Theatre Thursday: Job Hunting for Technicians
Hello my fierce readers,
I've been in a little bit of a rut lately. In life, in relationships, with myself, and creatively - both on this blog and on Instagram. And it sucks because I was so excited to kick off 2019 on the right foot! But life it full of ups & downs and just because you are down one week, doesn't mean you can't soar the next.
So I reached out to my SMMP tribe to see what kind of posts they would be interested in or that they felt would be most beneficial to my readers. And they all agreed a post about job hunting would be extremely useful right now because we are about two weeks into hiring season.
So I've compiled a list of all of resources and tips that would be beneficial to even the "expert" job hunter.
The most important thing about the job hunt is staying organized. The job hunt is a tedious and often stressful process, which can become chaotic if you let it take control of your life. In order to be successful, you must keep on top of it. My best tip would be to create an Excel document tracking all of the needed information. I started an Excel document YEARS ago that has since grown and changed depending on my employment needs. I haven't updated it in a while, but definitely need to because it helps me keep track of everything.
The First Excel Sheet:
Name of Theatre
Notes (including the Link to the Theatre's Employment Page- because let me tell you it isn't always easy to find)
The Second Excel Sheet:
Name of Theatre
Next Step Continued
In this version of the Excel sheet, I would highlight all of the companies I finished applying to in gray. I would highlight the companies I still wanted to apply to in blue. In "next steps" I would put if I needed to follow up/schedule an interview/ or meet up with them at SETC or USITT.
My favorite little note I wrote after booking my first summer at MGR:
The Third Excel Sheet:
Name of Theatre
This is my current way of formatting my list because I've learned that basically every theatre wants you to send a resume, cover letter and references. So this excel sheet is a quick hit list for me to see which jobs I've applied to recently.
Another organization tip is to create folders - both on your computer and in your email inbox.
My computer folder is labeled Jobs with subfolders as follows: Cover Letters (further broken down by year), Long Wharf, New Harmony, Other, Resume, Scanned Contract Copies (ALWAYS SCAN COPIES OF YOUR CONTRACTS FRIENDS), STC, The Go Round.
Each theatre company folder has subfolders for the respective shows I did at that theatre. The "Other" folder includes: the job excel document I explained previously, applications, my digital portfolio, and SMMP applications.
My email folders are simply broken up by years or rather, theatrical seasons. Or if it's a company I've worked for I have it broken up by year /show /etc. Also, I always keep any email I ever send to a company to have to refer back to if needed.
Where To Find Jobs
Indeed.com (This is where my Long Wharf gig was posted. Even though I first heard of it through word of mouth)
SETC.com (They post all of the companies who hired the previous year at the job fair in a Google Sheet with links to each company's website. Luckily for you if you click on the photo below, it will take you right to said Google Sheet!)
Theatre's Website (There are a lot of theatres. A lot of theatres have websites. A lot of these websites are not very good or rather, not easy to navigate. Once you find a theatre's employment page, bookmark it so it's easier to find later.
Some theatres ask for an application in addition to the normal stuff. They're usually pretty easy, just an extra time consuming step.
Hey check out this resume post I did a while back by clicking this picture of my face.
The Cover Letter
I haven't done a cover letter post. Do you want me to? Let me know on my Instagram survey @seachels1294. But my biggest cover letter tip is to not copy and paste the same cover letter for each company. #RookieMistake
Should I do a website/digital portfolio post? Let me know on my Instagram survey @seachels1294. Biggest tip is to PDF it all together and don't send individual PDF files of each piece of paperwork. Sorry Iannelli. #RookieMistake
Hey look I did a whole post about interviews already. Read it by clicking my face below.
Follows up are important. After the interview, be sure to send a thank you to whoever interviewed you thanking them for their time. If it's been about a week or two since a company has said they would contact you, feel free to reach out with a follow up. But be reasonable. As much as we hate the waiting game, chances are there is a reason for it. My favorite follow up format is as follows:
My name is Chelsea Janke and we met at ____
at an interview for a stage management position . I wanted to follow up as you are completing your hiring process to see if there is any additional information you need from me - phone conversation, additional portfolio work, etc. - or if you have any further questions. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you think of anything and I look forward to hearing from you!
Gossip Girl (jk jk)
Another good reason to follow up with a company is if one company has offered you a job and you are waiting to hear back from another. Emails turning offers down/asking companies to wait can be stressful, but don't be afraid to ask for time to make the right decision. The worst they can do is say no! These emails for me tend to go like this:
I hope this email finds you well. I know when we last spoke you said decisions would be made/sent out in a couple of weeks, however I have started receiving other offers who are asking for a final decision this week. I know you all are still interviewing, however I was wondering if you would be able to let me know where I stood. ___ is still at the top of my priority list, especially after our conversation, and I would love any assistance you may be able to provide!
Thanks so much and I look forward to hearing from you all!
The Cold Email
If you can't find any job postings for a certain theatre, sometimes you can just send a cold email with your resume AND COVER LETTER. If you send a cover letter, it shows you are extremely interested in the company and didn't just attach a resume and copy and paste an email.
If you've been in touch with a certain company or production manager for a while now, sometimes just sending them an updated resume can be beneficial. This allows you to let them know what you've been up to without directly asking for a job.
Proofread. Resumes. Cover Letters. Emails. Don't let copy and paste ( even if it's only for formatting sakes) get the best of you. Proofread again.
Watch the exclamation marks! They can get used a lot! Because you are very excited! And very happy! And you really want this job! But they get annoying! So chill!
Don't wait until SETC or USITT to apply to places. From experience, it's a lot easier to apply to places ahead of time and let them know you will attending conference in your cover letter. Typically all the "good jobs" are already taken at conference, especially for stage managers. Also if you wait until conference you will have to do all of those applications at once and that's very stressful.
Keep in mind different time zones exist. When looking at specific application times, make sure you know the time zone it's due in. Same goes for scheduling interviews.
Go for it. Sometimes jobs you think you are unqualified for, you might actually get an interview! Like tbt to the time I got an interview for The Public. Be reasonable, but don't be afraid to go for it.
Apply often. Don't wait until the last minute to do all of your applications because it will be beyond stressful. S P A C E I T O U T.
Keep looking. Let me tell you the hardest part is finding the jobs to apply for. I'm at the point in my career where I'm no longer looking for internships and am looking for more ASM level positions. And guess what job is never listed? ASM positions. It can be disheartening, but keep checking because the posts are constantly being updated.
Each no still knows your name. Don't take a no personally. Just like actors, there are a TRILLION reasons why you may not have gotten the job. And just like actors, you will receive a ton of no thank you's. Take each no with a grain of salt because even though they said no now, they still know your name. I can't tell you how many "no's" I've gotten that have later asked for an interview or led to relationships/contacts.
Hiring season can be literal hell so keep pushing and be sure to ask for help from friends if needed.
Much love always,
<<<<<<Me looking at all the jobs I should be applying for.