So today I spent most of my time at work telling others they can’t have my job. Ah yes, the life of a Production Assistant (PA). Long hours, little pay, and even less freedom. Didn’t realize so many people wanted this role, now did you? But the number of blind phone calls and emails that I have received in the past few weeks are overwhelming. Don’t get me wrong. I am so thankful to have gotten hired to work on another production, this time for a pilot for Fox. I’ve been on the other side, making tons of phone calls and sending emails to production offices, only to have the already hired PA answer the phone and tell me they are not hiring. Never once did I get a response back from a cold call or email and now on the receiving end, I expected that I would be the one to hit delete when the emails came in. This was not the case. The producer I work with has more of an old school attitude. In the sense that she is way older and grew up in a time where people had respect for one another. A time where it was common practice to return someone’s phone call promptly that same day. Weird, I know. Forget phone calls, our generation doesn’t even find offense in ignoring a BBM that has a glaring “R” next to it! So at first, I thought it was crazy when my producer looked at me and said “Well, we have to address all these people.” The idea had honestly never crossed my mind. “Okay,” I said, trying to suppress my hesitancy. I then crafted what I believed to be a nice email to the tune of, “Thank you for sending your resume. Unfortunately, we are fully staffed, however we will keep your resume on file if a position opens up. Best of luck in your search.” “Seems a bit cold, don’t you think?” was the producer’s response. “Do you want me to call 1800-Flowers and see if they’ll deliver to everyone as well?” I was confused – is there a proper way to reject someone that I am unaware of? Has our generation no clue on etiquette? Maybe so, but as I began sending the revised rejection letters I soon found another issue with my peers – we have no clue how to apply for a job. I couldn’t help but laugh when an applicant opened her email with, “I have many skills including: scenic painting.” While we are the facebook generation, facebook photos are not needed with a resume. And please, don’t use emoticons. Smiley faces have no place here. Sorry :(. I myself recently learned that “objectives” are unnecessary on a resume. Doubly, if you don’t know the meaning of “objective.” I found one resume where under this section the candidate wrote, “One year of experience in editing. Two years of script coverage.” I didn’t continue reading onto the “experience” section. Little do these people know that I am the one reading their cover letters, but at least try and get an actual name of who you are writing to. “Dear Fox” is ridiculous. Fox is a network. Not a being, reading your cover letter. Nor is it 1950, and should your letter be addressed “Dear Sirs.” We are actually all women over here. Our generation is self-centered and has undeserved feelings of entitlement. Your benefit is not a reason to hire you. “To be apart of your crew would be a great opportunity for me to advance in the industry and gain a lot of valuable knowledge of how a TV pilot is shot.” And this helps us how? Although, at least this candidate took the time to write a cover letter. I’ve received a few resumes attached to a blank email. How lazy are you? And cut the ‘tude. If we are nice enough to respond to your resume, don’t reply back, “Please note, my name is *Lisa not Maria. My last name is De Maria.” Please note, we don’t care. And lastly, unless you are applying to work at a church, don’t bring your faith into it. Although it must have been faith that such an applicable cover letter for my blogging enjoyment arrived in the inbox today. It went a little something like this. “As I write this, I am truly walking in faith. I pray that I can touch your spirit in a way that I may be given an opportunity to meet with you and allowed a chance to prove my sincerity of a career with your company. I am on a journey that has not been easy by far, but the challenge makes me stronger and I am determined to complete this journey and rejoice in its’ rewards. Jane Simone* is definitely not walking this path alone. Please allow me to briefly introduce myself first through my education… My determination for success along with my faith has planted me here to seek what I know not hope for, is my calling. I would like to thank you for opening this email and reading it to this point. This tells me that someone is watching out over me.” Sadly, this person is only me. As another candidate wrote, “I am willing and happy to work hard during all and any long hours, all days of the week, for very little pay.” You and everyone else, buddy. Good luck.
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*Names have been changed so that these job seekers will have a second chance at getting hired!