the employers and clients come to you... Errrr but hang on a minute! ...
There is a little bit of a lot more to posting your resume or business add online than just throwing up three words and a web site or email address. Especially on industry classifieds and production directories where you can self post. There is etiquette, tone, and technique, and today dear freelancers, businesses, and organizatons, we are going to cover a few tips on what industy employers, resume libraries, classifieds, production directories, and prospective clients want to see and don't want to see online. Please... read on...
Employers and prospective clients have particular tastes. They want to see you are willing to make the effort and have a professional attitude and the right skills and experience in the first paragraph, before they feel comfortable enough to read on. The easier for them to see what they want before they contact you the easier it is for them to hire you. There are also certain guidelines for how you post and in what categories, so that employers and clients, or even audiences and press can find you in a search. The following tips are from companies I have talked to, and tips and comments from employers and agencies, and my own 4 years experience in moderating online industry communities, classifieds, and directories.
1) Put a list of keyword skills or phrases at the top of your resume or add. Audiences will scan those first before considering reading the rest. For example: My field work is as an event manager and consultant, so my keywords according to my actual skills and experience would be...
Subject/Title: Event and Festival Management Services
Description: Skills: Event and Festival Logistics, Budget and Planning, Business Development and Creative Direction, Marketing, Recruitment, Bookings and Mailing List Management, San Francisco
(...then my resume would follow on from there...)
Remember: The first ten words of your online resume or add should be your keywords or catch phrases! This shortcut's the employer or client's time in seeing you right for them, and encourages and supports them to read on.
2) Post your contacts at the bottom, not at the top, so the reader will be helped again to read the whole add. Plus on sites like Gigdirectory.net, it helps protect your privacy as the general public will not be able to access your contacts. (This is especially recommended for female performers!;-). Plus on communities like Gigdirectory.net you can send internal messages to fellow members with only a user name, so they don't have to know your actual email address.
3) Keep your resume or add to the point and clear, with only the info and experience for the category you have posted in. Do not use superlatives or cryptic type descriptions, keep it intuitive and straight forward. Remember that employers search resumes like you search jobs on the web, if you post in the wrong category, employers won't find you in a search. So don't post your resume in a jobs section, or a music services add in a film production category,employers don't look for resumes in job sections, they look for resumes in resume sections, and in categories according to if they want a particular skill or industry. Check out thoroughly how sites are categorized, before posting your resume or add.
4) Don't put stuff on your resume that you haven't done or aren't qualified for. Employers get pretty annoyed when they find out you don't have the skills or experience you say you do, and they usually can tell by the first interview. In the entertainment industry, lack of skills in one person can, and has, sometimes killed a whole show and a lot of people's jobs.
5) Only post your resume once in each category, and then again when your resume has moved off the page. For Instance: the Gigdirectgory.net classifieds show 30 resumes per page. Once you resume drops to 31 it goes to the next page, then repost your resume, if it drops off the page everyday, then only post once a week, else you will go mad. Multiple identicle listings on the same page, all at once makes me want to skip them, as a reader, and delete them as a moderator. Employers as well as group and site moderators are sensitive to spam and over posts. If you tried reading resumes and business adds all day, even only for a few days, you'd understand why.
6) If posting your web page in Production Directory and you have different skills, products, or services: make a separate web page for each, with it's virtues and images, and post each page address separately. It will give you multiple windows and angels of exposure, greatly increasing your chances of success. But don't hog the whole directory, there is such a thing as over exposure, which could get you deleted, or even bared from some online communities.
7) Do post a photo of yourself, at your work or craft is great, but a professional recent headshot will do, that goes for businesses too. People feel comfortable with seeing a human face, why do you think real estate agents always have their photos on busines cards. Please remember: No school or fuzzy happy snap photos. All photos must be, less than 64 k, clear and professional looking. Include a clear photo or two of productions you've worked on, preferably with you in there at work.
8) If you just put only three lines and or a web site address: The reader can't see if you have the keywords that click the "contact this add" button in their brain. Put some effort into your marketing, sell yourself, you are worthy. A well written paragraph for business adds and for sites with limited resume space, and not more than one page for sites with big resume spaces.
9) Don't put the same resume or web page for multiple categories. Again it gives the impression of only making minimal effort, and the employer or prospective client cannot see if you are right for the particular gig they have available. Different employers with different gigs want to see a resume or web page for that gig or skill, or service only. , e.g. if your resume is in a production category, they generally don't want to read acting credits, nor will they read a modeling resume in a tv production classifieds. These are some actual examples we see at Gigdirectory.net. Much of the work everyday is search for and find and delete this stuff so our members and subscribers have quality lists of content that is searchable. Your web page or resume must sell you on the job that the client is surfing for resumes for, and that alone.
11) Don't apply for a paid job you are not qualified or have no expereince in! One of the biggest employer piss off's is students applying to job adds that have requested experienced people. Students and novices please use some common sense, working on one or two shows, volunteer or professional, does not qualify you for "experienced" status. Go do a couple of dozen or so volunteer gigs, and do lots of research in your own time, it will improve how you write your resume, and your practice your work, not to mention your humility and industry language. The arts industries are a different set of psychology books you can only understand through expereince, and in a life time only some of it. So you had better start now and do a lot of it.
12) Needless to say, if a seasoned professional or company has not heard of you, you are not a star in their eyes. Please remember that when writing your resume or add copy and applying for deals, jobs, or roles, and on the job itself.
13) If you haven't already, no matter if you are a freelancer, business, or organization: Go buy a "how to" book and write a business plan. Get clear on what you are doing, how you're doing it, who and what you are doing it with, how long and how much, gaps and fillers, near and far goals, and who you're selling it to. Write it and rewrite it and your resume or brochures a couple of times. After you've done this, it will show in them and the way you approach your vocation and venture, plus make prospective clients more attracted to you. Review and clarify it on a regular basis, but not too often. Know where you are at and how to get where you are going too, tweak it when you need to, yet give things time to take effect and for you to observe.
Founder of Gigdirectory.net, Gigslist.org, ArtIntoIndustry.net
You can try out the above tips by posting on http://www.gigdirectory.net
Arts and Media Classifieds today, free.