I (Amanda Jones, All Access Founder) graduated from college in 2013 with a BA in TV, Film and Media Studies. Since then, I haven’t been able to find stable employment in the entertainment business. I’ve worked 2 freelance jobs, one paid, one not. Next month will mark 2 years that I’ve been out of college and still haven’t been able to find work. With that being said, I’ve tried to do everything under the sun (i.e. revamp and shorten my resume, liven up my reel, contact people in my career field for advice and more!) in order to increase my chances of getting hired, somewhere, anywhere, in the entertainment business. Still no luck! One thing that college doesn’t teach you is how it really is out there in the “real world” as far as getting your first job right out of college.
There’s no doubt that some career fields are harder or easier to get into. The entertainment business, specifically the radio business, is extremely hard to get into. Talk about a struggle for real and not to mention that when I was in college, radio internships were slim, very slim. The only radio stations, that I was interested in, that had an active internship program, were Power 106 (Los Angeles) and 102.7 KIIS FM (Los Angeles). I applied to both. KIIS never responded and Power 106 was letting their winter interns continue into spring if they decided to, of course they all wanted to. I definitely believe that college students are given unrealistic expectations about job searching and getting a first job as a college graduate. But enough about me and my troubles; I’ve found a list on mistakes that could be costing you your first job, the right job, BEFORE you even get the job. Check it out below!
1. RESUME IS TOO LONG.
I’m guilty of this but because getting into the entertainment business is more so about what you know rather than if you went to school or not, there really isn’t anything I can afford to leave off my resume. According to resume experts, your resume shouldn’t be longer than 1 page unless you’ve been working for 20 years or more. Only relevant working experience, educational background and any additional information that may attract an employer. Applying for your first job right out of college? Leave off anything from high school, those days are long gone!
2. YOUR INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE EMPLOYER ARE TOO SIMPLE.
When going to an interview you should be prepared. Any questions that you have for the employer should be well thought out before hand and not the night before. You should know about the company and position for which you are applying. If a Google search can answer your question, don’t ask it!
3. YOU DON’T LOOK THE PART.
Regardless of what people say, including the employer when they say the interview attire is casual, the way you look matters. With that being said, that doesn’t mean you need to be attractive in order to get the job. You need to look the part for the job you are applying for. The dress code of the company doesn’t matter, you should always dress in work attire(business attire). Clothes should be ironed, shoes should be clean, hair combed and face clean and fresh. For females: subtle makeup is best, you are going to a job interview, not the club. For males: make sure hair is out of your face and clean (this actually applies to males and females). If you are hired, you will be one of the faces of the company. In other words, look like the face of the company before you are a part of the company.
4. ARRIVING LATE TO THE INTERVIEW.
This seems like common sense, but for some people common sense isn’t so common. Regardless of your interview time, always plan to arrive 15-20 minutes early. Arriving late to an interview automatically puts a bad taste in the employers mouth about you; the company doesn’t care if “you’re stuck in traffic” or “couldn’t find the building”. A planning ahead tip- go to the interview location before the day of the interview, scope everything out so that you can have a game plan the day of.
5. YOU FAIL TO APPLY BECAUSE OF THE “EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS”.
I am also guilty of this. I really thought experience requirements matter, for some jobs they don’t. The company is going to teach you the way they want things done anyways. However, when you see “3 years experience required” you may think, how am I going to get the experience if no one will give me a job? That’s where creativity comes into play. There are more ways than you can think of that you can use to explain why you are qualified for the position. Internships? Volunteer work? Team leadership? Your experience can be spun in any way you want in order to put you at an advantage.
6. ASKING ABOUT SALARY BEFORE YOU ARE FORMALLY OFFERED THE POSITION.
Don’t do it! If you really need to know, just Google what someone in the position for which you are applying, makes a year, you will find a round about number. Asking about salary before being formally offered the position makes you look like you’re just interested in the money and not in contributing to the company.
7. YOU ARE INTIMIDATED BY A JOB TITLE.
I 100% agree that job titles can be intimidating, especially with the name changing of some job positions in this day and age. Job titles vary from company to company. Read the experience in a job description before you get too nervous on what the title is and decide against applying.
8. YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE IS NEGATIVE.
I struggle with this all the time and I’m sure most of you do too. When social media first came into play, it was supposed to be for people who want to open the window into their personal lives. Since the growing social media world is now used by businesses as well, it can put us job seekers at a disadvantage. Now there has to be a bit more thought put into what you are going to post, or what you should and shouldn’t post rather. The best way to tackle this without having to go through all of your social media accounts and delete the “negative” stuff, put all of your profiles on private. With that being said, companies will find a way to dig into your past whether your accounts are private or not. Want to know if there is anything “negative” out there about you, Google yourself! Be smart and make good decisions when it comes to your online activity; remember, you are applying to be one of the faces of a company.
9. BRINGING YOUR PHONE TO AN INTERVIEW.
Who do you plan to call during your interview? I hope no one! Leave your phone in the car or at home. The last thing you need is for the interviewee to walk up to you and you are scrolling through Instagram or Twitter. Instead, bring a book to read while you wait or a cheat sheet you made about the company or questions you would like to ask. Stay focused. If you must bring your phone into the interview because you were dropped off, turn it off, do not put it on silent.
10. BAD-MOUTHING PAST EMPLOYERS.
If you have negative feelings about your past employer(s), keep it to yourself! Your potentially new employer doesn’t want to hear the not-so-good remarks about your past work experiences. It makes you look unprofessional and they can’t help but think what you will say about them. Find the positive in all experiences.
Hopefully this list gave you ideas of what NOT to do while you are job hunting and going on interviews!