ll make getting the next job easier once you have an established work history. Work the extra hours, follow the rules, and take extra responsibilities whenever you can. A conviction plus a string of short, choppy jobs is a huge red flag to potential employers, and will shoot you down from almost any job. Don’t be a problem employee, and ride it out. Most background checks only go back seven years, and then after that, you will be in the clear.