I manage a cinema. A small cinema, with low staff needs. And yet, we get inundated with requests for work. This could be because of my sparkling personality, or it could be that working in a cinema is seen as an “easy” job. (It’s not “easy”, but the team and customers make it nice.)
When the cinema faced closure I dipped back into the applying for jobs scenario, dusted off my C.V and went to interviews, and so I have decided to give some advice on how to approach it.
This is primarily aimed at school leavers, who I see making the most mistakes.
DO NOT get your mum to ask whether we have vacancies.
DO NOT ask random staff members “got any jobs going?”. This is not a good start.
DO NOT ask about vacancies through a social networking site. (Stop asking Angela for jobs on Facebook.)
DO NOT ask about vacancies whilst coming into the cinema. Is this an afterthought to you? Are you actually looking for work or just hoping one will appear during the course of your usual day?
DO NOT ask about vacancies on the way out of the cinema, in casual clothes, with slushy around your mouth and popcorn bits imbedded in your hoody.
DO write a C.V. but research what it should look like. I suggest two A4 pages maximum, and I would be okay with school leavers getting it down to one page. (If you have a Degree, I dont care what your GCSE results are.)
DO make sure your name and contact details are prominant at the start.
DO target it towards the cinema. At the very least state somewhere that you like films.
DO write a cover letter that tells me why you specifically want to work for me and why you will be a good addition to the team.
DO proofread your C.V and cover letter, as well as your email content if applying online.
DO have an easy to read font and format for your C.V. (NOT COMIC SANS – It’s a C.V not a sign for a carboot sale.) Keep it uncluttered. I am skim reading for details that may get you an interview. Tease me, don’t bore me.
DO find out the name of the person who will read the C.V. Dear Sir/Madam is lazy and does not cut it. It’s a quick phone call to find out a name, and I would have thought that the recent campaign and press coverage would make my name even easier to find out.
DO research the company you are applying for. Who are they owned by? What is their turnover? What does the future hold for them? Any recent press? Who are their customers / target audience? Someone applied for a job a month ago and did not know about the save the cinema campaign!
DO have a mature email address. I am not going to email “email@example.com (unless it’s a Sunday). It should be YOUR NAME@hotmail.com etc.
DO make sure your social networking sites does you justice. I will be looking, and privacy settings may not help you if one of my staff is on your “friend” list.
If you ask casually I will usually say no, followed by “but KFC are looking for staff”. So far everyone has said “oh, I am not gonna work there”. As it turns out, you won’t be working at the cinema either. This tells me you are not serious about wanting to work, and probably will not want to unblock our toilets or clean up a 6 year old’s slushy and liquorice allsort filled vomit. A fast food chain on your C.V can be a very good thing.
If you are serious about wanting work at the very least dress smartly and walk around every potential employer in Penrith and politely hand in your C.V (ideally with a tailored cover letter addressed to the appropriate person). Smile, and ask that if they do not currently have any vacancies could they keep your C.V on file.
The competition is stiff. I have applications from people with Masters Degrees in Film and years of customer facing experience. The cinema IS part of the film industry, so I will prioritise those who want to work in that industry, rather than just wanting a part-time job. Quention Tarantino used to work in a video store because he at least got to talk about films.
What is it YOU want to do? Try to get a job at least linked to that field in some way.
That’s it for now. Most of the above tips will apply to other employers too.
I may cover interview advice at another date.
There are some more tips at Jobsite.
P.S No, we are currently not hiring, and that is unlikely to change for a very long time.