Tuesday, June 28, 2011

5 Ways to Get Your Resume Noticed! - Career Development - F.I.R.S.T. School

Five Pragmatic Things You Can Do to Make Sure Your Resume Gets Seen by Hiring Managers

By Martin Yate, author of Knock 'em Dead - Secrets and Strategies for Success in an Uncertain World 
1. Target Job Title. A resume cannot be all things to all people. It needs to focus on a specific job and carry a target job title, coming right after contact information ( 80% of resumes lack this and start instead with a Job Objective); your email address should be hyperlinked. Recruiters use the target job title in database searches and using one helps your resume be pulled for review by a hiring manager, and the title then gives the hiring manager an immediate focus.

2. Sell to the customer's needs: Don't sell what you think are your strong points in a resume, find out what the customers (hiring manager) want to buy. Do a Target Job Deconstruction (TJD) on 6 job postings to determine how employers prioritize their needs, and the words they use to describe them. Recruiters search resume databases using the approved job title and the words used in the job description. By doing TJD you know what skills employers value in this job, how they prioritize them and the words they are likely to use in database searches: in short you have a template for the story your resume must tell.

3. Replace Job/Career Objective (no one cares what you want), with Performance Profile. Managers do performance reviews on all employees every year so the phrase has immediacy and relevance. Beneath the heading address the heart of what you do in your professional work: Take the first 4-5 priorities from your TJD and turn them into short sentences running no more than five lines.

4. Core Competencies. Follow the Performance Profile with a Core Competency section. This contains all the words and phrases that were used in the job postings to describe your work (example: A/P, A/R, Quarterly P&L). List all the words and phrases that apply to you in columns; then repeat the words in the context of each of the jobs where they were applied, this way you get to use keywords that will be used by recruiters as search terms at least once and possibly two or three times; this will improve your database ranking. A hiring manager will read Core Competency section as headlines for all the skills you can talk about.

5. Together, a Target Job title, Target Job Deconstruction, Performance Profile and Core Competency section pack all the information into the first half page of your resume, to improve its database performance and to tell any recruiter or hiring manager of your ability and suitability for the job. This opening to a resume tells any reader you can do the job and you "get" what is truly important.

Read more on the Simply Hired Blog: http://blog.simplyhired.com

If you need help with your resume, cover letter, and job search techniques, contact the Career Development Depart at F.I.R.S.T. - we're here to help you! Call (407) 316-8310 or email: CareerDevelopment@FIRST.edu

Monday, June 20, 2011

8 Cover Letter Mistakes to Avoid - Career Development F.I.R.S.T

During your job search after graduating from F.I.R.S.T. (Florida Institute of Recording, Sound, and Technology), you will probably apply to hundreds of jobs, creating customized resumes and cover letters for each position. Most people spend a considerable amount of time perfecting their resume to best reflect their experience and show off their accomplishments, but throw their cover letter together quickly or worse—don't write a cover letter at all.
To make sure your cover letter gets noticed, make sure to avoid the following mistakes:
  1. Not personalizing your greeting – If possible, address your cover letter to the person doing the hiring (Ex: "Dear Mr. Thompson" or "Dear Ms. Fleming"). However, if the recruiter or hiring manager's name is unisex, include their full name: "Dear Pat Chang." If you can't find the hiring manager or recruiter's name, avoid addressing the cover letter to "Dear Sir" or "Dear Madam" in the 50/50 chance you guess wrong. Instead, use a gender-neutral phrase such as "Dear Hiring Manager" or "Dear Selection Committee."

  2. Writing a generic cover letter – Although creating a template cover letter can be a time-saver during your job search, you should customize each one to each employer and job to show how you fit the requirements. Not to mention, accidentally inserting the wrong job title or forgetting to switch out the name of the employer is a sure-fire way to get your application dumped in the trash or deleted.

  3. Writing too much or too little – Many recruiters and hiring managers won't spend a lot of time reading your cover letter, but you need to include enough information to sell yourself. Keep your cover letter to two or three high-impact paragraphs that describe how you fit the role's requirements and are a perfect candidate for the position.

  4. Making it all about you – While it's important to show off all of your awesome experience, the cover letter should equally be about you and the employer. Through your cover letter, show how you can benefit the company if they hire you and how you fit the employer’s needs.

  5. Forgetting to include your contact information – Resumes and cover letters can easily become separated, so make sure to include you contact information on both documents. By doing so, an employer can still know how to contact you by referring to your cover letter.

  6. Forgetting to proofread – Many job seekers forget to proofread their cover letter or do it too quickly and miss some of those pesky typos. If your cover letter has too many misspellings, typos, or grammar mistakes, you won't send a positive message to the employer. Ask some friends or family members to review before sending.

  7. Not following directions – If the employer has asked that you address a certain question in your cover letter or send it in a particular format, make sure you follow these directions. Employers often base their decisions on information they ask you to include and sometimes include application instructions—such as including the cover letter in the body of the email—as a way to test how well candidates can follow directions. If you can't follow their instructions, it's an easy way to eliminate you from consideration.

  8. Not sending a cover letter – Some job seekers don't even attach a cover letter when they apply for a job or include a quick note such as "My resume is attached." Take the time to write a clean, professional and direct cover letter that introduces you to the employer and addresses how you fit the specific requirements for the role.
Read more on the Simply Hired Blog: http://blog.simplyhired.com

If you need help writing your cover letter, contact the Career Development Department at F.I.R.S.T by calling (407) 316-8310 or email: CareerDevelopment@FIRST.edu

If you are considering a career in Audio Engineering, Music Production, or Film and Video Production,  visit the F.I.R.S.T. School website for more information: http://www.FIRST.edu

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Local and National Film and Video Organizations - Career Development - F.I.R.S.T. School

In today’s communication-driven world, just about everybody has to do it. One of the best ways to keep enhancing your qualifications, and fortifying your brand, is to join and build a professional network of talented people to think and grow with. 
To make this easier for you, F.I.R.S.T. (Florida Institute of Recording, Sound, and Technology) is providing a list of local and national film and video organizations you should consider joining and/or at sign up to be on their free mailing lists, where you will be informed of upcoming industry events, news, job openings, and more helpful information! * Keep in mind, many of these professional organizations offer student discounted rate membership fees. 

A non-profit industry association connecting Florida's digital media and e-entertainment companies, institutions, and industry professionals and providing for the continuing development and worldwide recognition of Florida's digital media and e-entertainment. http://www.dmaflorida.org
Through the collective voice of more than 15,000 members that the DGA represents, the Guild seeks to protect directorial teams’ legal and artistic rights, contend for their creative freedom, and strengthen their ability to develop meaningful and credible careers.
A not-for-profit corporation that provides a leadership role in Florida’s film and entertainment production industries by representing a coalition of interests including private industry, industry associations, labor organizations, and local film commissions. Its purpose is to offer to business and individuals the benefits of a statewide trade association, to promote the creation of jobs in the film and entertainment production industries, and to promote economic development and tourism. http://www.filmflorida.org
A not-for-profit organization comprised of volunteer members from Florida's production industry. The primary objective of FMPTA is to encourage and facilitate increased film, video, and sound recording production within Florida. Unlike other industry organizations, it is made up of persons involved in all areas of the production industry. http://www.fmpta.org
A non-profit professional membership organization that advocates globally on issues related to digital game creation.
Represents more than 165,000 actors, announcers, broadcasters, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists, and other media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and information America and the world. http://www.aftra.com
Founded in 1916 to advance theory and development in the motion imaging field. Today, SMPTE publishes ANSI-approved Standards, Recommended Practices, and Engineering Guidelines, along with the highly regarded SMPTE Journal and its peer-reviewed technical papers. SMPTE holds conferences and local Section meetings to bring people and ideas together, allowing for useful interaction and information exchange.
The entertainment industry’s only organization representing the full breadth of visual effects practitioners including artists, technologists, model makers, educators, studio leaders, supervisors, PR/marketing specialists and producers in all areas of entertainment from film, television and commercials, to music videos and games. Comprised of a diverse group of more than 2,500 members in 29 countries, the VES strives to enrich and educate its own members and members of the entertainment community at large through a multitude of domestic and international events, screenings, and programs. http://www.visualeffectssociety.com
A non-profit association for career professionals, both women and men, working in film, television and other programming media. Charged with building positive images of media makers, empowering teams to achieve their highest professional and creative potential, and helping create more job opportunities throughout the State of Florida.
A labor union of thousands of professionals who are the primary creators of what is seen or heard on television and film in the US, as well as the writers of a growing portion of original digital media content. Members write everything from big budget movies to independent films, late night comedy/variety shows to daytime serials, broadcast and radio news, web series, documentaries, and animation. The WGAE works on their behalf to promote and protect the professional and artistic interests of this diverse community. http://www.wgaeast.org
If you would like to learn about Film and Video Production, visit the website of F.I.R.S.T. (Florida Institute of Recording, Sound, and Technology) to view videos, learn more about the programs and classes offered, and receive a free tour of the school!

Local and National Audio Organizations - Career Development - F.I.R.S.T. School

In today’s communication-driven world, just about everybody has to do it. One of the best ways to keep enhancing your qualifications, and fortifying your brand, is to join and build a professional network of talented people to think and grow with. 
To make this easier for you, F.I.R.S.T. (Florida Institute of Recording, Sound, and Technology) is providing a list of local and national audio organizations you should consider joining and/or at sign up to be on their free mailing lists, where you will be informed of upcoming industry events, news, job openings, and more helpful information! * Keep in mind, many of these professional organizations offer student discounted rate membership fees. 

They are largest organization in the world representing the interests of professional musicians. Whether negotiating fair agreements, protecting ownership of recorded music, securing benefits such as health care and pension, or lobbying legislators, the AFM is committed to raising industry standards and placing the professional musician in the foreground of the cultural landscape. http://www.afm.org/

A membership association of more than 380,000 U.S. composers, songwriters, lyricists, and music publishers of every kind of music. Through agreements with affiliated international societies, ASCAP also represents hundreds of thousands of music creators worldwide. ASCAP is the only U.S. performing rights organization created and controlled by composers, songwriters and music publishers, with a Board of Directors elected by and from the membership. ASCAP protects the rights of its members by licensing and distributing royalties for the non-dramatic public performances of their copyrighted works. ASCAP's licensees encompass all who want to perform copyrighted music publicly. ASCAP makes giving and obtaining permission to perform music simple for both creators and users of music. http://www.ascap.com

A nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and study of sound recordings, in all genres of music and speech, in all formats, and from all periods. ARSC is unique in bringing together private individuals and institutional professionals, everyone with a serious interest in recorded sound. http://www.arsc-audio.org/

The only professional society devoted exclusively to audio technology. Founded in the United States in 1948, the AES has grown to become an international organization that unites audio engineers, creative artists, scientists, and students worldwide by promoting advances in audio and disseminating new knowledge and research. http://www.aes.org/

CMC is a 26 year old international membership organization dedicated to the advancement of new music and the success of independent musicians. CMC represents independent artists and record labels worldwide. Through their sister organization, the Music Discovery Network, they sell music and videos. http://www.creativemusicianscoalition.com/

A U.S. organization of musicians, producers, recording engineers and other recording professionals dedicated to improving the quality of life and cultural condition for music and its makers. The Recording Academy is headquartered in Santa Monica. Neil Portnow is the current president of The Academy. The Recording Academy, which began in 1957, is known for its GRAMMY Awards. In 1997, the Recording Academy launched The Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc., which produces the Latin GRAMMY Awards. Michael Greene was the founder and the first President of the Latin Grammys. http://www.grammy.org

Promotes education, career advancement, and good will among record executives. With an emphasis on becoming better informed and more effective executives, NARIP offers professional development opportunities, educational programs and seminars, the opportunity to meet and interact with peers, a job bank, a member resume database for employers, a mentor network, a newsletter, and other services. http://www.narip.com/

Founded in 1979 by the leaders of the recording industry. Today is no different. Members enjoy the access and opportunity to network with some of the best known and most successful individuals in the business. In addition, the roster of SPARS Past Presidents reads like a Who's Who with regard to the history of recording. SPARS is pursuing an aggressive agenda of renewal and expansion designed to make the organization ever more responsive to their membership. http://www.spars.com

If you would like to learn about Audio Engineering and Music Production, visit the website of F.I.R.S.T. (Florida Institute of Recording, Sound, and Technology) to view videos, learn more about the programs and classes offered, and receive a free tour of the school!