We’ve all heard it and we’ve all wished it weren’t so true: the entertainment industry is all about “who you know.” That pretty much extends to all of media–TV, film, news, etc–it’s a game of networking, shmoozing, and getting “in” with the right folks. In today’s competitive job market, it might seem like you have to be Stephen Spielberg’s daughter to get a job in Hollywood. The truth is, we’re not going to change the system overnight, so instead of pouting that you weren’t born into the right family, work with the system. Here are few tips to help turn you from little unknown to bro-hugging media mogul.
Seriously, anybody can do it and it’s probably the No. 1 way to become the well-connected media hotshot you’ve always dreamed of. Scour your college alumni sites, utilize LinkedIn, and even put those Google stalking chops to work. Once you’ve identified your target, ask for informational interviews! The more informational interviews you can set up, the better off you’ll be. After you meet with people, connect with them on LinkedIn, so you can then gain access to all of their contacts. That way, when a job opens, you’ll have an entire extended network to tap into.
Stay in the Know
Don’t let opportunities pass you by. Stay on top of job openings and industry trends, so when the right thing comes along (be it an official job opening at a large company, a new show being picked up, or rumors of a film in production), you can jump on all of those awesome new contacts you have (see step 1) and make sure your resume gets looked at. Which brings me to…
Put Together a Stellar Resume
Even with little experience, you can make your resume shine. If you’re applying to a production assistant job, use the buzzwords companies are looking for by tailoring your resume to the job description. Don’t apologize for lack of experience, instead highlight those transferrable skills.
And when all else fails…
“Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You”
Sage advice Steve Martin and it couldn’t be more true. We’re heard the stories: successful Tumblr blogs turning into mega studio deals and even the YouTuber who got signed to the NFL. In today’s job market, competition is stiffer than ever, but new media has made it easier than ever to showcase your talent, so start a YouTube channel, gain Twitter followers, or create an online portfolio. If your talents are really that amazing, someone will find you.
The most important thing is not to get discouraged. Setbacks are normal and even the most well-connected of job hunters can have a hard time finding a job, so instead of focusing on “dream job,” take it one step at a time and just look for a way to get your foot in the door. With hard work and perseverance, the rest will follow.