Entertainment Jobs Q&A: The Wrong Way to Apply for Jobs

Our Entertainment Jobs Q&A column is going video style again – this week we handle a question from Annabel who wants our opinion on a job application technique. Enjoy!

Video Transcript: “Entertainment Jobs Q&A: The Wrong Way to Apply for Jobs”

Brian Clapp, WorkinEntertainment.com Director of Content: Our Entertainment Jobs Q&A column is going video style again – you may ask yourself, why? And the answer is simple, because I like doing videos…they’re fun.

entertainment jobs sad guy at his computer

There is a technique to applying for jobs, and if you do it wrong you are bound to fail

The question today comes from Annabel in San Francisco – she’s just recently graduated college, she’s been a member of our site for a few months and has been finding lots of entertainment jobs that seem interesting. She wants to know, should she send out a lot of resumes and apply for a lot of entertainment jobs everywhere, or should she target fewer jobs and go deep on a few opportunities per week?

The first technique she describes is what I call the “Shotgun Technique” – you find a bunch of entertainment jobs that could work, and just send your resume out there everywhere.

I do not like this technique – for a few simple reasons. You don’t have any level of personalization. I had someone tell me that they applied for 400 entertainment jobs in two months and they didn’t get any responses back.

My response to them was – did you customize your cover letter? did you research the company so you knew something about them and how they make money? Do you know anything about their business process? No. They just had the same format, template style that they banged out to a lot of different employers.

I don’t think that works, I really don’t.

You need to spend the time identifying a few entertainment jobs that seem to fit you and are a good match for your skills and desires. You need to be able to figure out the number of jobs that you can apply for per week while still doing research into each company and personalizing your contact. Ask yourself, “If I pick 5-7 jobs a week, can I do all the research necessary to be a strong candidate? Can I learn everything there is to know about this business?”¬†If you can’t, lower your number – only you can decide what the number of jobs you should apply to each week to stay focused and intentional.

If you are just spraying your resume out there you won’t be as effective if you approached it with laser focus and customized your interaction with each company.

If you have any other thoughts for Annabel for how she should pursue the jobs of her dreams add them to the comments below – and if you have a question you’d like us to answer in an upcoming Entertainment Jobs Q&A – add that to the bottom too, what the heck!

About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the broadcast media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for WorkinSports.com & WorkinEntertainment.com.

Recently Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. No seriously, you should.


  1. Mark Schreier says:

    Should I videotape a short custoied intro to attach to each job application email that I submit?

  2. Robyn Goodwin says:

    As a young recent grad with no leadership background and little to no real life experience in doing what it is I want to do, what is the best way to make myself stand out on a resume over other applicants that may have been in the top of their class and has experience in leading on campus organizations and so on? Any input would be appreciated as this is something I’ve been battling for a few years.

  3. I was downsized out of my job after working at a company 14yrs. I have been looking for work everywhere for a post production position to use my skills. Brian my question to you. How do I get any face time interviews to for a chance to prove I am & can be more than my sheet of paper (resume)?

    • That is the big struggle Rose – getting in front of employers so they can see you for who you are. My suggestion, over 14 years you have worked with many people who will vouch for your skills- it’s time to start talking with them personally, explaining your situation, seeing if there are any opportunities they have heard of and generally getting your name out there in the industry. Also, I just did a quick check e have 80 jobs with the keywords “post production” in them, they may help! – follow this link http://www.workinentertainment.com/job-search.asp?q=post+production


  4. Hi Brian,

    I am from the United Arab Emirates, and i have lived 14 years of my life in Romania, finished my medical school but because i was so interested in my passion for music, i dint practice medicine. and was professionally singing in Romania for last 7 years, done 5 singles, was semi finalist on ‘the voice’ of Romania, did reality shows but can’t say i was earning very well. My life took a turn since i had to do the national service in the army in my country, i got back, finished it and now i feel i should work here and i am looking for a job, well i was thinking to join media as i am more interested in this field and because i have experience in this field. How should my CV look like? i am really struggling with this. Because when i send my CV to any media company they see bachelors in medicine and i think because of that i get rejected. i just came across this site and i was curious if you have any solution. Thank you.


  1. […] This is especially crucial for anyone who wants to find a job in the entertainment industry. […]