Four Realistic Ways to Beef Up Your Resume Fast

Lily Cedarbaum

Lily Cedarbaum

As a college student in NYC, I quickly got sucked into the world of television internships and became addicted to it right away. Starting off in Corporate Communications at NBC Universal, I eventually networked my way into internships at Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Joy Behar, The New York Television Festival, Doctor Oz, and Saturday Night Live. While I loved my internships at high-profile networks and festivals, I was excited to branch out and try something off-beat after graduation. To shake things up, I spent a few months living in Los Angeles, where I spent time freelancing and meeting with contacts before finding my way back to New York for a job at MindSmack TV.

The entertainment industry is a hard field to navigate, and I am excited to be a part of The Media Chronicles to assist others along the way!
Lily Cedarbaum

For those of us trying to build up experience before we join the workforce, the internship appears to be a rich man’s game. Most internships remain unpaid, and for students who have loans and need to take on part-time jobs to stay afloat, this can mean you aren’t able to have the same career tools come time for job applications. Even during summers when you have more time, many are unable to afford moving to expensive cities to work for free, or can’t even land a position in much more competitive months.

If you find yourself staring at a blank page wondering how on earth you are going to fill a resume in a way that makes you look like you know what you’re doing (even though you might not yet), take a look at these four easy ways to add some weight to your resume, and let employers know you mean business.

Create an Engaging Career Objective
Past employers have told me that including an objective at the top of your resume is a personal preference. Yet, the more resumes I come across, the more apparent it becomes that this resume element is trending upward (that is, if trends can be applied to CV building). If you have a little too much “throat-clearing” in your resume, try writing a career objective at the top of your resume that introduces yourself with personality and determination.

If you need ideas on what exactly to write, take a moment to read some introductions in your LinkedIn community. Remember to be concise and specific to the position to which you are applying. This may be the first information your employer reads, so think carefully about what the employer wants from a new hire. You can get more ideas and advice on this here.

Develop Your Skills via YouTube Tutorials
Believe it or not—and I’m sure by now you all believe—you can learn a lot from the Internet, and not just about why Solange beat up Jay-Z in an elevator! If there is a skill you know of that may be useful, but you can’t afford the time or money to take a class on it, consider doing some research about it online. There are millions of tutorials on YouTube alone on how to do anything from costume makeup to editing footage using different programs.

If you follow enough tutorials and soak up enough information that you feel you can complete certain levels of work in its category, you can include under skills that you have a basic comprehension of that skill set. While self-taught, you can certainly explain to the interviewer that you were incredibly passionate to learn as much as possible and look forward to gaining even more experience using that tool regularly in a work setting, especially if the position is entry-level. As an intern at DoctorOz.com, I learned I would be of much greater assistance to my team if I were able to edit photos with Photoshop, so after a series of YouTube how-to videos, I was able to build articles completely on my own, streamline my workflow, and add Photoshop to my resume. I also practiced by editing photos of my friends’ faces into photos with celebrities, which was a bonus of being hilarious.

Volunteer for Student Projects
If you’re interested in production, working on a student short film can be a quick and easy way of gaining experience that will look beautiful on a resume. Low-budget crews are often willing to work strange hours to adjust to the real-life schedule of crew members, as well as not being able to rent out locations, but still needing them empty. They are also faster to accept those with less experience and teach along the way. Look no further than Craigslist (though be wary of sketchy ads) to find your ticket into a new position on your resume. If that isn’t successful, try contacting the film office department at your local college. No matter what your age, extra help will never be laughed away.

Create Your Own Project
I KNOW. Even the thought of starting your own film sounds hopeless and exhausting, but it’s the ultimate way to prove to your future employer that you are a self-starter and waste no time getting things done. If you’re a writer, try writing a short and simple low-budget piece that doesn’t need high production value. If you can’t write, find a friend who does, or come up with a simple adaptation of a favorite story in public domain. You can also get leads for ideas by reading competition prompts, as sometimes narrowing your options makes it actually easier for those who get overwhelmed by too many options. Film it with an old digital camera, an iPhone, or the camera your parents filmed you with growing up. You don’t have to be snobby about the quality with this project. Look no further than Escape from Tomorrow for inspiration.

However, if snobby is your middle name, and you can’t be satisfied attaching yourself professionally to something you made with your friends one Sunday, start a Crowdtilt or Kickstarter campaign and invite all your friends. It’s hard to ask family and friends directly for money, so do it indirectly a la Rob Thomas and Zach Braff! Check out these other crowdfunding sites for more ideas.

With a few of these options under your belt, your resume will be ready in no time, and your wallet won’t be any worse for the wear!

Lily Cedarbaum

As a college student in NYC, I quickly got sucked into the world of television internships and became addicted to it right away. Starting off in Corporate Communications at NBC Universal, I eventually networked my way into internships at Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Joy Behar, The New York Television Festival, Doctor Oz, and Saturday Night Live. While I loved my internships at high-profile networks and festivals, I was excited to branch out and try something off-beat after graduation. To shake things up, I spent a few months living in Los Angeles, where I spent time freelancing and meeting with contacts before finding my way back to New York for a job at MindSmack TV. The entertainment industry is a hard field to navigate, and I am excited to be a part of The Media Chronicles to assist others along the way!

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