What Movie Trailers Can Teach You About Writing Your Resume

Movie trailers and job resumes have both taken on more importance these days. In the film industry, a 2-minute trailer can make the difference between a flop or a blockbuster based on the social media reaction.

When you’re job-hunting, making a positive first impression is just as essential now that easy online applications create more candidates to screen.

If you love movies, try taking a cinematic approach to crafting your resume. Screen these lessons on what movie trailers can teach you about getting more interviews.

When to Copy Movie Trailers:

  1. Start fast. The average time a recruiter spends looking at a resume is only about 6 seconds. You have to capture their attention quickly. Ensure your resume and cover letter have a strong opening that addresses the employer’s needs and makes them want to keep reading.
  2. Finish big. You also need an effective closing because the beginning and end of any event is what we tend to remember most. Summarize the specific reasons why you think you’re a great candidate and demonstrate your enthusiasm.
  3. Use keywords. Movie trailers may not talk about keywords, but they’re sure to mention any Academy Awards, big stars, and other attractions. When you write your resume, include the words that automatic scanners and humans in your industry want to see.
  4. Address weaknesses. Even if you had a stormy relationship with your last boss or you don’t know how to code, you can still create an impressive and honest resume by focusing on your strengths and putting a positive spin on the areas where you need to grow.
  5. Ask for feedback. Some major trailers cost more than a million dollars to produce, so studios gather a lot of input first. See what your friends, family, and coworkers think of your resume. They may suggest some helpful revisions.
  6. Generate excitement. Successful trailers create a mood and capture your interest. Remember that you’re using your resume to market yourself rather than just describing your work history.

When Not to Copy Movie Trailers:

  1. Embrace spoilers. While a trailer usually tries to avoid giving away the whole plot, you want your resume to support a clear conclusion. Audiences may be willing to gamble on a movie where they don’t know what to expect, but it’s the rare hiring manager who will call you without knowing your qualifications.
  2. Exercise caution. Adult content and controversy can help promote a movie, but most employers are committed to protecting their brand. Avoid saying anything unnecessarily controversial that could remove you from consideration. While you’re at it, see if your social media accounts need any cleaning up too.
  3. Be selective. Do you enjoy sitting through 15 minutes of trailers before seeing the movie you paid for? While that strategy may make sense for the movie industry, you can find more productive and less annoying ways to share your resume. Target companies who match your priorities.
  4. Think long term. While movie trailers aim to generate as much profit as possible in the critical first few opening days, you need to take a longer perspective. It’s natural to be happy about any job offer but evaluate how it will affect your future. Will you find the work fulfilling? Are there opportunities for advancement?

Pay attention to the trailers the next time you’re at the movies waiting for the
main feature to start. You may find valuable ideas about how to write a
resume that makes employers want to see more.

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