How to sell a filmmaker –

Four weeks left in school and the job hunt is on

As filmmakers, many of us come from very strange backgrounds and work experiences and it seems frustrating at times to explain how our past jobs/lives were essential in shaping us as the unique storytellers we are.

This is especially true when writing a resume, because somehow this benign document has to do the talking for you and convince a potential employer to call you up for an interview.

That resume needs to somehow be like a strong handshake that is memorable and won’t let go of whoever reads it.

In my past life as an engineer, it was sufficient for me to throw in everything but the kitchen sink on that piece of paper – as long as I had the right education, training and skills I stood a shot at an interview.

But now things are different – I’m a storyteller and my resume is maybe the first impression of the types of stories I can tell.

When we offer a potential employer our CV, it’s like handing them a video trailer of what the job interview with us will be like.

All of that seems obvious, right? Well what about connecting all of our unrelated experiences/jobs/skills into one journey, one path – so an employer understands how your six months backpacking through Tibet and your intermediate-fluency in Latin is somehow related to your application for a job in Marketing?

‘Connecting the strands’ – that’s the toughest part – but you have to do it for a potential employer because they aren’t going to do it themselves. If they don’t understand who you are or what makes you special they’ll just move onto the next resume in the stack.

I’ve always felt in the back of my head that my prior career as an engineer has helped me immensely as a filmmaker – for me it’s like two sides of the same coin. But I haven’t been able to articulate that on a resume for a career in the media field.

Well no more . . .  I’m revamping my resume so it’s less of a laundry list and more like a ‘story’ – something that shows me for the beautiful, unique snowflake I am 🙂

Here’s my current resume in all of its boring glory:

Problems that I have with it:

  • two pages (why?)
  • too much information
  • no focal point
  • blah typography!
  • if I was a potential employer I wouldn’t be impressed by this candidate’s accomplishments or background

In a couple of a weeks I will be a freshly minted film production graduate and I need to start evaluating the things I make for the outside world (e.g. this blog) through the eyes of a storyteller.

I hope to post an ‘after’ version of my resume up here in two weeks for your feedback –

In the meantime, here’s some inspiration from the web for your own resume-revamping, in ascending order of creativity/craziness –


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