Hat Trick’s Joint Director of Production, Jessica Sharkey, and Director of Operations, Kate Wilson, hosted the Media Parents CV Event in October. They were joined by Helen Matthews, HR Director at Tiger Aspect, David Postlethwaite, Head of Production at Touch Productions, Vikki Barron, Talent Manager from ITV Productions, Steve Wynne, Joint MD of Rival Media, and Amy Walker, Director of Media Parents, who all shared opinions and advice on best CV practice. Here are some highlights, please also see Helen Matthews’ other posting for tips.
“Talent managers are more helpful than I’d thought!” Adelle
David Postlethwaite’s top tip was to SELL YOURSELF. The talent on www.mediaparents.co.uk is fantastic but the majority of people are extremely modest about their achievements and credits, and we all know that confidence can drain away with a period of little work, so David picked up on that.
In addition to CLARITY in CVs, David also wanted to see TAILORED CVs for particular jobs. There are a lot of multi-skilled and flexible workers on www.mediaparents.co.uk so separate your job roles into sections on a CV, with the most relevant jobs at the top.
David’s last request was for HONESTY. So what to do if you have a large gap in employment, to have a baby, or for other reasons?
“I was told not to panic and take the first job that came my way but to think about the skillsbase I want to build. It’s so hard to have the self-belief to turn down work but I’ll give it some thought.” Donna
Helen Matthews advised DON’T TAKE THE DATES OFF YOUR CV as it could look shifty – instead OUTLINE OTHER SKILLS YOU HAVE PICKED UP if you’ve had a break in work. Still keep the most relevant jobs at the top of your CV though as YOU NEED YOUR BEST ASSETS UP FRONT.
You can see more tips from Helen Matthews here: http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2010/10/media-parents-cv-event-tips-from-the-director-of-hr-at-tiger-aspect/
“Helen told me to use Linked-In for contacts – I would never have thought of that.” Sarah
Kate Wilson’s top tip for ways back into work after a break was to approach a smaller company and OFFER TO DO DEVELOPMENT WORK. Some companies welcome JVs (Joint Ventures) because they can’t sustain large development teams so it can be worthwhile to suss out companies whose output is similar to your ideas. Kate mentioned that a successful part-time stint in development can often lead to bigger things.
“I was advised to list celebrities that I’d interviewed, as many of them were Hollywood A-listers.” Sheila
Jessica Sharkey’s advice was to KEEP IT SIMPLE. A clear bold design will make your CV stand out to someone who is scanning lots of CVs quickly. Stick to TWO PAGES and don’t overload your CV with information. Don’t repeat things in your CV either – every word is vital.
“I was using too big a font and going on to three pages. To be honest there’s stuff in there I now realise I don’t need – I find it hard to let go of my A-Levels!!” Joe
Amy Walker asked people to TITLE CVs WITH FULL NAME AND JOB TITLE. Also TITLE YOUR EMAIL with your full name and job title, so the employer can find your talent quickly in a bursting inbox.
If you’re using a married name and a maiden name make it clear which name you want to be known by, and if you can, change the email account name that appears in inboxes to be your professional name so you can be found. DON’T MAKE ANYONE WORK TO FIND YOUR TALENTS OR YOUR CV – let it all sing out for you!
“The font on my CV is way too small – I can see that now!” Clare
Vikki Barron’s top tip was to WRITE YOUR AVAILABILITY in your email. Your CV shouldn’t just be what you’ve worked on, but should clearly SPECIFY YOUR SKILLS at the top of the first page. This should include the particular cameras you shoot on, or other technical equipment or programs you are trained to use.
Another tip from the floor was to INCLUDE THE NAMES OF SPs or EXECS AGAINST CREDITS.
“I am going to put the names of my referees on my CV from now on.” Matt
Steve Wynne also picked up on covering letters. SPELLING MISTAKES and WRONG ADDRESSEES ARE AN INSTANT FAIL. Accuracy is important because it reflects your precision in your work.
Likewise be accurate in your CV. GIVE A FRIEND YOUR CV TO LOOK OVER – if there’s a mistake in there and you add your credits as you gain them you could potentially have a blunder in your CV for years!
“It’s been brilliant to actually meet people face to face – I am going to keep in touch now by email.” Several Talent Managers and Media Parents!
Crikey, hope this is useful reading, it’s taken years to write – anyone want to give me a lesson in how to lay out a blog?! Get in touch if you’d like to write for the blog too: firstname.lastname@example.org